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Temple Cleansing Prep Gets Personal

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Announcement

We will be welcoming sister Rebecca Bowers as a member of our fellowship on April 1 and ask that you remember her in your prayers. This leads me to an invitation to any or all of you who would like to know more about our fellowship and explore the possibility of becoming a member you are welcome to join me in the pastors study next week during the SS time for an informal time I’m calling “exploring membership” to answer questions and to clarify anything that is confusing about what you are experiencing with us. Come and explore. If for any reason this setting is not the right fit for you Jan and I are open to having you to our home, or meet with you somewhere else.

Temple Cleansing Prep Gets Personal

There is more at play here than meets the eye
When we talk about cleaning ourselves, The cleansing of our temple (our body) can be the scene of a violent eradication of that which keep us locked in on ourselves and away from the presence and indwelling of the HS.
us locked in on ourselves and away from the presence and indwelling of the HS.
They were not dead when they were exorcised from the demonic but transferred to another living creature.
Shaming and Hiding (Adam and Eve)
Some of us have grown up in a shamed-based home where we were taught to put down our feelings and focus on
being good.....behaviourally on the outside and in some cases the cleansing only went skin deep, while inside building a wall a shield of protection to hide because of the fear of shame and humiliation if someone really knew some of my inner desires that are not pretty. God wants to come face to face with that and to take it to him in prayer for healing and freedom. These beasts get their energy on these lies and prisons.
Jesus put to death in his body all of our sins (though he was blameless).
We cant pretend that we can be pure and holy before God without being reflective and honest with ourselves
We cant live in our addictions and fully encounter the HS and Jesus and God
Passover is the celebration of the freedom exodus of the Jews from slavery . We are free and not a slave to sin but the reality is that we need are a slave to sin.
Cleansing . forgiveness from sin is a procsss. ore a re occurring process .
neeDenial is one
Matthew 21:10–17 NIV
When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” he said to them, “ ‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’” The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant. “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, “ ‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’?” And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.
Matthew 21:10–17 NIV
When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” he said to them, “ ‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’” The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant. “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, “ ‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’?” And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.
Matthew
and together with the Mattew passage are considered synoptic gospel accounts and occur right before the last supper while John is earlier in ministry
Matthew 21:10–13 NIV
When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” he said to them, “ ‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’”
: 10-
Mark 11:15-17
Mark 11:15–17 NIV
On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’”
Luke 19:45–46 NIV
When Jesus entered the temple courts, he began to drive out those who were selling. “It is written,” he said to them, “ ‘My house will be a house of prayer’; but you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’”
John 2:13–16 NIV
When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!”
INTRODUCTION
Luke 19:45-46
Today we are dimply declaring that we want Jesus to show up. We are asking him to shop
Prepare now to experience communion and Easter in a new way in 2018.
Easter is 4 weeks away and Communion is 5 weeks away. Paul calls the church in Corinth to self examination before celebrating the love feast or fellowship meal. Gluttiony, drunkensss and eating food away while others are hungry I hope was not a problem last sunday at the fellowship meal. But Paull really asks for a gut check of the heart, which was what worked its way out badly. The issue of the heart goes deep and Paul says to really initiate the repair or relationships. dysfunctionally We are called in ________ to examine ourselves before
entering into this important and holy act of communion in such a way that we realize the gravity of what Christ did
and to remind us that the grace, mercy, mercy Jesus offers us at the cross while freely offered can only be ours as
forgive others, empty ourselves of any self righteousness. And when we die to ourselves we can experiencressurection in our lives now.
we forgive others, empty ourselves of any self righteousness. Jesus said in that even if you are ready to put your offering in the basket and you are reminded that a brother or sister has something aganist yo .STOP right there, dont drop it in . Leave it on your seat and go and fixe that relationship, and then come back. Wow God wants that kind of sensitivity . really ? Really? Not just with Brothers and Sisgers. And when we die to ourselves we can experience a new and spirit filled ressurrected life now.
And....we are already in a season of preparation during Lent as we approach holy week the last supper, the lamb prepared for slaughter and hung on a cross and then Easter. Preparation is actually an excercse that should be part of our daily routine right?
example at EMC announced “read up my room” Reading up our room Our body shoud be noting new.
Today we are simply declaring that we want Jesus to show up. We are asking him to show up in a new way and in a deeper experience. Lets do it Gods way.
Lets look at Gods word from the NT which records this event of Jesus cleansing the Temple ( now just in case you didnt realize it there is a bit of a knundron in the scriptural text that I am not going to try to resolve her simply because it will dsitract us. Breifly described Matthew , Mark and Luke account of the temple cleansing are complimentary and are considered synoptic all occuring prior to Jesus last celebration of the passover before enduring the cross, while John’s account occurrs earlier in Jesus ministry and is the only account of Jesus use of a whip and drives “all from the temple court both sheep and cattle. Some interpret that there clearly were two distinct events. For the purposes of todays sermon, when I refer to the cleansing I’m aggregating them together right before the last supper
****** ScriPTURE
A couple observations Some believe this cleansing was a display of Jesus unhinged and recless and even violent. I believe neither are true. I think Jesus was CONTMPLATIVE/ he though about examined his motives, his heard asked God how to deal with this He sensed his prophetic voice. Yes it interfereed with the temple operation but HE EXERCISED HIS AUTHORITY AND DUTY HE TARGETED AND REMOVED THE THREAT (SIN) AND RETUNED THE TEMPLE TO ITS PROPER PLACE . THE very PLACE of the temple where the poor the disenfranchised, the traveler who didnt have trailers like Randy, Merv, Ray and Dan and others to haul a large animal secrifice. they had to buy their scrfice at auction. and to pay their temple tax in the coreect coinage. The abuse, the House of Prayer being converted to a market was too much. A big deal like this wee need to pay attention. By the way I see targeted holy righteous anger from Jesus . not out of control and not violent. He drove out the animals with the cord, we dont see that in landed on them.
HE WAS 1. CONTMPLATIVE/ he though about examined his motives, his heard asked God how to deal with this
So as transition is happening ......THE TEMPLE IS WHERE GOD LIVEs ON OT ,,,,,,AND NT GOD LIVES IN US Post Ressurrection ..through the HS> . Example r(WOMAN AT WELL) God is not here in this building hanging out when one of is are not here.
interference win the temple HE EXERCISED HIS AUTHORITY AND DUTY HE TARGETED AND REMOVED THE THREAT (SIN) AND RETUNED THE TEMPLE TO ITS PROPER PLACE . THE DWELLING PLACE OF GOD …IE. THE TEMPLE IS WHERE GOD LIVEs ON OT ,,,,,,AND NT GOD LIVES IN US Post Ressurrection ..through the HS> . Example r(WOMAN AT WELL) God is not here in this building hanging out when one of is are not here.
FOR OUR TEMPLE CLEANSING I WOUL LKE TO FOCUS ON 4 ASPECTs OF THIS EVENT AND EXPAND ON THE 4TH
1. JESUS IS THE OWNER OF THE TEMPLE and wants to be pleased He has every right and priviledge to our bodies mind and intellet .... .Paul said I am cricified with Christ and it is not longer I who live but Christ who live in me.
Jesus is the creator and owner of the house and then takes this risk by dying for us and coming back to life while we continued to reject his claim. He has sorrow for us in this state but yet loves us and is so jealous for us.
anthing entering into the house other than
God is jealous for us, and this demonstrates it.
2.JESUS HAS THE AUTHORITY AND POWER TO REMOVE ANYTHING THAT THREATENS
People came begging for deliverance from evil spirits who took up residence
People came begging for deliverance from evil spirits who took up residence
example: .Look at the violent end of the evil spirits (legion) …each one entered the swine and perished in a violent end. They were not dead when they were exorcised from the demonic but transferred to another living creature.
They were not dead when they were exorcised from the demonic but transferred to another living creature.
You have the authority to drive out threats and not to give it a home. Furthermore Jesus commissioned the apostles with the same authority to drive out demons, heal the sick and more. Greater works will you do he said. Do we believe narrowly that this gifting was relegated only to the apostles? That teaching has emasculated and weaken the church and the opposite has to. Bottom line is that we are to serve others with the gifting we have recieved with authority and humilty.
3. JESUS KNOWS WHAT HAS TO GO
3. JESUS KNOWS WHAT HAS TO GO
He made us…he knows us .... No manual is require for him....he wrote the book so the question is do we know and do we want to know what we are holding back
In our natural state mixed with religious training, (absent Christ) we can develop a state of mind with a religious spirit where one simply just looks at what can be done to clean myself up, how and i be a better person, self improvment, All that effort is self directed and self improvment and at its best is sin managment.
Jesus is concerned with the sin that is in our heart ( and Jesus reinterprets the OT Law with the New Law
Do you know what has to go? What offense toward God that has to be given up. What thoughts ore actions that need confessed and covered by the blood. Perhaps it s a sin or an addiction that has beset us. In other words…we have been to the foot of the cross to purge it but it makes a reappearance…a besseting sin.
I could be that we were injured and without healing we have set up a wall of protection for it. We say maybe God isnt big enough to heal me. God want to shine light on that and expose our weaknesses. i know from being a caretaker for Jan thess past weeks. .......protection of the brace....exposing it risks injur.
maybe is a ommission tha
Maybe is a ommission, something you overlooked or a person you were dismissive of. Maybe its the resentment of something you didnt recieve but thought you were owed. perhaps an older prodigal brother spirit resentful for seemingly never getting or having approval and secuirty ?
k Whatever it is that needs to go, we know that from this passage God is has and will with high drama and no small commotion help drive out that which occupies illigitimate space in our temple. He is a jealous God full of Justice and Mercy. WHAT WILL WE DO????
Whatever it is that needs to go… God knows it.. do we? Is there something recessed that we need to deeper on? Wh do know, from this passage , that God is has and will with high drama and no small commotion help drive out that which occupies illigitimate space in our temple. He is a jealous God full of Justice and Mercy. WHAT WILL WE DO????
4. THE CHOICE IS UP TO US. (3 OPTIONS) 1. RESIST CLEANSING 2. GO Halfway OR 3.SAY COME ON IN HOLY SPIRIT AND CLEANSE ME
How do we resist cleansing?
Choice 1. We can resist Gods and when God makes his move Just and set up the furniture back up..... pick up the money back up organize it according to the various stamping authorities, find the exchange chart..... even …after... Jesus comes through and intervenes. How long do you think it took for the merchants in the Temple to reset their operation who were not moved by this dramatic act?
GOD, JESUS AND THE HOLY SPIRT REIGN IN US ....WE ARE ONE
We can resist Gods cleansing by blindness or denying our condition. Its sound like this: I’m not that bad ( that is a comparison we are so easily tempted to pursue). Like the pharasee ....thank God I’m not like that sinner over there, I fast, tithe, God is so lucky to have me on his side. While the tax collector said God have mercy on my a sinner.
Choice 2. We can choose to go halfway on cleansing…or can we. I t hought that Jesus said that a KIngdom, city, household (insert: house/ Temple) divided against itself cannot stand
The only viable choice is to welcome the full cleansing of God for Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret. .
As we have seen in this passage God is passionate about us. He wants to destroy any barrioer that keeps us or anyone else from the presence and grace of God. If you are weak poor abandoned an outcast .. God is waiting and offering his embrace. The HOLY SPIRIT is always ready to COME IN AND CLEANSE US.....HEALI US AND SET UP RESIDENCE IN US.
How do I know that?
the : HOLY SPIRIT is always ready to COME IN AND CLEANSE US.....HEALI US AND SET UP RESIDENCE IN US.
Our Choice We What we want: Holy Spirit Come on in and Cleanse Me.
AND SO WE CHOOSE: HOLY SPIRIT COME IN AND CLEANSE US, HEALI US AND SET UP RESIDENCE IN US.
We find the confirmation in the aftermath of the cleansing in these words..... ...”the Blind and Lame came to him at the temple and were healed. See thats what God does when we recognize our need, and come to hem… He HEALS US.
And the the children break out in shouting and praising the Son of God with these works in the courts of the temple
seek and ask for
Look at what he does here in the end of this passage to confirm this:
I pray that we desire healing and restoration in relationship
“ Hoseanna to the Son of God” Ties are the very words God is looking for in our temple where he desire to reign fully and supremely. Lets get our Temple Prep on .......
GOD, JESUS AND THE HOLY SPIRT REIGN IN US ....WE ARE ONE
Leads to Worship of God the creater, begining and Ed “hosseana to the Son of God “
NEXT STEPS OPPORTUNIIES. Our response to God
1. L This is just and openThe logistical change to move communion to the Sunday following Easter was necessitated due to scheduling challenges it has opened up an opportunity that I frankly probably would not have thought of . Here is the opportunities/ homwork/challenge:
The logistical change to move communion to the Sunday following Easter was necessitated due to scheduling challenges it has opened up an opportunity that I frankly probably would not have thought of . Here is the opportunity:
2. The logistical change to move communion to the Sunday following Easter was necessitated due to scheduling challenges it has opened up an opportunity that I frankly probably would not have thought of . Here is the opportunity: During holy week…thats 3 weeks away.....Would you Husband, Dad after prayerfully consider washing the feet of your wife, and children if they live in your home. If you are a widower, widow or single, consider offering to wash feet, hands or offering some other token form of cleansing, to an adult child in person or if that is not feasable ore you do not have a child.....act it out walk through offering to cleanse any thing that to another significant person and in the offer ask that that person (the focus of your love) would be in a position to receive cleansing and your offer of serving them, demonstrating Gods love to them.
1. Lets examine our own temple (did’nt we do that already today? Look I’m not the examiner. This Lenten season why not each day, if not already, have an open and honest daily look at your life “daily” and move with God as he takes you on an inward journey of opening and cleaning every part of your body and then communing with him.
2.
2. During holy week …thats 3 weeks away.....(or before) Would you Husband, Dad after prayerfully consider washing the feet of your wife, and children if they live in your home. If you are a widower, widow or single, consider offering to wash feet, hands or offering some other token form of cleansing, to an adult child in person or if that is not feasable ore you do not have a child.....act it out walk through offering to cleanse any thing that to another significant person and in the offer ask that that person (the focus of your love) would be in a position to receive cleansing and your offer of serving them, demonstrating Gods love to them.
During holy week…thats 3 weeks away.....Would you Husband, Dad after prayerfully consider washing the feet of your wife, and children if they live in your home. If you are a widower, widow or single, consider offering to wash feet, hands or offering some other token form of cleansing, to an adult child in person or if that is not feasable ore you do not have a child.....act it out walk through offering to cleanse any thing that to another significant person and in the offer ask that that person (the focus of your love) would be in a position to receive cleansing and your offer of serving them, demonstrating Gods love to them.
I know God will bless your life and relationship as you pour yourself into others. Bless you as you serve.
Prayer. You have demonstated here in the scripures your insane out of this world other centered love toward us and have given up everything in obediance to the cross. Oh God cause this sitrring this burning in our hears that we feel to gow and obedience to you and a dires to be one with you in fulfillme to of your paye rot the father that we would be one.
Closing:
In the spirit of and if you are a believer,,together declare these 3 truths about yourself out loud. I will say them and then you echo it from your heart. OK.. here goes “the HS live in me” “ I am not my own’ “ I will honor God with my body”.
WE are not our own we were bought with a price. God has every right to examine and examining is
The Cleansing of the Temple and Non-Violence
19 Do you not know( now you have declared) that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
Jesus’ cleansing of the Temple is the most commonly cited example of those who allege that he did not absolutize loving enemies or refraining from violence. I submit that this episode implies nothing of the sort. First, it is important that we understand that this episode was not an expression of unpremeditated anger on Jesus’ part, as some allege. Most NT scholars concur that this was a calculated, strategic act on Jesus’ part, and it contained deep symbolic significance. More specifically, this episode appears to be a classic example of a prophetic symbolic action.
Jesus’ cleansing of the Temple is the most commonly cited example of those who allege that he did not absolutize loving enemies or refraining from violence. I submit that this episode implies nothing of the sort. First, it is important that we understand that this episode was not an expression of unpremeditated anger on Jesus’ part, as some allege. Most NT scholars concur that this was a calculated, strategic act on Jesus’ part, and it contained deep symbolic significance. More specifically, this episode appears to be a classic example of a prophetic symbolic action.
There is, however, some disagreement over what exactly Jesus was symbolizing. For example, many argue that Jesus was revealing himself to be the long-awaited messiah who was widely expected to cleanse and/or restore the Temple. Others argue that Jesus was symbolically revealing Yahweh’s displeasure with the corrupt religious establishment and issuing a prophetic warning that the Temple would soon be destroyed, a point that John makes explicit (). While interpretations differ, however, they all presuppose that the Temple cleansing was anything but a spontaneous tantrum on the part of Jesus.
There is, however, some disagreement over what exactly Jesus was symbolizing. For example, many argue that Jesus was revealing himself to be the long-awaited messiah who was widely expected to cleanse and/or restore the Temple. Others argue that Jesus was symbolically revealing Yahweh’s displeasure with the corrupt religious establishment and issuing a prophetic warning that the Temple would soon be destroyed, a point that John makes explicit (). While interpretations differ, however, they all presuppose that the Temple cleansing was anything but a spontaneous tantrum on the part of Jesus.
use later?
Second, there is simply no indication in any of the Gospels that Jesus resorted to violence when he cleansed the Temple. Yes, the texts suggest that Jesus was angry, and yes, John tells us that Jesus made a whip (). But there is no suggestion that he used it to strike any animal or person. To the contrary, throughout history cracking a whip has been a commonly used means of controlling the movement of animals, and John explicitly reports that this is what Jesus used it for. He used the whip to create an animal stampede of “both sheep and cattle” out of the “temple courts” (). Not only this, but had Jesus actually whipped any of the court officials, it is hard to imagine how he could have avoided being arrested on the spot. It is also hard to imagine how he could have avoided the charge of hypocrisy, for such behavior would have flown in the face of his previously mentioned public teachings about refraining from violence.
Second, there is simply no indication in any of the Gospels that Jesus resorted to violence when he cleansed the Temple. Yes, the texts suggest that Jesus was angry, and yes, John tells us that Jesus made a whip (). But there is no suggestion that he used it to strike any animal or person. To the contrary, throughout history cracking a whip has been a commonly used means of controlling the movement of animals, and John explicitly reports that this is what Jesus used it for. He used the whip to create an animal stampede of “both sheep and cattle” out of the “temple courts” (). Not only this, but had Jesus actually whipped any of the court officials, it is hard to imagine how he could have avoided being arrested on the spot. It is also hard to imagine how he could have avoided the charge of hypocrisy, for such behavior would have flown in the face of his previously mentioned public teachings about refraining from violence.
Will you allow me to be very personal with you today? Now while it should make me feel good if you answer sure Keih go ahead you have permission to dig I dont care so much about you answer to that question as as I to to this question ? Will you allow God to get personal with you today and reflect on your body as the temple of God, the HS and Jesus.
There is therefore nothing about Jesus’ cleansing of the temple that runs counter to my claim that the non-violent, enemy-embracing, self-sacrificial love that was supremely revealed on the cross is the thematic center of Jesus’ identity and mission. To the contrary, Jesus engaged in a kind of “street theater” out of love for his “Father’s house” as well as for the poor who were being oppressed by the corrupt leaders who ran the Temple’s “buying and selling” system. And, as the Gospels make clear, he confronted these leaders in this aggressive manner as a way of forcing their hand, and thus as a steppingstone to his crucifixion. Far from illustrating Jesus acting in an unloving, let alone violent way, I submit that this entire episode reflects Jesus’ self-sacrificial love.
There is therefore nothing about Jesus’ cleansing of the temple that runs counter to my claim that the non-violent, enemy-embracing, self-sacrificial love that was supremely revealed on the cross is the thematic center of Jesus’ identity and mission. To the contrary, Jesus engaged in a kind of “street theater” out of love for his “Father’s house” as well as for the poor who were being oppressed by the corrupt leaders who ran the Temple’s “buying and selling” system. And, as the Gospels make clear, he confronted these leaders in this aggressive manner as a way of forcing their hand, and thus as a steppingstone to his crucifixion. Far from illustrating Jesus acting in an unloving, let alone violent way, I submit that this entire episode reflects Jesus’ self-sacrificial love.
When we talk about cleaning ourselves, The cleansing of our temple (our body) can be the scene of a violent eradication of that which keep us locked in on ourselves and away from the presence and indwelling of the HS.
Moreover, John explicitly makes the cross the thematic center of this episode, for he records that Jesus brings this episode to a close by drawing a connection between the newly cleansed temple, which Jesus prophesied would soon be permanently destroyed, and his own body, which would rise again three days after being destroyed (). Read in context, NT scholar Richard Hays notes, John is declaring “that Jesus’ body is now the place where God dwells, the place where atonement for sin occurs, the place where the division between God and humanity is overcome.” Hence, far from counting against the thematic centrality of the cross, the Temple cleansing illustrates this centrality.
Jesus put to death in his body all of our sins (though he was blameless).
MISC.
Reflection
We cant pretend that we can be pure and holy before God without being reflective and honest with ourselves

Was Jesus Violent in the Temple?

Shaming and Hiding (Adam and Eve)
We cant live in our addictions and fully encounter the HS and Jesus and God
Many adopt the attitude depicted in the picture above, saying that Jesus used violence when he cleansed the temple. But Jesus’ stance on nonviolence is clear not only from how he responded to threatening enemies at the end of his life; it’s also strongly emphasized his teachings. We need to understand what Jesus was up to in the Temple in order to reconcile his actions with the cross and his teachings on non-violence.
Some of us have grown up in a shamed-based home where we were taught to put down our feelings and focus on
We need to realize that the temple system of selling sacrificial animals to worshipers had become extremely corrupted in Jesus’ day. Among other abuses, priests were ripping people off by telling them the animal they bought to sacrifice didn’t meet their purity standards. People were thus forced to purchase a “temple certified” animal. The priests would then confiscate the allegedly substandard animal, only to turn around and sell it to the next worshiper who was told the animal they had bought was substandard. It was a money-making scam.
being good.....behaviourally on the outside and in some cases the cleansing only went skin deep, while inside building a wall a shield of protection to hide because of the fear of shame and humiliation if someone really knew some of my inner desires that are not pretty. God wants to come face to face with that and to take it to him in prayer for healing and freedom. These beasts get their energy on these lies and prisons.
Passover is the celebration of the freedom exodus of the Jews from slavery . We are free and not a slave to sin but the reality is that we need are a slave to sin.
The Gospels tell us that Jesus was so enraged by this corruption that he made a whip, turned over tables, and drove animals and people out of the temple. God’s house was to be a house of prayer, he declared, not a den of thieves (). On the precedent of this allegedly violent behavior, some have justified the use of violence “for righteous purposes” today.
Cleansing . forgiveness from sin is a procsss. ore a re occurring process .
I think this conclusion is completely unwarranted for three reasons.
First, we need to understand that Jesus wasn’t throwing an uncontrolled tantrum. Most scholars agree that this was a calculated prophetic, symbolic act on Jesus’ part. Based on Old Testament prophecy as well as the widespread knowledge of the corrupt priestly system, most Jews of Jesus’ day believed the coming Messiah was going to restore the temple and make it God’s house once again. By cleansing the temple, therefore, Jesus was demonstrating that he was the Messiah. He was also symbolically revealing Yahweh’s displeasure with the religious establishment of his day and symbolically acting out Yahweh’s reclaiming of his house.
It seems the masses understood the symbolism of Jesus’ actions. While his behavior enraged the religious leaders, the people responded by flocking to him ().
Second, and closely related to this, most scholars agree that Jesus engaged in this aggressive behavior to force the hand of religious and political authorities against him. After all, he had come to Jerusalem with the expressed intention of being executed. Up to this point the Jewish authorities were concerned about Jesus, but they refrain from acting on their concern because of Jesus’ popularity with the crowds. By exposing their corruption, Jesus was now explicitly threatening their authority. And this forced them to start plotting his arrest and execution.
So, we again see that Jesus’ temple cleansing wasn’t a spontaneous outburst of anger. It was a premeditated, strategic act.
Third, and most importantly, while Jesus’ behavior was certainly aggressive, there’s no indication whatsoever that it involved violence. True, Jesus turned tables over. But this was to put an immediate stop to the corrupt commerce that was taking place as well as perhaps to free the caged animals. There’s no mention of any person or animal getting hurt in the process.
And yes, Jesus made a whip. But there’s no mention of him using it to strike any animal, let alone human. Cracking a loud whip has always been the most effective means of controlling the movement of large groups of animals. Jesus wanted to create a stampede of animals out of the temple, and there’s no reason to conclude he used the whip for any other purpose than this.
When we read this passage in context, we can see that, while Jesus was aggressive when he drove out the animals, we cannot use this passage as justification for violence.
Tomorrow, we will look at , where Jesus tells the disciples to buy a sword, as many often refer to it as support for the use of righteous violence.
As MennoNerds, we all have found certain distinctives of Anabaptism to be central in our expression of faith.  This article is part of a MennoNerds Synchro-Blog in the month of May on Anabaptism.
To find all the other articles in the Mennonerds on Anabaptism synchro blog click here.
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