Faithlife Sermons

Untitled Sermon

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 2 views
Notes & Transcripts
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →
Sermon TEMPLATE
Sermon TEMPLATE
Introduction God Wants to Meet You Illustration Friends converge at Franks: recount the story of meeting all the time. It seems that human beings who like each other, look for centralized, familiar surroundings in which to meet at personal levels. People who love one another, usually love to meet together. Meeting God in the Old Testament: God wants to meet with you. Since Exodus, and the establishment of the tabernacle, God has established a place to meet with his people. In , Go tells Moses to build a sanctuary so that he may dwell among his people. (v.8-“And make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst.”). God has always been present in worship. Later, King David gathers the materials for something more permanent, a temple, “a house to dwell in” ()… David not got his chance to build it, that honour would go to his son Solomon. The temple, like the tabernacles before it, was regarded as the meeting point between heaven and earth… where God was happy to manifest His glory. In our reading from John this morning, God is introducing an whole new way of meeting God. A whole new way of worship; initiated by Jesus sacrifice and his death and resurrection. GOD IS GETTING RELATIONAL IN A NEW, DIFFERENT AND DEEPER WAY. HE DOESN’T JUST WANT US TO KNOW HIM. HE DOESN’T JUST WANT US TO LOVE HIM. HE DOESN’T JUST WANT US TO OBEY HIM. HE WANTS US TO be WITH HIM.
Introduction The Lens of the Gospel - “but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” the purpose of John’s gospel is to persuade you “to believe” in Jesus. The central theme in the Synoptic Gospels - Matthew, Mark and Luke - is the coming of the kingdom of God. But John’s central theme is the divine “Logos”… the Word that was with God and that was God () all of John’s Gospel points to who Jesus is; to help us identify the characteristics of Jesus in order that we will believe that He is the Christ and trust that He is who he says he is. If your the type: go back to the beginning of John and write that address down: as a reminder of what lens you are looking through. So, in today’s reading, ; Jesus is doing something that TELLS us something about Him - to tell us something about him that makes him the anointed Son of God This is the famous “clearing of the temple” that is recorded in all the gospels. But what exactly IS Jesus doing? What precisely is he saying about himself. Short Answer: drawing the world back to God through Himself.
CONTEXT: JOHN The purpose of John’s Gospel is not a secret. He makes it know,n especially nearing the end of the book: - “but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” The central theme in the Synoptic Gospels is the coming of the kingdom of God. But John’s central theme is the divine “Logos”… the Word that was with God and that was God () When we look at the passage through the same lens as John intended; we can better understand the meaning of the event. Meeting God in Jesus - A relationship with God requires God’s laws and God’s presence. This is the new order of things. God is getting relational in a new and different way. A change in the “meeting place” It is the spring-time festival of Passover, when the Jews gather from all around to remember their freedom from captivity. Their rescue from death at the hands of the Egyptians. they gather at the temple: the holy place of prayer and worship; the place where heaven meets earth in worship, remembrance and reverent celebration. But Jesus discovers that the rulers of the temple have turned the Court of the Gentiles into a shopping plaza. This was the outer court within the temple - the only area where the Gentiles were allowed and the reason for it’s being can be traced to : “this I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples” the one place where people of all nations could come and pray had been turned into a raucous commercial outlet mall. In John, this is what was upsetting Jesus. the marketplace for exchanging animals was a known practice: and the market used to be located across the Kidron Valley on the side of the Mount of Olives. The image here betrays just how highly important the Jewish leaders saw themselves (and their affiliation with God), over how inconsequential they saw Gentiles and Gentile converts. What reasoning was used to move the marketplace from outside and into the court where the Gentiles can pray to God? This is a big question. But just as questionable is the thought processes that led the leaders to conclude that the court of the the Gentiles was the best place for it? this is the beginning of the tension throughout all of John’s gospel. The division an conflict between Jesus, the Christ, and the leaders of the Jews is marked first here; in the temple… where heaven meets earth. It will be a conflict wrought in a human blindness caused by an overzealous hunger for power and control. Whereas Jesus was zealous for the temple as it pertained to the Father; the religious leaders were zealous for the temple as it pertained to their power. We’re seeing God say something spectacular. Jesus is upset because the temple is being made impure by a market place. This is the angriest we’ve ever seen Jesus. He’s overturning tables and shooing animals. he’s upsetting the apple cart, if you will, and the leaders of the temple are upset. They question Jesus, “What gives you the authority to do this? Give us some sort of sign”
Illustration: Meeting together Friends converge at Franks: recount the story of meeting all the time. It seems that human beings who like each other, look for centralized, familiar surroundings in which to meet at personal levels. People who love one another, usually love to meet together. Meeting God in the Old Testament: God wants to meet with you. Since Exodus, and the establishment of the tabernacle, God has established a place to meet with his people. In , Go tells Moses to build a sanctuary so that he may dwell among his people. (v.8-“And make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst.”). God has always been present in worship. Later, King David gathers the materials for something more permanent, a temple, “a house to dwell in” ()… David not got his chance to build it, that honour would go to his son Solomon. The temple, like the tabernacles before it, was regarded as the meeting point between heaven and earth… where God was happy to manifest His glory. When Jesus cleans out the temple in John, GOD IS GETTING RELATIONAL IN A NEW, DIFFERENT AND DEEPER WAY. Setting the Stage To this point: It is the spring-time festival of Passover, when the Jews gather from all around to remember their freedom from captivity. Their rescue from death at the hands of the Egyptians. they gather at the temple: the holy place of prayer and worship; the place where heaven meets earth in worship, remembrance and reverent celebration. But Jesus discovers that the rulers of the temple have turned the Court of the Gentiles into a shopping plaza. This was the outer court within the temple - the only area where the Gentiles converts were allowed to meet and pray with God: the one place where people of all nations could come and pray had been turned into a raucous commercial outlet mall. any other time of the year, this court would be a quiet place for prayer and reflection. but now, on one of the highest festivals of the Jewish faith, instead of a quite place, Gentile converts were greeted with the loud baying of farm animals, the stench of the excriment, the shouts of the sellers…. In John, this is what was upsetting Jesus. notice, that unlike the other gospels, John doesn’t mention that anything nefarious is going on… no “den of robbers”. the marketplace for exchanging animals was a known practice: and the market used to be located across the Kidron Valley on the side of the Mount of Olives. what bothered Jesus is that the commerce was happening where prayer should be. so the temple was impure. This is the angriest we’ve ever seen Jesus. He’s overturning tables, throwing money all over the floor and mixing up peoples money… he is snapping a whip to shoo the animals out…and shooing animals. The leaders of the temple are upset They question Jesus, “What gives you the authority to do this? Give us some sort of sign” They thought that if anyone were to have more authority in the temple than they do, it required some sort of extraordinary proof. In other word, “You gotta be pretty special to go over our heads!” Jesus promises that they will get their sign… “destroy this temple and I will rebuild it in three days” John explains to the reader that Jesus meant that He was talking about His own body. His own body as the temple. But nobody in the room got it. : He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. Now I want you to get this scene: Four hundred years Israel has waited for a sign from God. Four hundred long years they have become complacent in their waiting. But, the religious leaders in the temple could not see Jesus for who he is. Here we have God … actually GOD… manifest in Jesus… IN THE TEMPLE. God’s presence is there. At that moment, yet they could not see it. ! What does it tell us? This is a remarkable moment in the history of God’s interaction with His people. Because Jesus is about to open up and whole new way of meeting God… a whole new way through which God comes to meet with his people. What Jesus is saying is that this whole system of meeting God in this physical place, with repeated sacrifices, will no longer be necessary; In terms of our sacrifice to appease God, Jesus has made that sacrifice. So we don’t have to run up to Jerusalem every spring to meet with God and celebrate our freedom from the captivity of sin. This is the beauty of Jesus. This is what Jesus does, when we say that Jesus breaks down barriers. He tears down the barrier of sin between you and God; and he tears down sectioned walls like the temple had… There is no Court of Gentiles, no Court of Women, no inner chamber, He’s broken those barriers… Jews, gentiles, men, women, adults, children, black, white, Asian, Indigenous, are all equal in God’s eyes and all have the same access to God THROUGH Jesus Christ.
Conclusion (What Is Jesus saying?) So, what is Jesus saying about himself in this passage? Short Answer: drawing the world back to God through Himself. If one wants to meet with God, one must meet Jesus. If one wants to know God, one must know Jesus. If one wants to love God, one must love Jesus. Jesus death and resurrection make possible our ability to do these things. Whereas the temple was once where heaven met earth as God’s dwelling place JESUS declares that he now is that “place”. JESUS is where the divine God dwells among his people. Jesus one sacrifice atones for our sin, rendering the old sacrificial system of the temple pointless. That JESUS offered up himself on the cross once and for all … is sufficient for us to enjoy God’s presence in our lives. to enjoy him as Father and Friend. And so, heaven and earth meet in Jesus Christ, whose glory is manifest in the cross and the empty tomb. Application (What do we do about it?) So what does this mean for us? GOD doesn’t want us to simply know him. He doesn't want us to just love him. He doesn’t just want us to obey him. HE WANTS TO BE WITH US. It means that no matter where we are or what we’ve done, God wants to meet you. When you believe in Jesus, he is with you all the time… when you pray, praise and even sin. so our access to God is completely opened up… so whatever joys you want to celebrate, whatever brokenness you may feel, whatever desperation you may experience, God meets you right there. The only sacrifice is a broken and contrite heart. Jesus is your power and your strength when we are at our weakest. He is the way to the Father and we can be sure that… as he walks with us right now through this life… he walks with us beyond the grave and into the resurrection and eternal life with the Father. So when you pray, and fast and give generously during this let… what ever your thing is… it’s not a requirement, its an expression. But Remember that your lenten practice should be drawing you nearer to God. Don’t make that a marketplace - A distraction to the point that it interferes with meeting God. Whether you success or fail, don’t boast and don’t despair. Because Jesus is already with you. You’re not doing Lent to earn his favour. You are just expressing to him and disciplining yourself to become more like him. as a sign of appreciating what he has done for you.
They were clearly aware that Jesus was heading into a different territory. They knew that if anyone was to have more authority than they did over the temple, it required some sort of extraordinary sign to prove that he had any authority to make any change in what they had already decided about the temple. In other words, “you gotta be pretty special to go above our heads.” And Jesus says, destroy this temple and in three days I will rebuild it. He essentially promises them that they will indeed see a sign. At the time, they didn’t understand it. Indeed, the religious leaders in the temple could not see Jesus for who he is. Here we have God … actually GOD… manifest in Jesus… IN THE TEMPLE. God’s presence is there. At that moment, yet they could not see it. John, of course, knows this. Back in Chapter 1, John says that the Word, Jesus, will come to his people but his people would not know him. Here we see it played out in reality. What are the leaders focussed on? The here and now… their authority… their position. So they didn’t understand that Jesus was talking about his body. And John explains that even the disciples didn’t quite understand it, until it happened.
This is a remarkable moment in the history of God’s interaction with His people. Because Jesus is about to open up and whole new way of meeting God… a whole new way through which God comes to meet with his people. What Jesus is saying is that this whole system of meeting God in this physical place, will no longer be necessary; but that we meet God in our hearts when we let Jesus in there. Jesus is the new temple. Jesus is the place where we meet God. There are certain sacrifices we have to make when we do that. Jesus says, pick up your cross and follow me… that is, let go of yourself, (death to self), and pick up your dying self on your little cross and set your feet on Jesus path toward the Father. But in terms of our sacrifice to appease God, Jesus has made that sacrifice. So we don’t have to run up to Jerusalem every spring to meet with God and celebrate our freedom from the captivity of sin; we can meet God and pray to God and thank God any time, and any place. You can meet with God over your Froot Loops in the morning, or over lunch, or at the side of the road, or in the grocery store… God meets us everywhere through Jesus by the indwelling of his Spirit in the human heart.
This is the beauty of Jesus. This is what Jesus does, when we say that Jesus breaks down barriers. He tears down the barrier of sin between you and God; and he tears down sectioned walls like the temple had… There is no Court of Gentiles, no Court of Women, no inner chamber, no holiest of holies; He’s broken those barriers… Jews, gentiles, men, women, adults, children, black, white, Asian, Indigenous, are all equal in God’s eyes and all have the same access to God; Jesus Christ. So if you want to meet God, you gotta meet Jesus; if you want to know God then you gotta know Jesus; if you want to follow a purer life of the disciple, then you need to follow Jesus.
So what does this mean for us? It means that no matter where we are or what we’ve done, God wants to meet you. When you believe in Jesus, he is with you all the time… when you pray, praise and even sin. so our access to God is completely opened up… so whatever joys you want to celebrate, whatever brokenness you may feel, whatever desperation you may experience, God meets you right there. The only sacrifice is a broken and contrite heart. Jesus is your power and your strength when we are at our weakest. He is the way to the Father and through him we have a relationship with the Father, and we know that Jesus, as he walks with us through this live, and he walks beside us beyond the grave and into the resurrection and eternal life with the Father.
So when you pray, and fast and give generously during this let… what ever your thing is… it’s not a requirement, its an expression. Remember that. Don’t make that a marketplace. A distraction to the point that it interferes with meeting God. Whether you success or fail, don’t boast and don’t despair. Because Jesus is already with you. You’re not doing Lent to earn his favour. You are just expressing to him and disciplining yourself to become more like him. as a sign of appreciating what he has done for you.
If you don’t feel that or experience that Jesus is near, then there is some sort of marketplace inside you. There is some sort of impurity in that relationship that is preventing you from seeing Jesus; not him from seeing you. So identify it and take it to him.
Conclusion (What does it say again?) In clearing the temple and in offering proof of His authority, Jesus says that if you want to meet God.. you need to know Him. He is saying that the place where God will meet with His people is himself. He says that the old sacrificial system, the old temple system, with all it’s faults and corruption, are meaningless without Him. He is saying that the notion that you have to jump through worship hoops is an impossible requirement. True worship only happens when the heart is pure… and the human heart is only pure before the Father, when it is cleansed by the blood of Christ. It is found in the resurrected Christ alone. He is the way to meet God. He is both the means (through sacrifice) and the way (through relationship). Application (What do we do about it?) It is most important that we think about this in the weeks leading up to Easter. Why? Because in this time of giving things up and reflecting in prayer, fasting and generosity, it can become so easy to think that we are scoring points to our scorecard. It can also be so easy to fall off the wagon, so to speak. It’s easy to fail at this. And when we do, it can be easy for us to view our own bodies are a marketplace for worship; measuring and evaluating our actions against other peoples’ actions; or putting a price how much fasting we’ve done, or how much praying we commit to, or how much stuff we give away. These thoughts can very m§auch lead to worship that is impure or soiled. Where is your heart when you come to Jesus this morning? Are you one of those Christians who are still caught up in the things you have to offer God. Are you approaching church this morning with the view that you are giving up your time for God… that what you have to offer him is the most important thing? Or are you approaching church this morning with what God has to offer you? Knowing that what God offers you in Jesus Christ is what it most important. Are you overturning those tables in your heart that recall your own merit, or your own place. Large giver. Small giver. Expert prayer. Dedicated study group member. Wealthy, poor. Giving lots of our time to the church or a little… when you enter these gates; this room; you are merely placing yourself with the res of us; equally before a God who seeks you. A God who want to meet you at the deepest core of your being.
Related Media
Related Sermons