Faithlife Sermons

The Clean-Up Man

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Does this Describe this Church?

is a place of ministry in Christ’s name. In its urban setting, St. Paul’s lives to heal the broken, bring hope to the despairing, be a place of warm fellowship and reconcile the difficult issues which are so much a part of city life. The parish understands itself as a servant church, the human face of God. Service to others is strengthened by the Breaking of Bread, the preaching of the Word and the Prayers of the People—all pointing toward Jesus, the Word made flesh, who dwells with his joyous Community until the end of time.

St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Gary, IN is a place of ministry in Christ’s name. In its urban setting, St. John’s lives to heal the broken, bring hope to the despairing, be a place of warm fellowship and reconcile the difficult issues which are so much a part of city life. The parish understands itself as a servant church, the human face of God. Service to others is strengthened by the Breaking of Bread, the preaching of the Word and the Prayers of the People—all pointing toward Jesus, the Word made flesh, who dwells with his joyous Community until the end of time.
G. Curtis Jones, 1000 Illustrations for Preaching and Teaching (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1986), 244–245.

Prayer

Blessed Lord, You have caused all Holy Scriptures to be written for our learning. Grant that we may so hear them, read, mark, learn, and take them to heart that, by the patience and comfort of Your holy Word, we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life. … through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

How Many, and What are they Doing?

YP.com count in Gary: 252.
YP.com count in Tolleston/Ambridge-Mann/Tarrytown: 56
How many people live in Gary: 74,186
How many people live in Tolleston/Ambridge-Mann/Tarrytown: 11,484
Activity in a religious congregation or community:
Projected percentage involved 38.4% 38.9%
Projected percentage NOT involved 61.7% 61.0%
Estimated change over prior 10 years -6.4% -8.5%
Religious activity directional change:
Percent likely to have become active 7.5% 6.9%
Percent likely to have ceased to be active 14.0% 15.3%
Percent Likely to have made no change 78.5% 77.8%
Percent Likely to have made no change 78.5% 77.8% 101
Net Change in direction of activity -6.5% -8.4%
Projected significance of religious faith to life:
Not Significant 23.8% 21.1%
Some Significance 26.6% 32.3%
Very Significant 49.7% 46.7%
John 2:13–17 ESV
The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”
John 2:13–22 ESV
The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” But he was speaking about the temple of his body. When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.

In the life of the Jewish people, Passover became the festival of freedom and redemption par excellence. It served to give people hope in the face of physical and spiritual oppression, highlighting God’s acts of liberation and redemption. As a family celebration, the Passover served as a unifying bond from generation to generation.

The Interpretation of St. John’s Gospel The Cleansing of the Temple with Its Further Effects, 2:12–25

The cattle and the doves were a necessity for the prescribed sacrifices, but to make of the great court a stockyard was the height of abuse. The little banks were also necessary, for a tax was taken from every Israelite who was twenty years old, Exod. 30:11–16. This tax was collected during the month preceding the Passover and was either sent in by those at a distance or paid in person by those attending, who then, however, had to have Jewish coin, compelling all who came from foreign parts to have their money changed. For this a small rate was charged. A κερματιστής (from κέρμα, that which is cut off, i.e., a small coin) is one who deals in coins; and καθημένους describes these bankers “sitting” crosslegged behind low stool-like τράπεζαι on which their stacks of coins were ranged—open for business.

Main Points
The scene was accepted
The activities were understood to be necessary and approved
Jesus acted aggressively and authoritatively, without fear of consequences.
John 2:18–22 ESV
So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” But he was speaking about the temple of his body. When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.
What Does This Mean?
Jesus set things in order in God’s appointed place of meeting.
The Jews demand a sign to justify His actions.
Ruin God’s meeting place, and I will restore it
46 years … 46 years
Merrillville created in 1971. four years after Hatcher’s election
Job growth in NW Indiana: Top 10 Employment Subsectors
2015 2015 2007-2015
Industry Workforce Avg Salary Increase
4. Ambulatory health care services 17,851 $54,992 +3,059
1. Food services/drinking places 27,539 $13,313 +2,456
9. General merchandise stores 8,619 $18,248 +669
5. Administrative/support services 11,811 $27,497 +315
6. Hospitals 11,289 $50,642 -181
3. Primary metal manufacturing* 18,875 $89,439 -796
10. Professional/technical services 8,104 $49,308 -1,161
2. Educational services(a) 26,471 $31,836 -1,272
8. Executive/legislative/general govt 9,856 $35,301 -1,293
7. Specialty trade contractors* 10,715 $60,775 -1,790
What we see in the text:
We prayed for help - He came
He diagnosed the problem, and took action
Community leaders challenged His authority
Do you see a pattern here?
Divine intervention
Matthew 1:21 ESV
She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
Others complain - Jesus saves.
Others complain - Jesus saves.
The devil accuses - Jesus redeems
The World destroys - Jesus raises
Owning Our Confession as Christ’s Body
Ephesians 4:15–16 ESV
Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
As members of Christ’s body, we are mandated to expose sin.
As members of Christ’s body, we are mandated to expose sin.
As members of Christ’s body, we are mandated to proclaim the remedy.
As members of Christ’s body, we are mandated to minister.
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