In 2015 there was a young 24 year old man who was visiting Portugal
And while he was there he was site seeing like your typical tourist
But somthing happened that actually ended up getting this tourist into a lot of trouble.
Because at one of the sites he was visiting there was this famous 126 year old statue of a man named Dom Sebastion and he was one of the old rulers of Portugal a long time ago
and the issue was this tourist decided that he was going to get an amazing photo of him with this statue (even though he was supposed to not touch it)
And so he pulled out his phone and pulled himself up on the statue not realizing it was a free standing statue
And so as you can imagine this did not end well, because this statue toppled over and shattered into pieces.
and while the statue was considered priceless experts estimated that this stature would have been worth around 1.8 million dollars.
And as you can imagine people were outraged, (and truthfully rightfully so) because this piece of there culture was now destroyed forever.
And it was all because of a man who was doing things in this area that he shouldn’t of been doing.
But you I tell you this story because today we are going to be looking at a story in scripture where there were people doing things they should not have been doing in a place that was sacred.
And because of that we actually see Jesus get very angry.
Which is interesting because we do not see Jesus get angry a lot do we?
And so we are going to be in John 2:13-22 and in this passage we will be seeing what happened, why Jesus was so upset, and what it means for us.
So like I mentioned if you have your Bibles turn to John 2:13-22 or if you don’t feel free to follow along
But we will just be starting in the first couple verses, because it says this:
John 2:13–14 (NIV)
Jesus Clears the Temple Courts
2:14–16pp—Mt 21:12,13; Mk 11:15–17; Lk 19:45,46
13 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money.
So let me set the scene for you because we are told this holiday called passover is getting ready to happen.
And Passover was a huge holiday for the Jewish people in the Old Testament where all of the Jewish people would come to Jerusalem to Celebrate how God had moved in the past.
And so Jerusalem would be ridiculously packed.
I mean it is like when Buchanan host the national motocross tournament.
Because for a week our population goes from 4000, to 100,000 and because of it, it can take 30 minutes to drive down the street.
But thats what passover was like in Jerusalem. It was packed.
And not only that but part of the holiday was you would go to the temple and you would bring an animal without blemish to sacrifice to God
And so because of this the priest who were at the temple made this realization that they could really make some money off of this.
So they began to have people set up booths in the courts of the temple where if people didn’t want to bring an animal from home they could buy one to sacrifice.
And this is the really bad part, because the priest was the one who could say if an animal was without blemish,
so even if someone brought an animal to sacrifice the priest could say “well it has this blemish” and then they would say “you can go buy an animal without a blemish over at that booth”
So not only have they turned the temple courts into a place where it is not a shop, they are actually taking advantage of the people who come.
And this is really bad because the temple was considered a really holy and sacred place a place that was supposed to be clean and they have defiled that space and made it dirty.
It is almost like this the other day I deep cleaned our carpet in the basement and whenever you deep clean your carpet it is such a good feeling.
Because the space is clean and nice.
but I let our dog out a few hours later and she decided she wanted to dig.
And so not expecting her to be muddy I let her in and let just say the carpet got washed again not to long after.
But its so frustrating when that happens because you want it to be clean and now its dirty.
And really this is what has happened to the temple.
Because like I said it was this space designed to be clean but it was defiled.
And look what happens next because Jesus comes to the temple and he is not happy:
Look at verses 15-17 because it says:
John 2:15–17 (ESV)
15 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. 16 And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” 17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”
To say Jesus was angry is a little bit of an understatement
Because it does not just say Jesus is saying “hey is there anyway you guys would be willing to do that outside the temple courts?
But it says Jesus literally grabs some cords and makes a whip and starts driving the people doing these things out of the temple.
and not just that but it says he goes up to the people exchanging money and dumps their money out on the floor and flips their tables.
I mean Jesus is angry! And for a lot of us we would probably say this passage really makes me uncomfortable.
Because when we picture Jesus we don’t picture him making a whip and driving people out with it right?
But this is what I want you to get because Jesus is disgusted over what the temple had turned into.
And you still might be little unsettling for me.
Because I like the image of the warm fuzzy Jesus.
But can I just ask you a question: Do you really want to serve a God who is not disgusted when something is wrong?
Do you really want to serve a God who see little children being caught up in human trafficking and isn’t outraged by it?
Do you really want to serve a God who see’s racism in our society and is okay with it.
I mean who would want to serve a god like that.
Because our God is a God who see these disgusting things and he is angry about them.
Because we serve a God who when he see’s injustice in our world, when he sees a wrong doing torwards you or your family, He is angry about that.
And in this passage Jesus is angry because the temple that was suppose to be Holy had been defiled.
And this passage cut me deep this week, because first off it means we should be disgusted at the things that make God disgusted,
We should be disgusted at sex trafficking,
We should be disgusted at racism
We should be disgusted with in justice
I mean there are things we should be angry about
But this is really the part that broke me this past week and I want to read another verse from 1 Corinthians 6:19 and I want you to read it aloud with me because it says:
“Don’t you know that YOUR BODY is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?”
You know after Jesus dies and is resurrected the temple becomes irrelevant in-fact a little bit later in this passage this is flushed out even more.
But the reason it is irrelevant is because when Jesus was resurrected He created a path where God’s spirit can now live in us.
Where we don’t have to go to a temple and sacrafice animals, but instead we can actually have God’s presence living in us and now we are a living sacrafice where we are laying down our life to God daily.
So now we can be made holy and pure!
But here is the issue because to many of us have taken our lives (which we are told are the very dwelling place of God) and we have defiled it)
And we get to verse 16 that we read in our passage and Jesus actually says this to the people who have defiled the temple:
“Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.”
Basically get these things out of the temple, because you have distorted this dwelling place of God.
And this morning this might sound like a little bit of a hard question, but is there an area where God is saying you have turned your life into something different than what it is supposed to be?
Where there are things where Jesus is saying these things need to be driven out of your life
and this sounds like a little bit of a harsh message,
because like I said we like the warm fuzzy Jesus, but often when we encounter Jesus there is a threat or a risk.
A risk that you will encounter God and there are things he will want to drive out in you that are not God glorifying.
and can I just point out that Jesus does not want to drive you out, but he wants to drive the things that are not God glorifying in your life away
Its kind of like if you go to a doctor and say you have an infection.
The doctor doesn’t give you somthing to get rid of you or that attacks things that are healthy
But they give you a pill that gets rid of the infection
That drives it out.
And thats the risk when you follow God.
But for a lot of us this is a much harder pill to swallow,
because the infection of sin has convinced us that we need things that are not glorifying to God.
And ill be honest its a little bit of a hard message, and it was hard for those who were hearing it then
in fact look at verse 18 because it says the Jews come to Jesus and say
John 2:18 (ESV)
“....What sign do you show us for doing these things?”
Basically you better have a good reason for what you just did
And can I just say this morning Jesus has a good explanation.
Because Jesus’s heart breaks for you this morning and He is angry not at you but he is furious at the sin in our life and His heart breaks for you.
But look at these last verses (verses 19-22) because this is the good news.
John 2:19–22 (ESV)
19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 22 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.
You know maybe this morning you are looking at your life and are thinking I have a lot to drive out.
But I love what this passage says because Jesus says He is going to completely remake the temple
And the temple was not bad, but God was doing something new
and the Jews in this passage tell Him “that is impossible” “How could that be” it has taken us 46 years to build the temple
So how are you going to knock it down and build it back up so quickly.
But whats amazing is Jesus does exactly that.
Because like we talked about this temple that man spent so much time building became irrelevant when Jesus died and now God’s dwelling place is not a building, but a person.
And you know this morning can I just ask have you built your own temple?
Have you built your own kingdom with your own agenda?
Because if you have can I just point out that Jesus wants to remake it.
He wants to do something new.
because the things you have built up in your life may not be God glorifying and you might be looking at it saying it needs cleared out
but it just seems impossible
can I just point out that this temple was completey remade in only a few days.
If God can do that with a temple that took years to build, with dozens of people, and tons of resources
Imagine what God can do in your life.
God wants to remake you this morning and He wants to fill you with His spirit.