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Rambo Jesus 2

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Rambo Jesus

 

March 15, 2009--Third Sunday of Lent

Lectionary Texts: Exodus 20:1-17; Psalm 19; 2 Corinthians 1:18-24; John 2:13-22

Sermon Text: John 2:13-22 (NIV)

13 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!”

17 His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”a

18 Then the Jews demanded of him, “What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”

19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”

20 The Jews replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” 21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.

TODAY WE’RE GOING TO SEE A SIDE OF JESUS THAT WE DON’T NORMALLY SEE.

AS WE ENTER THE TEMPLE AREA, THE BUSINESS DAY IS IN FULL SWING.

PEOPLE ARE HAGGLING AND HOLLERING.

THERE’S THE SMELL OF ANIMALS IN THE AIR.

WITH ALL THE BIRDS AND ANIMALS FOR SALE IT SEEMS MORE LIKE A PETTING ZOO THAN THE TEMPLE COURTYARD.

THERE WERE PEOPLE HERE, WHO HAD COME FROM ALL OVER ISRAEL.

THEY HAD PROBABLY BEEN PLANNING THIS TRIP TO JERUSALEM FOR MONTHS. 

IT WAS A BIG THING TO CELEBRATE THE PASSOVER IN JERUSALEM.

AND THEY ALL BROUGHT MONEY TO TAKE CARE OF THEIR NEEDS.

THE VENDORS AND MONEY CHANGERS WERE PROBABLY ESTATIC THAT ALL THESE PEOPLE WERE THERE BUYING ANIMAL SACRIFICES AND EXCHANGING THEIR MONEY INTO THE TEMPLE CURRENCY.

ALL THESE VISITORS TO JERUSALEM FOR THE PASSOVER WERE BEING CHEATED IN THE CHANGING OF MONEY AND THEY WERE BEING CHARGED INFLATED PRICES FOR SHEEP AND CALVES AND PIGEONS.

IT’S KIND OF THE SAME WAY IT IS WHEN YOU GO TO THE AIRPORT.

THE VENDORS AND MONEY CHANGERS WERE MAKING A KILLING TODAY

EVEN THOUGH THEY STILL HAD TO GIVE A CUT TO THE TEMPLE LEADERSHIP.

THEN JESUS SHOWS UP.

HE DIDN’T JUST WALK IN AND SAY PEACE EVERYONE.

HE DIDN’T OFFER SOME QUIET SERMON OVER IN THE CORNER.

HE DIDN’T OFFER FREE LOAVES AND FISHES TO THE CROWDS.

NO, THE PRINCE OF PEACE DOES SOMETHING FAR DIFFERENT FROM THESE OTHER MOMENTS IN HIS MINISTRY.

JESUS BEGINS TEARING THE PLACE APART.

HE COMES IN AND MAKES A WHIP AND STARTS TURNING OVER TABLES, SCATTERING THE MONEY AND MAKES A THROUGH MESS OF THE PLACE.

CAN YOU SEE IT?

IMAGINE THIS;

YOU‘RE AT A LOCAL FARMERS MARKET AND SOMEONE BEGINS OVERTHROUGHING TABLES

KNOCKING THE FRUIT TO THE GROUND

SETTING ALL THE ANIMALS LOOSE

AND SCATTERING THE MONEY ALL AROUND.

THIS DOESN’T SOUND MUCH LIKE THE JESUS WHAT WE READ ABOUT IN MOST OF THE NEW TESTAMENT.

THERE IS ONE IMPORTANT POINT TO BE LOOKED AT HERE.

THIS PLACE WASN’T A FARMERS MARKET.

IT WAS GOD’S TEMPLE.

TO THOSE WHO WERE DOING ALL THIS; JESUS SAID…

16 To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!”

 

AND THEN;

17 His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

THESE PEOPLE WERE TREATING GOD’S HOUSE LIKE THE COUNTY FAIR.

IT WAS CARNAVAL TIME IN JERUSALEM.

GOD’S TEMPLE HAD BEEN RENTED OUT TO THE HIGHEST BIDDERS.

JESUS HAD ZERO TOLLERANCE FOR ANYTHING OTHER THAN PURE DEVOTION.

DEVOTION THAT IS NOT MEANT TO BENEFIT OURSELVES, BUT TO DRAW US UP CLOSE TO GOD.

JESUS IS SHOWING HIS DEEP RESPECT FOR THE PLACE OF WORSHIP.

HE IS RAGING AGAINST THE USE OF RELIGION TO MANIPULATE PEOPLE.

JESUS CHRIST’S MINISTRY IS TO

STAND FOR THE TRUTH

HIS MINISTRY IS TO

HELP PEOPLE UNDERSTAND REVERENCE FOR GOD.

THE VENDORS AND MONEY CHANGERS WERE GETTING CHURCH ALL WRONG.

THEY WERE TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE DEVOTION OF THESE VISITING ISRAELITES. 

THEIR ONLY INTEREST WAS TO MAKE MONEY.

THE VISITING PEOPLE WERE GETTING CHURCH ALL WRONG.

THEY THOUGHT THEY COULD FIND GOD BY GOING TO A PARTICULAR LOCATION AND BUYING A SPECIAL GOAT AND FINDING THE RIGHT PRIEST.

AND THE TEMPLE LEADERS WERE GETTING CHURCH ALL WRONG.

YOU’D THINK THAT OF ALL THE PEOPLE INVOLVED IN THIS STORY, THE TEMPLE LEADERS WOULD HAVE GOTTEN IT RIGHT.

BUT THEY HAD SOLD OUT TO MONEY.

THEY’D SOLD OUT TO POWER.

THEY LIKED BEING IN CONTROL AND THEY DIDN’T EVEN TRY TO CONNECT WITH GOD.

EVERYTHING JESUS STOOD FOR WAS MISSING IN THIS CARNAVAL ATMOSPHERE.

JESUS CAME TO GIVE, NOT TO TAKE

HE CAME TO BE A SERVANT, NOT A SLAVE MASTER

BUT HE WASN'T ABOUT TO ALLOW THIS INTRUSION OF THE WORLD TO REMAIN IN THE TEMPLE COURTYARD.

EARLIER WHEN HIS DISCIPLES WERE ARGUING ABOUT WHO WAS THE GREATEST,

JESUS SAID

IT’S THE LAST WHO WILL BE FIRST

AND THE FIRST WILL FINISH LAST

CHURCH AND CHRISTIANITY IS MORE ABOUT GIVING AND LESS ABOUT GETTING.

THE LAWS OF THE SPIRIT ARE UPSIDE DOWN TO THE LAWS OF THE WORLD.

WHEN YOU GIVE, YOU WILL RECEIVE

AND WHEN YOU SHARE,

YOU FIND THAT YOU HAVE MORE LEFT OVER.

HOLD ONTO YOUR THINGS LOOSLY

BE READY TO GIVE AWAY AND

GOD WILL LOVE TO PUT MORE INTO YOUR HANDS

THE BIBLE SAYS IN

Ecclesiastes 11:1 (NIV)

11     Cast your bread upon the waters,

for after many days you will find it again.

 

WE MUST MAKE SURE THAT ALL WE DO FOR THE CHURCH AND ALL WE DO FOR GOD IS WHAT HE WANTS US TO BE DOING.

HOW CLOSE ARE WE ALIGNED TO THE MINISTRY AND VISION OF GOD HIMSELF.

IF JESUS WERE TO COME INTO THE TEMPLE OF OUR HEART TONIGHT, WHAT TABLES WOULD HE OVERTURN?

WHEN WE LET GOD INTO OUR HEART AND LIFE, HE WILL BEGIN CHANGING US FROM THE INSIDE OUT.

YOU KNOW IF THERE ARE THINGS IN YOUR LIFE THAT NEEDS THE WHIP TO BE TAKEN TO.

ONLY YOU AND GOD KNOW WHAT THINGS IN YOUR LIFE NEED TO THROWN OUT.

WELL, DON'T YOU KNOW THAT WHEN JESUS DID ALL THIS TEMPLE CLEANSING, HE GOT THEIR ATTENTION.

ESPECIALLY THE ATTENTION OF THE TEMPLE LEADERSHIP.

THEY WERE SO UPSET THAT THEY CAME TO HIM AND SAID "BY WHAT AUTHORITY ARE YOU DOING THESE ALL THIS

"SHOW US SOME MIRACULOUS SIGN TO PROVE YOUR AUTHORITY"

JESUS WAS INCROACHING ON THEIR TERF AND THEY DIDN'T LIKE IT.

THEY ALREADY WANTED TO KILL HIM AND NOW THEY WANTED TO KILL HIM EVEN MORE THAN BEFORE.

WHEN THEY ASKED FOR A MIRACULOUS SIGN, JESUS ANSWERED BY SAYING “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”

THEY SCOFFED AT THE IDEA;

THEY SCOFFED BECAUSE THEY WERE LIVING IN THE REALM OF THIS WORLD.  NOT IN GOD'S REALM.

JESUS KNEW WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN IN A FEW DAYS AND HE TOLD THEM THE TRUTH.

THEY DIDN'T UNDERSTAND WHAT HE WAS TALKING ABOUT BECAUSE THEY DIDN;T REALIZE THAT HE WAS TALKING ABOUT THE TEMPLE OF HIS BODY AND

NOT THE TEMPLE BUILDING THEY WERE STANDING IN.

JESUS' DESTINY WAS THE CROSS AND HE WAS MOVING DIRECTLY TOWARD IT

IN MANY WAYS HE WAS HELPING THINGS ALONG.

WHEN HE UPSET THE TABLES, HE UPSET THE TEMPLE LEADERSHIP. 

BY DISRUPTING THIER INCOME OF MONEY HE CAUSED THEM TO  RENEW THEIR DECISION TO PUT HIM TO DEATH.

HE DID ALL THIS SO THAT YOU AND I COULD HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO SPEND ETERNITY IN HEAVEN WITH HIM.

HE THOUGHT THAT YOU AND I WERE WORTH THE PRICE.

THIS IS THE LENTEN SEASON.

WE HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO LET JESUS COME INTO OUR LIFES AND TEAR STUFF UP.

THIS IS OUR CHANCE TO LET GOD WHIP US INTO SHAPE.

LET'S TRUST HIM ENOUGH TO LET HIM HAVE HIS WAY IN OUR LIVES

AND TO WORK HIS POWER THROUGH US.

LET'S LEAVE ALL THOSE THINGS BEHIND US AND LOOK IN FAITH BELIEVING TO THE FUTURE.

LET'S LOOK TO A FUTURE OF POWER AND MIGHT.

A FUTURE OF OVERCOMING AND WINNING.

A FUTURE OF VICTORY OVER SIN AND DEATH AND HELL.

ARE YOU WITH ME?

LET'S DO IT.


----

a  Psalm 69:9

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