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02 04 02 13-25 - What Matters to Christ

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What Matters to Christ?John 2:13-25

Intro:

·         @ It was nearing Passover time for the Jews

o    Jacob and his family, living in Bethsaida – on the eastern side of the sea of Galilee – began making preparations for the long journey to Jerusalem. 

§  Something they looked forward to every year

§  There was the synagogue in town where they could hear the teachers explain the Law

§  But there was just something about being at the Temple that made them feel closer to God

·         It was a special time of family worship for them

o    Once they got to Jerusalem, they would need to pay the once a year temple tax and also make the required sacrifices.

§  Last year, they took some sheep with them, but one got sick on the way and died, another was rejected by the mumcheh (inspector of animals) when they got to J—

·         Even though Jacob has argued, it was a losing cause and he had to pay exorbitant rates for a “temple-approved lamb.”

§  This year, he decided they would just buy the necessary animals once they got to Jerusalem – perhaps this year the priests would be more fair.

o    Jacob’s wife called and asked if he had the Tyrian coin for the temple tax.

§  Since only this special coin could be used for this gift.

§  “Nuts!” Jacob had forgotten again this year to exchange the money early. 

·         That meant that all the money-changers in the towns on the way to J— would be closed and he would have to pay 10.5-12% more for the exchange in J—

·         This year he would shop around a little bit and see if he could get a better deal.  But he knew it would still cost him and he and his family would struggle for a while when they got back to recover the loss

·         Oh well, it would truly be a sacrifice this year!

·         The family got everything packed up and began the journey.

o    Along the way, they began meeting up with more and more travellers all on their way to the Passover in J—

o    Some of them lived outside of Palestine and had only Roman money with them

§  Boy would they get cheated at the temple!

·         After a week, they finally arrived.

o    Jacob decided to take his son to the temple mount this time so he could start learning what it took to get the necessary items

As they walked toward the court of the Gentiles, they began to hear the noise

o    People shouting, animals, money changers

o    It was a place of chaos

§  A fight nearly broke out at one of the money-changers tables until the temple police stepped in

§  Somehow, one of the lambs got loose and there was a chase to recapture the hapless little animal

§  Everywhere men were shouting and trying to make the best deals possible

§  It looked to Jacob like the priests hadn’t changed at all in their corruption...and may have even gotten worse since last year

o    Jacob and his son certainly didn’t sense a worshipful attitude in this place

§  The sense of joy and expectancy was sucked right out of them as they joined the crowd in trying to get what was necessary so they could follow God’s Law

·         This is the scene Jesus stepped into as recorded in John 2:13-25

o    It is against this backdrop that we see a glimpse of what really matters to our Lord

·         If we are going to Passionately Follow Jesus

o    We must know what He is passionate about

o    And then become passionate about that as well

·         What really matters to our Lord

I.         It Matters How We Worship Christ                                                            12-16

A.       Story

1.         Jesus did something that seems out of character –

a.        Whip—drove out people/animals—overturned money and tables

b.       Why such a reaction?

(1)     Was it because He wasn’t getting His cut?

(2)    Was it because He had had a long trip and was exhausted?

(3)    IT WAS because these people had transformed true worship of God into a money-making nightmare

2.        Just think about the Abuses

a.        Taking advantage of people who had no recourse

b.       Cheating by charging such high rates of exchange

c.        Materialism

(1)     Jewish history tells us the money changers could do five things with the money they made

(a)    Four of those things involved helping others

(b)    The fifth was keeping the amount

i.         Guess which one happened most often

d.       Overlooking wrong

(1)     The priests — the ones charged with leading people to God — were not stopping the abuse

(a)    History — priests were the ones behind all this

(b)    Jews didn’t even trust the priestly families and would have stopped going to the Temple at all if the Law hadn’t been so clear that they needed to go

e.       Substituting pretence for real worship

(1)     Here’s the big problem

(2)    God’s Law —clear about animal sacrifice and the temple tax

(3)    What they were doing technically was right

(4)    The problem is that they were doing it for the wrong reasons

(a)    This wasn’t about glorifying God—bringing people to faith and obedience

(b)    This was about making money

f.         Hindering true worship

(1)     Bottom line—people were being kept from worshipping God

3.        It mattered to Jesus that His people weren’t worshipping God the way He desired

B.       Application

1.        We will see about worshipping God—living in a God-honouring way

a.        We can’t just come to Him any ol’ way we want!

b.       John 4:24 – God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.

(1)     We don’t make up the rules about how God is worshipped

2.        Worship at church

a.        It’s not about how long the service goes

b.       It’s not about whether we sing the songs you like

c.        It’s not about whether you get anything out of the service!

d.       It is about whether God likes what He sees and hears

3.        Are you concerned with how the Lord views your worship?

a.        Does what you say reflect your heart?

(1)     @ Woman at a previous church who was bitter at the pastor – sang “I surrender all” even though she wasn’t!

b.       Does what you give reflect your trust that God is your provider?

c.        Does how you respond to God’s Word reflect that you really do believe that God knows best even if it doesn’t make sense to me?

4.       Do you get the idea?!?!?!

a.        When you come to church – what is your goal?

(1)     To have your needs met by other people?

(2)    To be seen by other people?

(3)    To meet the church attendance quota for the week?

(4)    To join with this family of believers in bringing attention and praise to how great our Lord is!

b.       It matters to Him how we worship!

II.       It Matters How We view Christ                                                                     17-22

A.       Story

1.        These people did not appreciate Jesus—God in the flesh—for who He was. 

2.        This event lets people know that He was different

a.        His claims would have to be reckoned with

b.       He would not just be absorbed into the religious system

B.       He Is Powerful

1.         We get that panty-waist picture of Christ in our head!

a.        He’s no threat to me

b.       He’s concerned with little lambs    

(1)     People expect to find Him at the petting zoo rather than demanding allegiance, loyalty, and sacrifice

2.        If I get into a little trouble, I’ll maybe ask Him to help out

a.        But the big problems – finances— I’ll have to handle that myself

3.        He is NOT a WEAKLING that can be dismissed!

C.       He Is the Authority                                                                                                      18

1.         “What right do you have to do all this?”

a.        It is interesting that they didn’t try to arrest him or stop him

b.       They realized what they were doing was wrong

c.        Attempt to back him down so they could go back to life as it was

2.        Jesus is your authority!

a.        Romans 14:11 - For it is written: “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”

b.       Whether you accept him as Saviour or not

(1)     You will still at some point acknowledge Him as LORD

(a)    You can do that now on this earth and enjoy life as it should be and enter eternity to fellowship with Him

(b)    Or wait until the judgment and do that as your last act before entering a Christless eternity in the Lake of Fire

(2)    It’s your choice!

c.        You cannot deny Christ’s authority in your life any better than you can deny gravity’s force on your body

D.       He Knows All

1.        VS 19-21—He knew what would happen 3 plus years later

2.        Vs 25 — He knew the hearts of the people

a.        No one was ever going to surprise Christ!

b.       No one would ever catch Him off guard

3.        Aren’t you glad that He knows all!

a.        He knows your weaknesses and strengths

b.       He knows your victories and defeats

c.        He knows you dreams, hopes, fears, secrets

4.       And HE STILL LOVES YOU!

5.        Nothing ever catches Him by surprise

a.        Trust Him—go to Him—follow Him!

E.       He Is Trustworthy

1.        3 years later The disciples would remember this promise as they contemplated the newly resurrected Jesus

a.        Yes, He did exactly what He said He would do

(1)     if Jesus could keep that promise, He can keep ANY promise!

2.        Do you believe that He is trustworthy?

a.        “Yes”—— it is easy to say

b.       But again—does your life reflect it?

(1)     Do you really believe that... the Lord blesses you for obedience?

(2)    ... God’s plan for your life is best?

(3)    ... he provides for all your needs?

(4)    ... only He can fill that hole in your life?

3.        Is it trust to say you believe in something, but then don’t act on it?

4.       It matters how you view Christ!

a.        Do all the talking —theology —degrees you want

b.       But if you don’t act on what you know, then what matters to Christ doesn’t matter to you!

III.     It Matters How we Believe in Christ                                                          23-25

A.       Story

1.        Jesus did signs

2.        People believed when they saw the signs

a.        A real belief?

3.        Jesus did not believe in the belief  (v24)

a.        “commit” – save Greek word as the one used in verse 23

b.       He saw the real issue

c.        John 6 – many of those who followed Jesus would turn back

B.       Application

1.         Belief in Christ is not about seeing miracles

a.        @ Power Evangelism—Sharing the truth of God’s Word is not enough.  People need to see miraculous demonstrations of God’s power.  Then they will believe when they see.  Really?

b.       Here is an example where Christ knew their belief was more about seeing miracles than following Christ

(1)     @ 10 lepers healed — only one followed

(2)    @ Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead—response? Kill Jesus!

c.        You don’t come to Jesus so He can be your personal genie

(1)     He doesn’t nervously wait for you to need Him to do something

2.        Belief in Christ is not about getting warm fuzzies

a.        He did nice things so I’ll follow Him to keep getting nice things

(1)     “I want Jesus to make my nice life even better.”

b.       Some people come to Him like they were buying a second car

(1)     “I already have one, but hey, the more the merrier.”

c.        You don’t add Jesus to your life!

3.        Belief in Christ is about commitment to Him

a.        We see this over and over in Jesus’ ministry

(1)     John 12:26 - Anyone who wants to be my disciple must follow me (NLT)

(2)    Matthew 16:24 - Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”

(3)    John 14:15 - If you love Me, keep My commandments.

(4)    Matthew 11:28-29 - 28Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me...

(a)    Matthew 11:30 - For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

(b)    Jesus is not a cruel taskmaster who makes your life miserable

(c)    Sin already does that

i.         A Self-governed life accomplishes that already

(d)    NO—Christ is the One who makes this life bearable, even enjoyable, and worthwhile

(e)    But it means turning your life over to Him

i.         It means following Him

ii.        It means serving Him

iii.      It means living for His glory and not your own

Conc.:

·         This passage shows Jesus in a different light than what most people think about Him

o    They like to see Jesus as calm, meek, soft-spoken...controllable

o    But this passage shows that Christ is passionate about

§  How we worship Him

§  How we think about Him

§  How we believe in Him

·         Are you passionate about these things as well?

o    Will you commit to worshipping Him in a way that pleases Him?

o    Will you live in the reality that Christ is more than the little lamb painting?

o    Will you commit your life to following Him wherever that takes you?

·         That is how we passionately follow Jesus

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