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Jesus Clears the Temple

John 2:13-25

-So in reading this passage of scripture we get a pretty straight forward picture of Jesus taking action. I’ve read and heard it say that this scene seems to show Jesus being cruel or “throwing a tantrum”. I will admit, other than the selling and money changing, I don’t get why Jesus “HULKED” out. I can understand rebuking and setting these folks right, but that’s not what Jesus does.

-In my studying I found some notes that pointed out exactly why Jesus did what He did. To be honest, it makes complete sense now. I hope these notes will share some insight for you, in the same way studying it did for me.

Cleansing the Temple Complex: John 2:13-17

-From just reading this passage it seems like Jesus just flips out on these folks. We can assume when Jesus says “Get these things out of here! Stop turning My Father’s house into a market place!” that what these people were doing was wrong. But maybe you’re like me, and are wondering exactly why they were wrong?

-Well, upon reading the commentary I’m using, I was painted a broader picture. Even in my Study Bible the footnotes allude to the same conclusion. So let me set the scene for you.

-The temple was built very specifically. There was an inner court for only the Jewish men to worship, the next court was for only the Jewish women, and finally the outer court for everybody else (or for non-Jewish people). Now these “merchants” were posted on the outer court.

-The whole point of these folks selling animals and trading coins was to make things “convenient” for the people to worship, and maybe make a quick buck too.

-The people were, according to the scriptures, required to bring the first and finest of their flocks for sacrifice. But some folk had so very far to go and it would just be easier to buy a sacrificial animal once they got to the temple. Who knows, maybe they could get a deal on the critter.

-With the money, the traders were there to exchange the money of the folk coming to worship, because money with images of people or animals wasn’t allowed in the temple offering basket. It would just be easier to trade in the money at the door right? Kinda like an arcade token machine.

-The BIG problem here is that the people coming to worship didn’t have to prepare… anything. The whole reason God wanted them to bring the best (for one, it’s God, and He only gets the best period) is that they would literally have to pick out there very best. Then make preparations for the journey and keeping the animal spotless. It’s the same idea with the money. They know they can’t just show up with Roman money or whatever they had. They would have to put the work in to get the right coins.

-So here’s the bigger picture. When it comes to us worshiping we have to prepare. The United States just doesn’t take in whatever random volunteer for the army and say, “hey this 18 year old kid looks pretty fit. Give him a helmet and some camo. Guns? Naw, when he gets to the war zone he’ll figure it out.” No, as a matter of fact they weed out the strongest and smartest and figure out where each soldier is best fitted to be. My brother said this is what boot camp is all about. In his words, “boot camp is to let you know you are no longer a civilian.” In the same way Worship, and preparing for it, is God’s way of telling us we are no longer civilians anymore.

-The next thing is that they are making a commotion in the court. This outer court is for prayer and worship. It would be like the best buy checkout registers set up on the stage with your worship team or Pastor. I mean can you imagine the biggest electronic sale (think iphone 5’s on sale for like $20, and the worship team trying to sing “Our God is greater” over the noise) it just doesn’t work. How can anybody take worship serious in that situation? So not only are the people not prepared, but now there minds are everywhere else instead of focusing on God.

-let’s talk about these animals for a minute. The law says that a sacrifice must be given to make up for our sins. So you bring the first and best of your animals as a sacrifice. Here’s the thing, God doesn’t care for the sacrifice. David wrote, “You do not delight in sacrifice” (Ps 51:16) God only cares about your heart. So when you’re giving up the very best you have for God, who knows, maybe even all you have. God accepts that with great joy. But if you are just going through the motions, if you’re giving Him left overs, do you really expect God to accept that?

-lastly, when it comes to the outer court, this is the place where gentles worship. In other words, this is where you and I would go to worship. Not only is it awesome that Jesus took physical action for the things these people were doing (this is where vs. 17 kicks in) but that Jesus physically did something for us. Even before He goes to the cross He is preparing a place for us. A place we can meet with Him and enjoy Him. It’s a place where we can carry out a conversation with Him, sing with Him, and learn more about Him. Jesus is constantly clearing a way for us.

Give us a Sign: John 2:18-25

-As John writes, it becomes clear to us and to them, that Jesus is speaking about His body being raised in three days. But the sad summation on this passage is the people. John writes that the leaders ask for a sign. Really? By this time many have seen and heard about Jesus’ signs and miracles. But you still need a specific sign? Even in verses 23-25 it says that many trusted in His name when they saw signs, but Jesus would not entrust Himself to them. What does this mean?

-Well, the people believed for all the wrong reasons. It wasn’t that it proved Jesus was the Messiah, but they were getting something out of the miracles and signs. There are a lot of people that get really excited for God. They get break troughs, a prayer answered, or some needed relief. But then those dark clouds come around, and honestly as a believer, they come back with a vengeance. Then these folks jump ship right away, and claim the God’s not there, He must not love them, why am I suffering, and whatever else. The fact is it is really easy to believe in “Religion” when you think it’s going to bless you with stuff. Jesus never promises you’re gonna have it easy. He says it’s gonna be tough. He says count the cost of following me. Jesus was sign enough… He spoke with authority, He knew things about God even the leading priests didn’t, He could explain hard things through stories, and yet the people needed a sign.

-in the end, I get excited about Jesus cleansing the temple. If He can do that for the believers in Jerusalem, then He can cleanse my heart with the same passion and authority.

These are my notes for my time with the youth. We are going over the Gospel of John and I thought it would be cool to share with you, what I’m sharing with them.

I am using commentary from “Opening John’s Gospel and Epistles” by Phillip W. Comfort and Wendell C. Hawley 

The Beginning of Jesus’ Ministry

John 1:19-2:12

John the Baptist’s testimony: John 1:19-28

-John the Baptist was sent to be Jesus’ first and most important witness. He was a great example of how we should give God the glory.

-He had his own followers, John who is writing this gospel, is actually one of his disciples. So he (John the Baptist) despite the locusts and honey (which probably made him seem like Joe Rogan from fear factor/UFC) was probably a cool and smart guy.

-in this section the “Jews” refers to the Jewish leaders, who sent priests and scholars to question, John the Baptist.

 -In all the questions (are you Elijah, are you the prophet) and in all he’s done he always points to Jesus.

-In our life’s we need to apply this. We all have great talents, personalities, style, and etc. but we need to remember it’s all for God’s glory. It’s pretty easy to get caught up in ourselves. But like John the Baptist, let’s point to Jesus in all we do.

The Lamb of God or How God calls us: John 1:29-50

-these passages are great, because not only is it giving us information on how these guys became Jesus’ disciples, but it shows us how people come to know and follow God.

-the first is called “public proclamation” Take how John the Baptist gives a public speech about Jesus. John the author and Andrew were the Baptists disciples. But the way he spoke about Jesus they were convinced He might be the Messiah. So they followed Jesus to find out for sure.

-The cool thing is that John is writing this as an old man. And he remembers just like it was yesterday when he started following Jesus. As a matter of fact he remembers the exact hour they went to stay with him… and that same hour is when life became new.

-the next is a “private witness” where Andrew tells his brother Simon (Peter) “we have found the Messiah!” This is cool because it’s a one on one with someone you are totally yourself with. It’s his bro, so Peter knows when his brother is excited about something. Andrew was being himself, if his brother was convinced Jesus was the messiah, Peter had to check what Jesus was all about.

-the third is “the personal call of Jesus” Here John writes that Jesus went to Galilee and ran into Phillip. At this point John, Andrew, and Peter where already following Jesus. And since Phillip was from the same town as Peter and Andrew he probably heard about Jesus. So, when Jesus called him, he decided to follow. This would be like us today. It’s kind of hard for anyone to say they don’t know about God. With TV, radio, internet, and those dudes preaching on street corners/knocking on your door. But when a person hears, reads, sees, or however they might get the true word and good news of Jesus. It’s like God breaks through whatever is being used and personally asks them to “Follow him”.  

-the last is “perceptive testimony of a friend” which is a fancy way of saying your friend explaining their experience. Here Phillip finds his buddy Nathanael and tells him about Jesus. According to commentators Nathanael was a smart and well-studied fellow when it came to scriptures. Again, according to commentators, what Jesus say’s to Nathanael, “I saw you under the fig tree,” was a saying the Jewish people had for studying and meditating on scripture (but maybe he really was under a fig tree… either way). So for his buddy (Phillip) to come, and tell him about Jesus, you see his doubt bubble up a little in his comment “can anything good come from Nazareth?” And as you can see Nathanael goes from reservation to full out proclamation of Jesus. Even Jesus says, “Really? The fig thing is all it took. Trust me, you’ll see bigger and better.”

 

The first sign: John 2:1-12

            -There are 2 key points in this section that I want to share

-the first being Jesus’ love for His mother. The way it’s written in English might make it seem like He is being disrespectful to His mother. In the commentators notes it say’s “woman” in Greek would be like “madam” or “lady.” But I like to think how we might interact with our parents. My wife call’s her dad pops. I think we sometimes imagine Jesus has this glowing, floating, halo wearing man. Yes, Jesus is majestic, and has all authority, but He was also a man. He hung out with fisherman, smart guys, city employees (tax collectors), and the likes. So I don’t mind imagining Jesus saying, “hey you ol’ woman,” then giving His mother a kiss on the cheek. This is probably just me and it’s in no way taught by theologians anywhere. But the respect of His mother is there. We should honor our parents; Jesus does so in this passage.

-Next is the actual miracle itself. Jesus does many miracles, so many in fact, that it’s said in the gospel that there isn’t enough books in the world to contain them. In John’s gospel he writes about specific miracles as signs that point out Jesus’ authority, glory, power, and as proof He is the Son of God.

-In this miracle Jesus uses the water jars that are used for cleaning yourself up. So it’s like using the bathroom sink. They pour in water to the brim (so there is nothing in the jar’s but water, and nothing can be added) then Jesus says, draw some out. Not only has the water turned to wine, but it’s now the best wine, they ever had. This miracle is pretty cool, but I like thinking a little deeper about it. Isn’t it a miracle how Jesus can take filthy people like us, and turn us into the prize of the Father? This is a wonderful illustration of what Jesus does for us on the cross. He takes something that is totally wretched (would you seriously drink water from a jar that stores water where people wash themselves in. Think about it… yes, it gets fresh water, but they don’t sanitize the jar after. How old are these jars? This is at a Jewish wedding where folk’s party for a week and the whole town is probably invited. That’s a lot of washing taking place) and transforms it into something wonderful.

I got a new youtube…

yeah, I know…

one more thing I will probably forget to update or never get around to.

But as of right now I have 3 videos already made. Two vlogs and a skit, which really isn’t that funny, but still done. I really want all my efforts (including my hobbies, specially from here on out) to be focused on God. I’ve lived most of my christian live shying away from making Christ the first priority. Even in my music (hobby, which I use to think it would be my career and live goal) I use to hint at God, but never out right expressed or acknowledged Him.

Well, those days are now long behind me. I may work a retail job the rest of my life to pay bill’s, but I know my live goal, my career, is sharing about Jesus and how he saved me. Also, God allows me to share His gospel to teenagers, which can be pretty awesome. So I hope you enjoy the video’s I make, and hopefully the Holy Spirit speaks to you through one of my odd ramblings.

thanks

here’s the link ———— http://youtube.com/iamjakelionheart

in which the understudy shares about his brother-in-law

No joke, my brother-in-law is a Renaissance Man. The dude can draw (He’s a tattoo artist, but also paints and airbrushes), cook, sing, and play a mean guitar. So at my wife’s grandma’s funeral he played “Precious Lord” by Crystal Lewis. I got it on video and was able to turn it into an audio track. SO, check it out…

http://fuzzyjenkins.bandcamp.com/track/precious-lord-cover

you can also download it for free

in which the understudy shares his loves…

There’s a lot of things I love…

Music, Art, good food, great company, a hearty laugh, cartoons, an interesting read, dogs, kung fu, cowboy bebop, learning something new, jamming with my brother-in-law, coming up with lists, avatar the last airbender, don’t forget the legend of korra, indie bands, thought provoking rhymes, being a youth pastor, playing drums, finding out songs I like are super easy to play on guitar, comic books, cool shirts with funky fresh images/graphics, amazon.com, using the word “shindig”, pepsi, making videos, cheap magic tricks, and…

Jesus for what he did on the cross for me

                                                             and what he did for you

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