Summary: Problems may be encountered when the truth is told
People often tell what we call white lies because everyone wants to be liked and accepted. Most people are afraid that if they point out the shortcomings of others to them, they’ll see them as enemies and not friends. Constructive criticism can be very helpful to people who have a desire to better themselves. When we meet people who we know are living sinfully we need to lovingly tell them the truth, even if they hate us for it. Your good council may shock them and may in fact lead to their salvation.
1. God appointed the feast day of Passover to help Israel to remember God’s intervention into human history.
A. Jacob brought his family to Egypt to save the from starvation during the great drought.
a. Israel prospered and became a large part of the population of Egypt.
b After a few generations the leaders of Egypt saw Israel as a threat to their way of life by their worship of God.
c. Israel was enslaved and remained slaves for 430 years.
d. God delivered Israel with much fanfare. He destroyed the pagan gods of Egypt with signs and wonders.
e. Israel was ultimately made ready to enter the promised land.
B. By Jesus’ time all the men of Israel were required to come to Jerusalem for the Passover festivities and to bring offerings for God.
a. The priests were addicted to their positions and power. They controlled the religious life of the Jews.
a. They were given charge over the temple and religious observance. They were self serving and corrupt.
b. They allowed the outer court of the temple to become like a giant swap meet where foreign money could be
exchanged for local currency at usurious exchange rates, and for sacrificial animals to be sold at a premium.
2. Jesus became righteously indignant over what He found in the temple courtyard
A. Jesus made a small whip, and upsetting their tables and animal pens, drove them out of the courtyard.
B. Isn’t it curious that when He ordered them out of the temple courtyard no one accosted Him or sought His imprisonment?
C. He confronted their hypocrisy when He angrily shouted to them, “Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.”
3. The Jews were wrong in their interpretation and execution of the law.
A. They weren’t ashamed when their wrongdoing was pointed out to them.
B. If they had obeyed and understood God’s Word they would have seen the error of their ways. Jesus gave them
a new prophecy which they didn’t understand. He said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” Their reaction to Jesus was, “Oh Yea, prove it!”
C. They thought He was referring to the temple which had been rebuilt and enlarged during Herod’s reign, which was still not completely restored after 46 years.
His meaning became clear to His disciples after His resurrection. His tone of voice should have made His meaning clear to everyone present at the start. The Pharisees, the priests, and the religious leaders were more concerned for their positions than they were for the truth. We are just as sinful as the Pharisees were. We try to put on a religious face to the world though we know what’s really going on in our lives. We deny God in Christ every time we make an excuse for staying away from church or don’t bring our offerings. Jesus came to lay His life down in our place. He was executed in our place by the Romans and He rose from the on the third day as the prophecy said He would. Because He did, there can be no doubt that Jesus is Lord. Amen!