Summary: 5th of 5 messages. If you are going to follow Jesus - here is one lesson you simply must learn. The lesson of focus and passion without distraction.
Focusing on the Valuable
We had our MCC Tour last Sunday and I shared with a number of our newest guests that we didn’t want them to join Meridian Christian Church.
You see, we’re not about joining – we are about following. Our mission is to help people find their way home. This is a spiritual home. This is the Family of God and we have found our way home by following Jesus.
But what does it mean to follow Jesus?
This Sunday is the last one in our series on living the good life. The lesson is from John 2 and it is an important one that will help all of us to focus on the valuable.
Do you remember the children?s games you played that taught you how to be a follower? As babies we played "peek-a-boo" and covered our eyes just like the person who played it with us. I’ve been having a lot of fun with my grandson Gabe!
In preschool we all played "Follow the leader" and walked, ran, rolled on the ground, and did whatever the leader did. In Kindergarten the game of choice was "Simon Says" and we learned to watch out for the tricky stuff and the attempts to trip us up with complicated commands. I was pretty good at "Simon says"!
In the school years it was no longer a game. In the elementary grades it was the serious business of "I dare you" and "I double dare you". And when it was really, really serious there was the "I Double Dog Dare Ya". Here was a dare that no school kid - girl or boy - could ignore.
Eventually we grow up and put away childish games. In the formative years of maturity at Junior High and High School we played "HORSE" on the basketball courts and we all learned the importance of dressing alike to prove we were different. This makes sense only to a High School student.
Of course in college the game of "HORSE" went away because it was too juvenile. It was replaced with the "I Double Dog Dare Ya". People, especially freshman, revert in college and become little children.
It is through all of these games that we learn to follow. So how do you follow Jesus? You imitate him. You do what he did when he was here. You do what he would do if he were in your place. You become like Jesus.
And what was Jesus like? He was a man of passion. This Sunday we will study and learn from one of the wildest and emotional moments of Jesus beginning ministry years. The day he tossed the money changers out of the Temple.
If you are going to follow Jesus - here is one lesson you simply must learn. The lesson of focus and passion without distraction.
Following Jesus is not for the easily distracted
You must focus on that which is valuable and important
You must have a sharpness in your spiritual vision that penetrates the worlds ability to blur, to distract, and to misdirect your attention.
That cannot be done without one key ingredient: passion
When the Passover Feast, celebrated each spring by the Jews, was about to take place, Jesus traveled up to Jerusalem. He found the Temple teeming with people selling cattle and sheep and doves. The loan sharks were also there in full strength.
Jesus put together a whip out of strips of leather and chased them out of the Temple, stampeding the sheep and cattle, upending the tables of the loan sharks, spilling coins left and right. He told the dove merchants, “Get your things out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a shopping mall!” That’s when his disciples remembered the Scripture, “Zeal for your house consumes me.”
But the Jews were upset. They asked, “What credentials can you present to justify this?” Jesus answered, “Tear down this Temple and in three days I’ll put it back together.”
They were indignant: “It took forty-six years to build this Temple, and you’re going to rebuild it in three days?” But Jesus was talking about his body as the Temple. Later, after he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered he had said this. They then put two and two together and believed both what was written in Scripture and what Jesus had said.
During the time he was in Jerusalem, those days of the Passover Feast, many people noticed the signs he was displaying and, seeing they pointed straight to God, entrusted their lives to him. But Jesus didn’t entrust his life to them. He knew them inside and out, knew how untrustworthy they were. He didn’t need any help in seeing right through them.
His Focus was His Father’s House