Summary: This sermon examines God’s expectations and dissapointments with people of faith who don’t live up to their name.
Jesus – More then just a nice guy –
Speedy Morris is the coach of the basketball team at LaSalle University. He said one day he was in the upstairs bathroom shaving when his wife told him he was wanted on the phone by Sports Illustrated.
For the coach of a Division One basketball team that’s a great honor, and Speedy said he was so excited that he accidentally cut himself with his razor. He grabbed some toilet paper and pressed it to his face and rushed out of the bathroom so he could get to the phone.
I mean, LaSalle Basketball is not exactly in the ranks of KU or Missouri and for Sports Illustrated to be calling his program could be the highlight of the year. So with blood running down his cheek he descended the stairs two at a time. He did fine for the first few but then lost his balance and literally rolled down the last half of the stairs.
He wasn’t sure is he had pulled or broken anything, and limping he got to his feet and hurried the last few feet to the phone.
"Sports Illustrated" he asked." Yes, came the reply, "And for only 75 cents an issue you can
subscribe for an entire year."
It’s frustrating to think someone is interested in you only to find out differently. It’s tough to be let down.
-Let down by sports team…
-Let down by politicians…
Sometimes we get our hopes too high. And if a salesman or a politician or a sports team lets us down it can be irritating but when a person of faith does it, it can be devastating.
-Let down by preachers...
It’s devastating to be let down by a person of faith. And in our text today, Jesus is in a sense, devastated, let down, by people of faith more interested in money than in people’s lives.
Read Text – John 2:12-17
Before we get back to the text let me comment on the preceding verses – Vs. 1-11 tell the story of Jesus turning the water into wine.
- Show clip from Art Linkletter – Kid’s Say the Darndest Things – little girl recounting favorite story – Water to wine – “what does it teach us?” she says, “When you run out of wine, get down on your knees and pray.”
Not exactly the moral of that story, but it does record Jesus’ first miracle and he did turn the water into wine and I think there was a specific purpose in choosing that miracle. Certainly it came at a wedding banquet which was symbolic of his purpose – he came to be the Bride groom as we would become the bride of Christ.
But more then that, wine itself had three connotations in that culture.
-Joy – it was associated with celebration.
-Abundance – it signified those that possessed a great deal.
-Suffering – Not only is it produced by crushing, but even in the OT in Psalms 60 – drinking the bitter dregs of the wine was a form of divine suffering.
And all three of these, abundance, Joy and suffering would identify his ministry and his purpose.
Well jumping then to our text, we find a sharp contrast and also a lengthy jump in time. While Matthew and Luke spend chapters on Jesus birth and the calling of the Disciples, John jumps right to the heart of his ministry. And in our text we see Jesus entering the city and carrying out his wrath on those in the temple.
Now, if we put all of the gospel accounts together we find that this story takes place on a Monday. I find that interesting. And it’s interesting that this story takes place on a Monday because Monday in Jesus’ life was a lot like Monday in your life. We associate Monday with difficulty. The first day back to work, the first day back to school.
The weekend was great. Sunday was terrific, Worship, rest, relaxation. And so when Monday comes it usually comes as a disappointment. Now for Jesus, the disappointment in people of Faith actually began the night before.
It says over in the Gospel of Mark that Jesus entered Jerusalem for this occasion on a Sunday evening. And where’s the first place Jesus goes. It says he went to the temple. He wanted to see what his people of faith are up to.
What did Jesus see that evening? What did he take to bed with him that night? What visions were going through his mind? What angered him so much that for the first time in his recorded life we see the effects of that anger here on Monday morning?
And it was this, He was let down, he was disappointed by those claiming to be people of faith. The very ones closest to the temple were actually furthest away.