Summary: Jesus removing the obstacles that stop people meeting with God. (PowerPoint slides for this talk available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reading: John chapter 2 verses 13-25.
• IKEA- Named after the founder of the company; and a place in Sweden;
• Tesco is similar named after TES – T.E.Stockwell & Co – Jack Cohen.
• LASER –
• Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation.
• SCUBA – Self-Contained Under water Breathing Apparatus;
• Or: Swimmer Comes Up Barely Alive!
• TARDIS –
• Time And Relative Dimension(s) In Space.
• IBM – International Business Machines Corporation
• Or: I Blame Microsoft
• Good old BOGOF – beloved of those who love a bargain;
• Buy One Get One Free
• NIMBY – is a favorite of those protesting against a new road, or a mobile phone receiver;
• Not In My Back Yard.
• FOBIO –
• Frequently Outwitted By Inanimate Objects.
Question: Why I am I giving you this riveting information?
Answer: You may have been familiar with the acronym but not the meaning behind it
• How true that particular situation was for the religion in Jesus day.
• The new the ritual – but they had long forgotten the meaning and reality behind it!
(1). The zeal of Jesus (vs 14-17).
• If you asked the average person to describe Jesus in a few words,
• You might get these types of responses:
• “A good man,”
• “A kind man,”
• “A loving man,”
• “A forgiving man”.
• Very few (if at all any) will say; “an angry man!”
• We have all grown up with the image ‘Gentle Jesus meek and mild.’
• And though it is fair to say Jesus did not often get angry;
• He did on a number of occasions (mainly in a misuse of religious context);
• Show a righteous anger.
BACKGROUND TO THE SITUATION:
(1). The ceremony (Vs 13):
“When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem”.
• According to Old Testament Law (Deuteronomy 16:16)
• Each Jewish man who lived within fifteen miles of Jerusalem;
• Was required to attend three annual feasts at the Holy City: (Passover, Pentecost, & Tabernacles).
• Now that was not a burden or a problem,
• Every Jew dreamed of celebrating at least one Passover in Jerusalem.
• Quote: Last line of the Passover benediction: “Next year in Jerusalem”.
Passover was the greatest of all Jewish feasts:
• It goes back to the time when Moses and the Children of Israel were slaves in Egypt.
• God gave them instructions to follow,
• They were to kill a lamb and eat it at a family meal,
• They also had to paint the door-frame their houses, with the blood of the lamb.
• And on the when the angel of death came,
• He would pass-over every house that had followed their instructions.
• But the first born throughout the land would be killed,
• In every house that did not obey the instructions.
• This incident is what broke Pharaoh’s stubbornness and pride,
• And allowed the Hebrews to leave slavery in Egypt, and experience freedom.
The Jews celebrate Passover:
• On the 15th Nissan.
• About the middle of our April.
• We mark our history B.C. (Before Christ);
• And A.D. (Latin: Anno Domini – In the year of our Lord).
• Because the death & resurrection of Jesus Christ was the greatest event in history;
• Time itself has been spit around him!
The Jews were told a similar thing regarding Passover:
• So important was the Passover redemption from Egypt;
• It too would change Israel’s reckoning of time.
So at Passover everyone who could headed for Jerusalem:
• At the time of Jesus there was about 600,000 residents living in Jerusalem:
• Yet at Passover pilgrims came from all over the world,
• Swelling the city to four times its normal size.
Quote: William Barcley:
“Astonishing as it may sound, there were at times two & quarter million Jewish males in the city of Jerusalem at Passover, for that week of celebration”.
(2). The Corruption (vs 14).
• Whenever you get a crowd;
• You will always find people to exploit the situation.
• i.e. English teams in the Champion League finals in Italy;
• All the price of flights to Rome went up! (e.g. same with school holidays)
• i.e. Go to any tourist spot;
• Drinks & burgers etc will always be charged at a high rate (principle you have no choice)
• Crowds of people are always a business opportunity for someone;
• It is true today and it was true in New Testament times.
• The story of M.P.’s and their expenses has dominated the news;
• Many M.P.’s trying to justify their actions.
• One commented on the news this week;