Summary: There are things we do that intentionally or subtly tell people they are not welcome.
John 2: 13 - 22
Intro: There was a woman names Emily Post who was born in the 1870’s. She died in 1960 but, I remember the book she wrote, “Etiquette” which went through 10 editions. This book taught people how to get along “politely” in society. She was quoted as saying, “Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. I you have awareness, you have good manners.”
I The usual image we have of Jesus is the quiet, unassuming, polite individual.
A Many artists have pictured Jesus with a little lamb in his arms, or surrounded by children,
B One thing I have observed in most, if not all the pictures or portraits I have seen. I have never seen a picture of Jesus laughing or even smiling.
C There is a little tune in the Salvation Army Hymnbook. It was written by Charles Wesley in 1742. The first verse says “Gentle Jesus meek and mild, Look upon a little child, Pity my simplicity, Suffer me to come to Thee.”
II The tradition cozy image of the “gentle Jesus” is not a true reflection of His character.
A VSS. 15 – 16 “So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scatter the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold does he said, ‘Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!”
B Some Biblical scholars use this text to assert that Jesus was truly human because he got angry. That was not John’s intention.
C We must remember that John’s gospel is basically a theological treatise on the ministry of Jesus. What John is attempting to show us is that righteous indignation over injustice and wrong is a part of the message and ministry of Jesus.
III Here Jesus shows us that the actions of some people in the house of the Lord were “out of place,” discriminatory, deceitful and wrong that got in the way of worshiping God.
A The merchants in the temple courts were known to charge excessive prices. The money changers took advantage of the fact that Roman or Greek coins could not be offered to God because they had the graven image of the emperor on them. Therefore, the “temple coins” were a necessity for people who had to pay a premium exchange rate.
B We may be outraged by such behavior believing it was definitely “out of place” in the house of worship.
C Such actions do not take place in our church! --- Perhaps not. There are other, more subtle things that may be out of place here: You are sitting in my pew! / Don’t applaud! / Don’t raise your hands in praise! / Don’t come to church barefoot! And I’m sure there are many more!
Concl: I have a friend who serves as an usher in his church in KY. He once told me that he made a young man sit in the very back of the church because he came to church in shorts and flip flops. His rationale was that one should always come to church with your very best because that is what God expects. --- My response was, “Well, at least he was there and perhaps that was the best he had!”
There will be times when what we feel GOD is leading us to do will be “different” from what OTHERS around us are advocating and doing. We must remember we need to do and be what GOD wants us to do and be.