Summary: True worship is coming to Jesus like a child!
MATTHEW 21: 12-17
MARCH 11, 2001
INTRODUCTION: [Orientation to school, work, or family?] A small boy is sent to bed by his father. Five minutes later... “Da-ad...” “What?” “I’m thirsty. Can you bring me a glass of water?” “No. You had your chance. Lights out!” Five minutes later. “Da-aaad...” “What?” “I’m THIRSTY. Can I have a drink of water??” I told you NO! If you ask again I will have to spank you!!” Five minutes later... “Daaaa-aaaad...” “WHAT??!!” “When you come to spank me, can you bring me a glass of water?”
TRANSITION THOUGHT: Our text for this day helps us focus on learning Jesus’ agenda for worship. Often we get in a rut or a pattern of doing things which is not the way that God intended it to be. He calls us to be guided by His Word and His Spirit that we may honor Him in all we do, and not the contrast of honoring ourselves in all we do. OUR GOAL IS TO LIVE LIKE JESUS, ISN’T IT???
THESIS SENTENCE: True worship is coming to Jesus like a child!
FOLLOWING JESUS IS ALWAYS A CALL TO REORIENTATION. HOW DOES HE ATTEMPT TO REORIENT THESE TEMPLE WORSHIPERS?
I. JESUS SAYS WE MUST GO FROM THE SECULAR TO THE SACRED (VV. 12-13)
A. FALSE WORSHIP IS SECULAR IN NATURE: JESUS ON JEREMIAH
Verse 12 and 13c “Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all woh were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.... ‘But you are making it a den of robbers.’”
1. Secular: adj. Of or concerned with temproal, worldly matters rather than with religion // profance (as distinct from sacred), not under the control of a religious body!
2. Jeremiah 7:9-11, “Will you steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury, burn incense to Baal and follow other gods you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which bears my Name, and say, ‘We are safe’ -- safe to do all these destestable things? Has this House, which bears my Name, become a den of robbers to you? But I have been Watching! Declares the Lord.”
4. Jesus sees the Temple, He sees the merchants, He has been watching and He knows their hearts. They are here for reasons profane, not under the control of a religious body. HE SEES HEARTS FAR FROM GOD!!!
5. The scariest thing about the passage from Jeremiah is that the people thought they could fool God, or they were fooled, for they all thought, “WE ARE SAFE…”(VERSE 10).
B. TRUE WORSHIP IS SACRED IN NATURE: JESUS ON ISAIAH
Verse 13a & b “It is written,” HE said to them, “‘My House will be called a house of prayer.’”
1. Sacred is the word Jesus was looking for! Sacred defined: “Consecrated, holy // set apart, esp. For the service or worship of God.”
2. Jesus knows the WORD OF GOD, HE must have been raised in Synagogue School. His Parents took him on Saturday.
3. ISAIAH wrote, “This is what the LORD says: “To the eunuchs who keep MY Sabbaths, who choose what pleases ME and hold fast to MY covenant -- to them I will give within MY temple and its walls a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will not be cut off. And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD to serve HIM, to love the Name of the LORD, and to worship HIM, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to MY covenant -- these I will bring to MY holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on MY altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations (56: 4-7).”
4. What’s the point? Those that honor the Sabbath, those that keep God’s covenant, those that bind themselves to the Lord and serve HIM, who love the Name of the Lord and worship Him, Those that don’t desecrate the Sabbath, THESE THE LORD WILL BLESS, THESE WILL FIND JOY IN HIS TEMPLE, THESE GOD WILL HEAR WHEN THEY PRAY, AND ACCEPT THEIR SACRIFICES!
5. WORSHIP IS A VERB AND PRAYER IS THE WORK AND LIFE OF A BELIEVER! IF WE WANT GOD TO HONOR OUR PRAYERS THEN WE MUST FIRST TURN FROM OUR SECULAR MINDSET TO THAT OF THE HOLY, SET APART FOR GOD! IT IS ABOUT A RELATIONSHIP!
Reorientation is going from a secular mindset to a sacred mindset. That’s how Jesus lived!