Summary: Part two of a discussion of Jesus’ words and actions in the temple area following the Triumphal Entry.
Temple Attitudes – Part 2
June 8, 2008
NOTE: THE ME/WE/GOD/YOU/WE FORMAT USED IN MY MESSAGES IS BORROWED FROM ANDY STANLEY’S BOOK, "COMMUNICATING FOR A CHANGE."
Me: I usually have very little trouble submitting to authority.
Usually, I’m a pretty compliant guy. I try to respect my bosses, and my District Superintendent.
But there was one person who had authority over me when I worked for Pizza Hut, lo those many years ago in Brookings back in the late 80’s.
I was a lowly Shift Supervisor, but I thought I was pretty cool because I got to wear the vest and tie that they and the restaurant manager got to wear.
You know you need to get a life when you get excited about wearing polyester that smells like greasy food even after it’s been washed, know what I mean?
Anyway, back to the story.
We got two new Assistant Managers, and they were over us little Shift Supervisors.
I got along fairly well with one of them, but the other person and I didn’t get along well at all.
In fact, it would be safe to say that when we looked at the weekly schedule and saw that we were working together, our blood would begin to boil right there.
I literally begged the other Assistant Manager to work us at different times or when she or the Manager could be there to be a buffer between us.
I gotta tell you – she was very tough to work with.
She had her degree in restaurant management, but knew absolutely nothing about what it took to run a Pizza Hut.
I, on the other hand, had been there for about a year and had worked my way up from cooking and washing dishes, to waiting tables, and now had this position.
Which I wasn’t all that good at, to tell you the truth. But that’s beside the point.
The point is that I had a horrible time submitting to this person’s authority. And it hindered our work together.
We: Anybody else here had a situation like that?
Maybe some of you are going through something like that now, and you’re thinking, “Thanks a lot, Brian – I was finally able to relax over the weekend and you go and remind me of what’s waiting for me tomorrow.”
Authority is something we all struggle with from time to time, especially when it comes with the authority that God wants to have in our lives.
We’re kind of the opinion that God can take care of His stuff and we’ll take care of ours.
The only problem with that is that since God made everything, He actually owns it, and that means that He has authority over it.
But when it comes to letting God have authority in our lives, we want to hold back. Right?
God: Authority is one of the emphases in this episode of Jesus’ life during His last week on earth before His death.
I think you’ll see that as we work our way through the passage.
Matthew 21:12-17 (p. 698) –
12 Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 "It is written," he said to them, "’My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it a ’den of robbers.’"
Last time we focused on verses 12-13, and we looked at three facts:
* The main issue Jesus was addressing was the extortion of the pilgrims.
Those coming to Jerusalem without animals to sacrifice for Passover were being ripped off by the moneychangers and the animal merchants.
* The temple is not the church building; the temple is you and me.
The temple is made up of people – all those who have put their faith in Jesus and follow Him.
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.
I said that there is no mention in Scripture of “God’s house” being a church building. And that the phrase “house of God” is the same way. It is never used in the New Testament as a mention of a church building or church property.
* The temple should be a house of prayer.
In other words, this temple should be characterized by our conversation – our relationship with God.
And the point I tried to make about all of this was that we need to keep ourselves – this temple from being robbed.
In other words, making sure we guard our temple from those things that would take away from our love and service to Christ.