Summary: Jesus' passion was thatGod's house be a place where anyone and everyone could connect with God.
20120311 3rd Sunday in Lent B
Lenten Series: The Crosses of Lent
Series Key Verse: I want to know Christ and experience the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His suffering, becoming like Him in His death, and so somehow, to attain the resurrection from the dead. Philippians 3:10-11
Title: The Cross of Passion… Passion for People!
Thesis: Jesus’ passion was that God’s house be a place where anyone and everyone could connect with God.
When a person is passionate about something, that person puts more time, attention and energy into it. It is more than just enthusiasm. Passion moves a person to invest their whole heart, mind, body and soul into something.
Doomsday Prepping is the current hot trend in our country. Doomsday Preppers are among the most passionate of the passionate. They are so convinced that a period of chaos is coming that they are passionately driven to prepare for that day. There is a company in Nebraska that specializes in building and installing full-scale bunker homes that are buried in a secret place where a family may escape the societal or cultural unrest and hole-up for a lengthy period of time. The bunker is equipped with water and sewage systems, solar generator systems, a ventilation system, living areas, a stash of gold or silver for bartering, weapons, a security camera system and storage facilities sufficient to store enough food for a family to live from three months to a number of years. The entrances are so well-built that even plastic explosive charges cannot blow them open.
Preppers are determined to protect themselves, their families and their cache of food and water from anyone and everyone at all costs when the world goes all post-apocalyptic and the imaginations of those who created Mad Max, The Postman, and The Road come true.
I can immediately think of several flaws in the plan but never-the-less, Doomsday Preppers are passionate people who truly believe and act on their convictions.
Despite the fact that passion can be skewed, passion is a good thing generally and it works well for sports and hobbies, the entrepreneurial spirit and makes for wonderfully loving relationships.
But passion can also be a very bad thing. Passion makes for hatred in politics. Passion makes for extremist views. Passion drives people to public displays of over-the-top reactions. Passion makes people do crazy, scary things. Passion can manifest itself in outrage and anger. This past week while driving down Sheridan, at the Highway 36 intersection I observed a driver roar around a car in front of him and immediately swerve back in front of that car, stop, jump out and run back to the driver he had just passed threatening all manner of bodily injury. Road rage is unleashed and out of control passion.
This morning we are looking at a passage of scripture wherein we see an entirely new side of Jesus. We see a very passionate Jesus who was driven to express righteous indignation. Jesus was angry but not road rage angry.
So what kind of stuff made Jesus mad and who did he get mad at?
In Mark 3:11-6 there is a story about an incident in which Jesus healed a man on the Sabbath. The Old Testament Law dictated that Jesus was not supposed to do any work on the Sabbath and so in the minds of his critics… Jesus had worked on the Sabbath by doing an act of healing. (Imagine you are desperately ill and when you go to the emergency room you are told, “I’m sorry, it’s the Sabbath so we can’t help you until tomorrow.”)
It says that Jesus looked at them angrily, because he was deeply disturbed by their hard hearts. Mark 3:5 So Jesus was angry at the religious leaders who would rather he obeyed the Sabbath than do a loving thing for a sick man.
I don’t know that we ever see Jesus directing his anger at sinners for sinning. But he does direct and express his anger toward some religious people. But he was able to do it in keeping with God’s Word which teaches, “In your anger, do not sin.” Ephesians 4:26 It is possible to be passionately angry without sinning. The indignation Jesus felt and expressed was directed at sin, evil and injustice.
Our text today gives us insight into what it was that mattered to Jesus.
I. Jesus is more concerned about religion than politics, i.e., he went to the temple not the Roman seat of government or authority in Jerusalem.
Last week when we referred to a conversation Jesus had with his disciples wherein he asked who other people thought he was and they replied, “Some say, ‘Moses,’ some say ‘John the Baptist,’ some say ‘Elijah’ and some say, ‘one of the prophets.’” Then he asked them, “Who do you say that I am?” And Peter said, “You are the Messiah, the Holy One of God.”