Summary: Why was Jesus so angry in the Temple? Is that anger valid in our situations?
John 2: 13 – 22 / Up To Jerusalem
Intro: Young man sat in church – lit up cigarette and smoked it – lady - “HOW DARE YOU! WE JUST DON’T DO THAT HERE!
I. It does seem out of place to smoke a cigarette in church. What else might seem “out of place” in worship?
A. Don’t sit in MY pew! --- Don’t applaud! --- Don’t raise your hands! --- You don’t come barefoot to church! Why not?
B. Jesus was out-raged at the behavior of those in the Court of Gentiles. It was the only place a non-Jew could even come close to God. People were being robbed of more than $.
C Are there religious practices and customs that get in the way of faith IN and worship OF God?
II. In the gospel lesson, Jesus goes up to Jerusalem and cleansed the Temple. “How dare you turn my father’s house into a market.” Jesus used a whip to de-clutter God’s house.
A. What is the first thing any good realtor tells you when you put your house on the market? - You need to de-clutter!
B. When I was a kid, I lived in a very structured home. If you didn’t use it, get rid of it. If you didn’t pick it up, it disappeared; that went for clothes or toys. Our house was never “cluttered.”
C. What if I gave you the opportunity to have a dumpster in your driveway for a week. How great it would be to have your own personal dumpster. You develop “dumpster fever.”
III. Are you that willing to de-clutter your life and your relationship with God? Jesus and the disciples went up to Jerusalem to observe the Passover, a religious celebration.
A. They could have just “blended in” with the crowd. But Jesus just couldn’t!
B. When Moses approached the burning bush “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” --- A sense of awe and reverence / people in the temple were more concerned with the bottom line / what will make money! What will be easiest for the visitors! They never thought, “What will give glory to God!”
C. Many in today’s churches are concerned with the bottom line, what will bring the people in, what will pay the bills? What can I get out of it? What about you? Why do you come to worship? Why have you “come up to Jerusalem?”
Conclu: Could it be that Jesus needs to overturn our hearts and set us straight on what is really important? What are our priorities? Are we so concerned and pre-occupied with our own comforts and our own needs as a church that we fail to reach out to the community around us? Does Christ Jesus have to come after us with a whip to get us to rethink our priorities? What sets us apart from the Lion’s Club or Kiwanas or any other social organization? --- We are a church! What does that mean? --- Our mission statement says we are to make disciples of others? --- What does that mean?