Summary: John gives us the elements of worship that Jesus expects.
WHAT JESUS WANTS IN WORSHIP
INTRO: What do you want when you go to worship? People want a particular size of congregation, a special kind of building, a unique order of worship, and personal preferences of elements for the worship. Think for a moment what you like when you go to worship.
What did Jesus want when He attended worship? John recorded one of Jesus’ visits to the Temple. The Master disliked what He observed, and He cleansed the Temple. From this event in Jesus’ ministry, we can see what He wants in worship.
I. JESUS WANTS RELATIONSHIP ALONG WITH RITUAL.
The Jews practiced religious business without a sense of the presence of God. They prayed, offered sacrifices, and participated in religious festivals (see 1 Cor. 14: 40).
Worship involves an encounter with the Lord. Ritual of any type means little without a worshiper’s relationship with God.
We can get so caught up in our formality of worship that we fail to really worship!
II. JESUS WANTS DISCIPLINE OVER CONVENIENCE.
The Jews had lessened the requirements for Temple attendance. They offered inferior animals. Instead of raising their animals, places had been established in the outer court to purchase animals for sacrifice.
How can we be in danger of this? Accept anyone who wants to join without question — It doesn’t matter what your believe-just as long as you believe.
Genuine worship demands discipline. The question should not be, “How little can I do?” but “What can I do?”
III. JESUS WANTS SELF-GIVING INSTEAD OF SELF-SEEKING.
The religious activities in the Temple during Jesus’ day were to sell animals and to exchange money for a profit. Jesus said, “Make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise” (2:16b). Many served God for what they could get from it.
True worship serves God because He is God. True worshipers do not worship to get but to give.
The danger here is the power struggles most churches have. Some must have things their way or they won’t participate.
IV. JESUS WANTS INCLUSION RATHER THAN EXCLUSION.
The temple had an outer Court of Gentiles. God wanted His people to be a light to the nations. In this place of the Gentiles, they had erected places to exchange money and to sell animals. The sense of mission to the Gentiles had been lost.
Jesus wants sinners to be included in worship. When God’s people exclude others, worship needs to be reformed.
We are not too good for anyone who wishes to come and worship with us.
CONC: Instead of seeking what you want in worship, think of what Jesus wants in worship.