Our current series is focusing on living life in Christ through the Holy Spirit.
Repetitively we have seen, if we want to know what God is like we are to look at Jesus. God revealed Himself in the person and work of Jesus Christ
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
Jesus is the focus of revelation. If you want to see God, look at Jesus.
No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known. John 1:19
So far we have seen Jesus as…
The giver of true life. The eternal God who created life. The Word who breathes in us new life. The Word who reveals to us eternal life. Jesus, the Eternal Powerful Word, God, Creator of all who by nature and by his calling, is to be obeyed, submitted to.
Lamb of God God’s provision of sacrifice. He who takes away the sin of the world.
Source of new life
Master of intervening in life
Master of Grace
Master of Joy – Messiah
Why does John share all this with us…
…that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. John 20:31
As we continue our series in the Gospel of John, we see Jesus clean house.
Today we are going to see Jesus the Messiah as Judge and Redeemer.
The anger of Christ. Righteous anger. Zealous judgement.
Sacrifice that brings salvation. Redeemer.
As we believe that Jesus is the judge and the redeemer we respond with faith and true worship.
I don’t know if you have ever seen the programme on TV called Hoarders. As the name reflects, it is about people who are extreme hoarders and the people who their families get to come and help them clean house and break their habit of hoarding.
These people who have built up this wonderful home of treasures (junk/rubbish), find themselves invaded by a group who are going to clean house.
I wonder if our passage today could be an episode on the programme hoarders.
Our passage takes place at the temple in Jerusalem. The temple was the central point of Jewish worship and life. It was the place where the sacrifices took place. It was the gathering point for festivals. But more importantly, it was the dwelling place of God. It was a physical reminder of God’s presence in the midst of the people. God dwelt in the Holy of Holies within the temple.
The temple tracks back from the establishment of the tabernacle, the tent that the Israelites carried in the desert during Moses time. A portable temple where God would manifest his presence.
From there King Solomon built the first temple in Jerusalem. God dwelled with his people. After centuries of disobedience, Israel was conquered by Babylon and the temple was destroyed.
It was rebuilt under Ezra and Nehemiah. Later still, Herod the Great rebuilding the temple.
However, by the time of Jesus enters the temple, it has become more of a political and financial tool than a centre for faith.
And so we see the prophecy of Malachi starting to come to fruition
“I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty. But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap.
Jesus has come to clean house. He has come to clean out the treasures/rubbish, that has been built up by the temple leaders.
Jesus reveals himself as the righteous judge.
JESUS IS THE JUDGE
As Jesus enters the temple he finds corruption, dishonesty, hypocrisy, an empty religion. The temple affairs had become corrupted. In the courts of the gentiles they are selling animals and changing money for temple activities. Selling animals needed for sacrificial purposes. Money changes who can change any foreign money into the Jewish shekel which was the only currency able to be used in the Jewish temple.
This was big business. It was a revenue bringing operation. Priest would potentially only accept the animals purchased from the temple.
This was all happening in the court of the Gentiles. The very space that was to be used to teach the Gentiles about the law of God. The very space that was to focus on revealing the truth about God.
“I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” Isaiah 49:6
Instead it was being used as a market place.
So what did Jesus do? He cleared the whole area, by physical force.
Jesus reveals himself as the Messiah – the Judge. He is able and worthy, to judge what is right and what is wrong. What is ok to do in the temple and what is not.
Why? Because this is his Father’s house. His house. A place to meet with God. A place for both Jews and Gentiles to meet God.
Why? Because he is the creator.
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. John 1:3
As creator, he has all right to judge what he made. Humanity.
And Jesus finds it being misused. He finds it being corrupted and the focus off God and on material gain.
Jesus response. Righteous anger. Consumed with righteous anger. Consumed with a zeal for the house of God. Jesus was fervent in his protection of his Fathers house. He was jealously protective.
His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” John 2:17
A quote from Psalm 69:9