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Trouble in the Temple - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
July 10, 2022 6:00 am

Trouble in the Temple - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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July 10, 2022 6:00 am

A hymn by Charles Wesley begins, "Gentle Jesus, meek and mild, look upon a little child..." It’s a beautiful song with a beautiful thought. However, Jesus is anything but gentle and mild in John chapter two. Here in the temple at Jerusalem, He displays His righteous anger as He overturns tables and beats the religious businesspeople with whips! But Jesus was using this trouble in the temple to predict a greater sign—the triumph of His own physical temple—His bodily resurrection!

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Now, both of these signs, the sign that He performs in the temple of driving them out, and the sign that He predicts of the temple, His resurrection, are both very important signs, and they are related to each other. It's really all about believing, believing, believing. John includes this story because he wants to show us how what happened in the temple caused his disciples to have even more belief in Him.

Welcome to Connect with Skip Weekend Edition. I don't know if you heard this or not, but a couple of years back there was a study done that showed shampoos can make you fat. Now, don't panic because that isn't true.

There are chemicals and various products that we use that can have an adverse effect on our hormones, but in no way will using shampoo make you fat. We all hear outrageous claims such as that on a regular basis, which is why it's so important to check facts. Well, Jesus made an extremely outrageous claim, and many are ready to discount it without ever checking the facts. We'll continue today in John Chapter 2, so as you turn there, we'll join Skip Heitzig as he shares how sometimes people have a little trouble communicating. Have you ever had a conversation with somebody where you're speaking one thing, but they're hearing something entirely different? No, my wife and I do this all the time, and one of the worst examples of that is the time when Nathan was just a little guy, and it was the fall festival, and he was dressed up in his biblical costume, and we were to meet at Dion's before coming to the church. So I heard her say Dion's Pizza, and I even asked her which one, because in this town there are several of them, and I was certain I heard the right one. But I went to Dion's Pizza, and she wasn't there. She went to a different outlet, and I wasn't there. So the whole time she's there with Nathan thinking about me, how insensitive this guy is.

He won't even show up to see his own son in his costume. And then I'm at the other Dion's going, I can't believe how insensitive she is. She called me and told her to meet her. I've ordered the pizza.

Nobody's here. The words Dion's Pizza in our minds meant two different locations. One of the most humorous examples of this was an English girl who wanted to go to school at a Swiss Christian school. She visited the place.

She decided she would relocate to Switzerland from England, but she wrote the schoolmaster asking for some more information. In her letter she said, when I was on your grounds I did not see the restroom. Of course, in England the restroom goes by the initials WC, which means water closet.

That's restroom. So she asked for the WC. I noticed there wasn't a WC in the dorms or nearby.

Well, in Switzerland it doesn't mean the same thing. WC in this Swiss schoolmaster's mind, he couldn't figure out what it meant. And his English wasn't very proficient, so he showed her letter to the school chaplain. And the only thing they could come up with was that WC must be a reference to the famous West Side Chapel, which wasn't far from their grounds.

So he writes a letter back to this young lady looking for the restroom with this letter. My dear madam, I take great pleasure in informing you that the WC is situated nine miles from the house in the center of a beautiful grove of pine trees surrounded by lovely grounds. It's capable of holding 229 people. It's open on Sundays and Thursdays only. As there are a great number of people expected during the summer months, I suggest that you come early. Although there is usually plenty of standing room.

It may be of some interest for you to know that my daughter was married in the WC and it was there that she met her husband. I can remember the rush there was for seats. There were 10 people to every seat usually occupied by one. It was wonderful to see the expressions on their faces. You will be glad to hear that a good number of people bring their lunch and make a day of it.

While those who cannot afford to go by car arrive just on time. I would especially recommend that you go on Thursday when there is a piano accompaniment. The acoustics are excellent and even the most delicate sounds are heard everywhere. The newest addition is a bell donated by a wealthy resident of the district.

It rings every time a person enters. I can't go on. That's the gist of the letter. Well she meant something very different than what he heard. Same initials, two different meanings. We have some of that same situation going on in John chapter 2 over a word that is mentioned five times. It's the word temple. Five times in our paragraph the temple is spoken about. Two more times the word house which refers to the physical historical building when Jesus said my father's house that is mentioned twice. So seven times all together there's a reference to the temple but two of those times when Jesus uses the term he's not speaking of the physical historical building he's speaking of his physical body which will rise from the dead.

So we have two things going on here and you'll see where it breaks up. We have a sign that Jesus does in the temple of Jerusalem but he speaks about the ultimate sign of his temple, his body resurrected from the grave. Let's look in verse 12 and we'll pick up our story.

After this he went down to Capernaum. He, his mother, and his brother and his brothers and his disciples and he did not stay many days there. Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand and Jesus went up to Jerusalem and he found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves and money changers doing business. When he made a whip of cords he drove them out of the temple with the sheep and the oxen and poured out the changers money and overturned the tables and he said to those who sold doves take these things away do not make my father's house a house of merchandise. Then his disciples remembered that it was written zeal for your house has eaten me up and so the Jews answered and said to him what sign do you show to us since you do these things and Jesus answered and said to him them destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up and the Jews said it has taken 46 years to build this temple will you raise it up you raise it up in three days but he was speaking of the temple of his body therefore when he had risen from the dead his disciples remembered and they believed what he had said to them and they believed the scripture and the word which Jesus had said.

The Jews are thinking purely of construction. Jesus changes the conversation to speak of resurrection. Now both of these signs the sign that he performs in the temple of driving them out and the sign that he predicts of the temple his resurrection are both very important signs and they are related to each other.

It's really all about believing, believing, believing. John includes this story because he wants to show us how what happened in the temple caused his disciples to have even more belief in him. Now I don't know how you have pictured Jesus in the past that is physically but if you were to go by the western portrayals and the little cards that portray Jesus in the last 100 years you might idea that he was some kind of thin scrawny puny effeminate little man until you read this story and you see one human being with a whip driving a whole group out single-handedly including their animals and you think this guy is a man he is a man's man and he is angry. I'm sure that at this point his disciples were thinking they just started following him this guy is unpredictable you never know what's going to happen when he's around they go from the marriage supper at Cana where he brings joy and he sits around the table joyfully to now anger where he's overturning the tables in Jerusalem. I find it interesting really because this is the first public appearance on spiritual grounds he was at a wedding supper in Cana but now he's in the temple of Jerusalem where everybody's watching and the first thing he does is not teach them the bible or give them nice words about love and grace and mercy the first thing he does in a public launch is to beat with a whip those who are merchandising in the temple of Jerusalem it's a very intriguing story well let's begin with verses 13 and 14 and just think about the passion that Jesus has for God's holiness and reverence now he's speaking about the temple in Jerusalem the historical temple now the Passover of the Jews was at hand and Jesus went up to Jerusalem and he found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves and the money changers doing business Passover was the greatest of all of the Jewish feasts it commemorated them being delivered out of Egypt if you were male and you were Jewish and you lived within 15 miles of Jerusalem you were required to be there every single Passover at that temple that's a requirement but beyond the requirement if you were Jewish at all it would be your lifelong dream even if you lived in the far corners of the world to go at least once and celebrate Passover in the great city of Jerusalem that is why even to this day at the end of the Passover meal the Seder feast the glass is raised and everyone says next year in Jerusalem that's their hope to celebrate in Jerusalem and what it means is pilgrims from everywhere were streaming into that city so Jesus leaves Capernaum and starts the 90-mile walk south with his disciples to Jerusalem the roads would have been crowded and the closer he got to Jerusalem they would be congested because people from everywhere came to that one city Flavius Josephus the Jewish historian tells us that during one Passover season alone during this time they slaughtered 256,000 lambs in the temple and the going rate of people to lambs was 10 people to one lamb typically so there could have been two and a half million people in Jerusalem during this feast now space was limited what that meant is if you owned a home in Jerusalem you would open it up to visitors and it was forbidden for you to charge rent so you'd always have visitors in the home if you lived in Jerusalem Jesus often stayed with Lazarus Martha and Mary just on the other side of the Mount of Olives but if you got to Jerusalem early enough a lot of people would camp around the temple like the tribes of Israel did around the tabernacle just to do it if you were to walk through the streets of the city you'd hear songs being sung stories being told riddles and word games being played if you were to go to into a synagogue four weeks before the Passover on week four three two and one they would always be talking about the significance of the Passover season just to bolster their faith and get people ready if you were to walk into a Jewish home during that time the women were busy cleaning the pots and the pans and sewing the clothes and getting rid of the leaven that would be in the house Passover lasted one day it was on the 14th day of Nissan the Jewish calendar but it was followed by another feast kept for seven days called the festival of unleavened bread so it was an eight-day feast and I'm sharing all of that with you because I want you to know this was a huge deal and there were lots of people watching this event happen more people met more profit the businesses in Jerusalem would flourish during this week and even those who have a business in the temple verse 14 highlights that Jesus found in the temple those who saw Jesus in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves and the money changers doing business now that little phrase those who sold in the Greek language has a definite article and it's literally tus polluntas the sellers and it speaks of an identifiable group of people that were well known in Jerusalem everybody knew about these guys this is how it would work let's say you came from a couple hundred miles away it's taken you a long time to get there well you're not going to drag animals with you the whole way you're just going to buy one there to sacrifice so they were ready for you you'd come in the temple and they would say we have an app for that you need a lamb we got the app we got one right here you can't afford the lamb you need a dove we got an app for that and then you had to exchange your money because foreign money was not accepted in the temple you had to have the half shackle the temple shackle or the Galilean called the Tyrian shackle because of the weight of silver so you had to take your money and exchange it well there was a fee for that and the fee was two hours of a working man's wage of a daily wage two hours of that wage just to exchange money and for every half shekel that they gave you change in exchange for larger coins was another two hours of a day's wage so you could end up costing you an entire day's wage just to make money exchange in the temple not only that but rabbinic literature tells us that the inspectors yes there were animal inspectors to make sure your animal was clean and rejected if it was unclean they spent 18 months on a farm learning how to distinguish clean from unclean or animals that were once clean but that became unclean you see how that would work you would bring a clean animal to be sacrificed and you had it inspected but these inspectors would look it over and go oh i'm sorry this isn't quite the right sacrifice we found a flaw i don't see a flaw we'll look right here it's microscopic but i can see it you can't i've been trained they would reject it so here's the picture all these people are coming to worship god with pure hearts and they're being charged an arm and a leg to worship god they're not permitted into the temple unless they exchange the money and have one of these animals so it's sort of like going to the movies cost you 10 bucks for the movie but 250 bucks for popcorn and a coke so jesus comes to the temple it is a religious zoo in that temple it's a charade it's a circus it's like the psychological traps that are still used for making money for certain ministries you know they'll write you a personal letter and have your name in it and then they'll begin the letter dear so-and-so i was thinking of you this week the lord laid you on my heart and i've been praying specifically for you they don't know you from adam and then they'll say and close is a little prayer cloth put it on your head and believe and you'll be healed or pour oil on your head and you'll be healed and of course send their special offering for that i get a bunch of these i've gotten them over the years i i collect them um i've sort of run out of room so i don't do it as much but here's one that says uh and i won't turn it around so you can see who it is you might not be surprised but it says candlelight miracle request on december 24th christmas eve we will light a red miracle candle and release our faith for your christmas miracle request faith for your christmas miracle request and you just check off what you need you can check off and here's boxes a new home a sleeping disorder deliverance from a habit oh and by the way at the bottom you check this off and close is my christmas miracle seed faith gift boy they like that term and then i sow this in jesus name expecting a miracle well what comes with that is a little blurb that says in the letter they send with it the word of god also says one can put a thousand to flight and two can put ten thousand to flight mixing your faith and actions with that of miracle believing partners in parenthesis my dad and i makes your prayers 10 times more powerful i bet you didn't know that your prayers would be 10 times more effective if you just sent them that money it's a sham and jesus comes to the temple and finds that these people aren't allowed to worship without this nonsense so verse 15 when he had made a whip of cords he drove them all out of the temple with the sheep and the oxen and poured out the changers money and overturned the tables he didn't bring a whip with him it wasn't like he had this all prepared a bullwhip was in the back pocket he just found cords lying on the temple where the animals were bound with and he just started making a cord of whips and he went after them he's angry now you gotta know something jesus didn't have an anger issue he didn't require anger management classes no he was exercising his rightful authority as messiah over his father's house this is righteous indignation and did you know that the bible actually commands us to be angry but sin not and here's an example of and it's a great example it highlights something that is typically overlooked by most even most of us don't want to acknowledge this attribute of god called his wrath but it's a theme not just in the old testament but runs all through the bible even into the new all the way to the book of revelation arthur w pink even says the bible includes more references to god's anger fury and wrath than it does to his love and tenderness in 1700s charles wesley penned a poem that became a song gentle jesus meek and mild look upon a little child well jesus is meek and mild and gentle if the person that he's dealing with is sincere honorable and penitent but when it comes to religious hypocrisy he is a hypocrisy he is not gentle jesus he's a lethal judge he's not gentle jesus when it comes to the holiness of god and here he's angry you remember that time when jesus goes to the synagogue it says in capernaum and there's a man there that has a paralyzed arm a withered hand some translations render it and as soon as jesus comes into the synagogue all the leaders are watching him and they wonder if he's going to heal on the sabbath because that'd be a no-no you can't heal on the sabbath like they could ever heal anybody but they're looking to see if jesus will heal on the sabbath the bible says in mark 3 jesus looked around at them with anger deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts you know people who have a picture of jesus being a very placid passive person obviously haven't closely read the bible if anything jesus was very passionate plenty of moments where that seemed like this episode in the temple we'll continue to explore what we can learn from it next time but for now here's something to help strengthen your relationship with god guinness world records has again confirmed that the bible is the best-selling book of all time research puts the number at up to 7 billion and portions of scripture have been translated into nearly 3 500 different languages but there's a big difference between having access to god's word and allowing it to change your life listen to this about practical bible study from Skip heitzig observation must lead to interpretation which must lead to application as somebody once put it if you want the meat it's in the street it's where you take the bible truths and you put shoe leather on them it's where the rubber meets the road you do what jesus said we want to increase the effectiveness of your personal bible study with Skip heitzig's book how to study the bible and enjoy it this practical guide is our way of thanking you when you give 25 or more to help keep this bible teaching ministry on the air get your copy today and take the mystery out of studying scripture call 800-922-1888 or give online securely at offer even jesus lost his temper every now and then and we'll continue to look at one example of that next time right here in connect with Skip weekend edition a presentation of connection communications. Connecting you to god's never changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-26 08:18:23 / 2023-03-26 08:26:32 / 8

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