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Trouble in the Temple - Part B

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The Truth Network Radio
July 17, 2022 6:00 am

Trouble in the Temple - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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July 17, 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!


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 resurrection. He wants his disciples to have even more belief in him. Listen to this from Skip Heitzig. Get the tips and tools you need to open your eyes, mind and heart to God's truth.

You don't have to be afraid of the one. Get your copy of how to study the Bible and enjoy it by Skip Heitzig today when you give online securely at slash offer or call 800-922-1888. We resume our study of John chapter two today. So turn there in your Bibles as Skip Heitzig continues with this message.

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. Sort of like going to the movies.

Gosh, at 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, Enclosed 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 collect them.

I've sort of run out of room, so I don't do it as much. But here's one that says, 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. 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. Enclosed is my Christmas miracle seed faith gift.

I like that term. And then I saw 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 10,000 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 got to 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 seventeen hundreds, 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 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 three, Jesus looked around at them with anger, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts. Much later, he'll confront a group of scribes and Pharisees.

It's fascinating because he doesn't go now, guys, we have a few little differences between us. What he says to them is this, and I quote, woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites, you snakes, brood of vipers. How will you escape being condemned to hell? That's Jesus, gentle Jesus, meek and mild, looking upon the little child. In the Book of Revelation, which is a description of the great future outpouring of God's final wrathful judgment upon the earth. That phrase is used throughout the Book of Revelation, the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. It's interesting in Chapter six, they cry to the rocks, the mountains, and they say, hide us from the wrath of the Lamb.

Doesn't that sound like an oxymoron? Have you ever seen a wrathful lamb? Well, here the Lamb of God comes as the Lion of Judah with all authority. And we have a preview of that in the Temple of Jerusalem. So the disciples are watching this, and when they see this and they hear this, it triggers a memory. A messianic psalm comes to mind.

Psalm 69 quoted here, zeal for your house has consumed me or has eaten me up. Verse 18, we have a confrontation with his enemies. They're really challenging his authority. The Jews answered him and said to him, what sign do you show to us? You know, you just showed them one since you do these things.

Now, this is a natural question for them to ask. Jesus just interfered with their whole sacrificial system. In effect, he temporarily put an end to the system of mosaic offerings, stopping the animal sacrifices.

It was the very heart of their nation. This would be the equivalent of Billy Graham walking into a church and walking up to the pulpit and shredding a King James Bible. Can you imagine that?

Whoa! He just stopped their sacrifices. Now, they are challenging his authority. They want a sign.

They want something further. And the reason they're challenging Jesus' authority is because Jesus just sidestepped their authority. He didn't go to them first.

He didn't get permission. He just walked right into the temple and cleaned house. Now, I can't prove it, but I am very certain in my heart that these leaders who, by the way, they knew their own scriptures. They must have thought back to a prediction that comes from the book of Malachi Chapter three.

I'll read it to you. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. Even the messenger of the covenant, and he will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver.

He will purify the sons of Levi, that's the priesthood, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer to the Lord an offering in righteousness. I'm sure that that just went, boom, clicked. And so they want to know. They want some clarification, identification. Give us a sign.

Give us something that we can hang our hats on. And there's something else. Jesus referred to the temple as not our Father's house, but my Father's house. My Father. He is staking his claim as having a unique relationship with the Heavenly Father that they did not have.

It is my Father's house. And so this is the sign in the temple. And now Jesus will speak of an even greater sign, the sign of the temple, the ultimate sign.

Let's look at that. Verse 19. Jesus answered and said to them, destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.

If you and I would have been there, we wouldn't have gotten it either. Unless there were an editorial note given us by John in verse 21. Verse 20 says, the Jews said, it's taken 46 years to build this temple.

Will you raise it up in three days? But, verse 21, he was speaking of the temple of his body. We call this a riddle, a double entendre.

Something that can be understood in two completely different ways, like WC, WC. Depends on who's doing the listening and the talking. The Lord often did this with parables. He said to his disciples, now I'm speaking in parables so that those who are hostile to me won't get it, but those who are open and honest and want me to reveal, I'll reveal it deeper to them.

So it will close the eyes of those who are hostile and it will open the eyes of those who are seeking me. Now something about the temple. They're going, wait a minute, 46 years. It took from 19 B.C. to almost 70 A.D. It was about 63, 64 A.D. that the temple was completed, then it was destroyed. But at this point it had taken 46 years to build what was there.

Now some of you are thinking, I'd get a new building contractor at that point. That's a long project. Massive stones. Understand that Herod the Great decided that he was going to take the entire temple mountain and level it. So he took the old temple of Zerubbabel from the captivity, post captivity, decided I'm going to make this thing awesome. He put a wall around the mountain. He put fill dirt around that.

So he created a 36 acre flat platform for the temple to stand on in the buildings. If you come with us to Jerusalem, you'll walk on that platform still intact. Massive. So they're going, 46 years. It went like this. Right over their heads. Destroy this temple. And the disciples heard it and went.

And for three years they didn't get it. It says in verse 22. Therefore when he had risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this to them.

I have a question. Why did Jesus speak of his body in this cryptic way? Why did he use the double entendre?

The WC analogy. Why didn't he just come right out and say, okay, you want a sign? Here's the ultimate sign. You're going to kill me and I'm going to rise from the dead three days later. Remember that I said that to you. Why did he say destroy this temple?

Now listen carefully. To the Jews, the symbol of God's presence to them was the temple. What Jesus is saying is I, the unique son of God, the logos, and the actual presence of God among you.

That's what he was saying. I am the presence of God among you in flesh. I am Emmanuel, God with us. Later on Jesus will predict the same thing.

They'll say, show us a sign. This is the Matthew's gospel. He will say, an evil, a wicked generation seeks after a sign. No sign will be given except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights, the son of man will be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights. The resurrection.

I want to touch on something just quickly. Because somebody will ask, why is the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, physical resurrection, such a big deal? Why is it so essential that you Christians hold to the bodily resurrection?

Because it means everything. If Jesus doesn't rise physically from the dead, his credibility is shot. The resurrection proved who he was because he predicted that he would rise from the dead many times.

Many times. If he didn't do it, he's a liar. His credibility is gone. There was a so-called theologian who said, it wouldn't hurt my faith one bit if they found the bones of Jesus. I don't know what kind of faith he has, but it would decimate my faith totally if they found the bones of Jesus.

Everything rests upon it. That's why the New Testament preachers all kept the resurrection at the center of all of their sermons. It's the credibility of Christ. Not only that, but it proves that I'm going to rise again from the dead as well. If Jesus can do it, and he would always say, if you believe in me, you'll live forever.

I'll raise you up on the last day. All of that promise is hinged upon his physical bodily resurrection. Look at the last verse where we close. Verse 22. It just says, the sign in the temple brought a negative reaction by his enemies.

The sign of the temple, that is his resurrection, brings a positive reaction from his friends. Therefore, when he had risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he said this to them. And they believed the scripture and the word which Jesus had said. Now, you know, these disciples weren't seminary PhDs. They were blue-collar fishermen. They had calloused hands. They were workers. But they were Jewish fishermen who had at least a little bit of working knowledge of scripture. And now they're developing a worldview. They're remembering. It's just like when he was in the temple and he whipped them out. They remembered Psalm 69. Deal for your houses.

Eat me up. They're going to connect another dot in three years when Jesus rises from the dead. And they'll trust in him again.

Now, I want you to think about that. Jesus said something that those disciples wouldn't get for three years. All I can say is Jesus is sure patient. He knew they wouldn't get it for three years. And he doesn't drag them outside the temple and goes, don't you guys get it? You guys got to get this now. You got to understand this right now. He just set it, let it go, knowing in three years it'll snap. What that tells me is God is so gracious that he lets us grow at our own pace.

He lets us grow at our own pace. Have you ever read through the Bible and you've read the passage several times and then suddenly it's like, I get it. I never saw that before. That's awesome. I never noticed that before. That happens to me all the time. God lets us grow at our own pace.

Patience. Now, compare verse 11 with verse 22 because that's really the heart of this series. In verse 11, which is at the marriage supper of Cana after the waters turned into wine, we noticed last time, this is the beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee and manifested his glory and his disciples believed in him. Verse 22, therefore when he had risen from the dead his disciples remembered that he had said this to them and they believed the scripture and the word which Jesus had said. Boy, it's a great day when you start believing the power of scripture. When you start saying, not only do I believe in Jesus, but I believe that what is here is from the very mind and breath of God. And it's so freeing and it builds such confidence in the way we live. Now, the disciples are developing a biblical world view. They're starting to look at their life through the lens of scripture. Now, I don't know how you look at life or what lens you approach it with.

If it's the lens of popular culture or CNN or what people's opinions are, but it's a great day when you start looking at life through the lens of scripture and develop a biblical world view. It really is wonderful. One of my favorite little newspaper articles that I read was a reporter who was talking about survivors of tornadoes. And in one instance when a house was being shaken and they thought that it would be ripped up from its foundations, one of the women living in the house, so scared, she shouted out, Annie M!

Annie M! That's from the Wizard of Oz. She had so internalized the Wizard of Oz that that's the first thing that came out of her mind in her mouth. Wouldn't it be wonderful if our lives were so influenced by the Bible that when we are in a crisis, that's what comes out first, where we believe the scripture and the word which Jesus said. So that's equating his word with scripture in that verse.

I can't resist but thinking of something. Nicodemus, I believe, was in that crowd. He'll show up in chapter 3. He'll want to talk to Jesus, but I'm sure as one of the representatives, the teachers of the law, he was there that day in the temple and he knew all about Jesus and he saw that commotion. Beautiful thought. Now you know the Bible talks about another temple and that temple is you and me. 1 Corinthians chapter 3, do you not know that you are the temple of God and the Spirit of God dwells in you? So here we are housing the Holy Spirit of God in these physical bodies called the temple. But we all know that our temples can get cluttered, that life can crowd in around us and we can take certain activities into our lives that aren't pleasing to God and they need to be purified, they need to be purged. 2 Corinthians 6 says, what union can there be between God's temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. So if you are discovering today that your life, your temple is being crowded out and you're not worshiping God like you should and devoted to God like you should, that your temple has been crowded, needs to be cleaned, cleansed, purged, I know just the one who can do that and it is Jesus. Never is the old axiom of change is good more true than when that change comes from Jesus. With Jesus you can be sure that change will happen, that it will be lasting and that it will be very good.

That's all the time we have for today. But for now, here's a unique opportunity to grow in your knowledge of the Lord. Going to church is a great way to learn about God. But what if you want to learn more?

Go deeper. Calvary College offers classes in biblical studies, courses like Worldview Apologetics. Learn how to defend your faith on your schedule, take evening classes on campus or online and transfer credits to Calvary Chapel University or Veritas International University for an accredited college degree that will impact your spiritual life for the rest of your life. Apply now at If you'd like a copy of today's teaching, it's available on CD for just $4 plus shipping when you contact us at 1-800-922-1888 or when you visit Next time we'll discuss one of the scariest words in the dictionary, commitment. So I hope you can commit to joining us right here in Connect with Skip weekend edition, a presentation of Connection Communications. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the cross and cast all burdens on His word. Make a connection, a connection, a connection. Connecting you to God's never changing truth in ever changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-23 11:56:36 / 2023-03-23 12:05:18 / 9

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