Today’s lesson is John 2:13-25. I am going to have you read it out of order. It will help to make sense of the context. Go ahead and read verses 23-25 first. We will look at these three verses first, then go back to verses 13-22. We see how Jesus prepares His disciples for what they will experience so that they will come to believe Scripture and what Jesus says is true.
INSIGHT: He makes use of every opportunity to reveal who He is. Keep your eyes looking up as you seek each day for Him.
Verses 23-25 says, “Because of the miraculous signs Jesus did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration, many began to trust in Him. But Jesus did not trust them because He knew all about people. No one needed to tell Him about human nature, for He knew what was in each heart.” Jesus understood that people were coming to trust Him as healer. He was doing something for them. They weren’t seeing Him as Savior and Lord.
INSIGHT: The human heart is self-serving. We look out for our own interests. Jesus knows this and He understands that we need rescuing from our own selves. The root of this is sin.
Keep this in mind as you read now read verses 13-22. The Passover celebration was coming up so Jesus went to Jerusalem. There would be many people in town for it. The Passover was the remembrance of when the Israelites were in Egypt and God spared all their first-born sons if they obeyed. You can read it in Exodus 12. Businesses saw this particular time to be advantageous; an increase in their own revenue. Are we not any different today?
When Jesus entered the Temple, “He saw merchants selling cattle and sheep and doves for sacrifices; He also saw dealers at tables exchanging foreign money.” Jesus was not pleased! So, “He made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple.” I had studied previously that Jesus stopping to make a whip was anger management. We need to stop and take some time to collect our thoughts before reacting in rage. This has been very helpful for me since anger is my nemesis. I have learned to step away and pray; to think before speaking.
Let’s continue, “He drove out the sheep and the cattle, scattered the money changers’ coins over the floor and turned over their tables. Then, going over to the people who sold doves, He told them, ‘Get these things out of here. Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!’” After hearing this, the disciples remembered the prophecy from Scripture, Psalm 69:9 says, “Passion for God’s house will consume me.”
It is vital to know Scripture. During times in your life, the Holy Spirit will use what you have come to know to help you. God leads His children in truth and we know truth is God’s Word. You would think the Jewish leaders would have an understanding of Scripture but having head knowledge only without a changed heart where Christ is Lord makes for a darkened soul. A religious soul who is in control of himself. They apparently agreed with the Temple being a marketplace for they questioned Jesus and demanded to know what He was doing! They wanted Jesus to prove that God gave Him the authority.
QUESTION: Again, the human heart is self-serving. One can have great head knowledge but the heart is the main operating system in a human. What is in the heart comes out. Matthew 15:18 says, “But the words you speak come from the heart – that’s what defiles you.” What sins reside in your heart? What causes you to be self-serving?
I so love how Jesus is bigger than puny man and his ways. “All right,” Jesus replied. “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” Jesus makes wise use of this opportunity to prepare people and reveal who He is. The Jewish leaders, unfortunately, missed what He was trying to tell them. They reasoned with their head knowledge of known facts. It took 46 years to build the Temple. How can one man rebuild it in three days? Jesus was referring to Himself and how He will raise from the dead in three days as He Himself will become the temple. A temple which resides inside regenerated hearts. He was preparing the disciples for what lies ahead.
QUESTION: How does your thinking and reasoning hinder what Jesus is trying to tell you? What is in your life that causes you to miss truth?
He came to earth to change the old way of walking with God; like you read in the Old Testament. He is the new way for life to be lived; thus we have the New Testament. He is our resurrected Savior! He conquered death and rose from it in three days! Religion is now rendered obsolete. A relationship with God Himself is now the new way. Man has access to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit at the same time! We are now united, like God intended, before sin entered the picture back in the garden. United in love.
QUESTION: Our sinful lives need house-cleaning. Are you willing to take out any trash (worldly ways) that isn’t honoring God? What do you idolize? Your career? Hobbies? Interests? Accomplishments? Attention? Your self perhaps?
For me food is an obstacle, especially sugary things. I greatly dislike serving sizes. I want more! When I need comfort or I am bored, I turn to food. Laziness is another culprit. I like things to be easy. So starting this blog and writing a book which will get published, are things that are not easy but God is walking with me. He has taught me much. Cleaning is another one of my quirks. I like things neat, tidy and in their place and I will center my time around keeping it as such.
Oh, how God has taught me to change priorities. He has led me to go beyond myself and do things that are not based on how I am wired, in what I am naturally good at like art. I stood up to lead Bible studies for women and tweens and teens. I mentored young mamas and wrote a book! And now I am blogging :O Who would have guessed it? I even wrote a Bible study on the book of Romans many years ago. Once we get through John, are you up for Romans?
Yes, God gave you interests and talents. But when Jesus enters your heart, you live for Him and not yourself. Your life becomes where He receives all the glory. This means He will call you to things that are contrary to your natural abilities and talents. I should be drawing and not writing. When my book is published, I will need to become a speaker and share God’s love to others so my book can get into more hands. Honestly, I want to hyperventilate over that. But I have learned who my God is through His Word and He has become my Rock, Redeemer, Savior and Lord. I can do what He calls me to do.
Today’s lesson is on God cleaning His house of unnecessary things that hinder people finding Christ. His presence is what we are seeking. Nothing more, nothing less. Our hearts need house cleaning. There is much trash that needs be thrown out. You will find beauty beyond your crammed garbage can. God will not leave you empty-hearted. HE WILL REPLACE within you better things, incredibly better things. You will experience joy. You will be satisfied. You will experience unity with those closest to you. There will be much happiness all around! It’s time to take out the trash!