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04/03/2018: Cleaning Up! Clearing out!

Call to Worship

Psalm 19: 7-9

7 The law of the Lord is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
8 The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
9 The fear of the Lord is pure,
enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
and all of them are righteous.

Gospel Reading

John 2:13-25

Jesus Clears the Temple Courts
13 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” 17 His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”
18 The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”
19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”
20 They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” 21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.
23 Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. 24 But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. 25 He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person.

Bible Readings: New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Study Questions

  1. While reading this story let your imagination guide you. The following might be helpful tools to use to more fully understand what was going on:
  • What is the story about? 
  • Why did it happen? 
  • Who is involved in the drama? 
  1. Is there any verse in particular that “jumps out at you”? Why did it catch your attention? 
  1. In verse 19 Jesus set the table for further confrontation with the Jewish leaders. What did he claim he could do? 
  1. In verses 20-22, John wrote that the disciples, after Jesus’ death and resurrection, understood Jesus had been talking about his body as the temple, and not a building. The Apostle Paul, years later wrote:

19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;20 you were bought at a price. Therefore, honour God with your bodies. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) 

How do you feel about being told your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit?

  1. What does that statement mean to you with regards to how…;
  • How you see yourself? 
  • How you see other people? 
  1. Do you believe that “All People Matter” to God? 
  1. The Good News of the Cross is for you – “You Matter to God”! Wow! How do you feel, and respond, to that statement? 
  1. A Practical Lent Exercise. Let this Lent be a time for God to “Clean up… and Clear out” your life! If Jesus were standing in your life, not with a whip made of rope; but with a broom, what would he want to sweep away?
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