07/03/2021 | CLEANING UP & CLEARING OUT

READING: John 2 v 13-22

13 It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration, so Jesus went to Jerusalem. 14 In the Temple area he saw merchants selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifices; he also saw dealers at tables exchanging foreign money. 15 Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the money changers’ coins over the floor, and turned over their tables. 16 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!”
17 Then his disciples remembered this prophecy from the Scriptures: “Passion for God’s house will consume me.”
18 But the Jewish leaders demanded, “What are you doing? If God gave you authority to do this, show us a miraculous sign to prove it.”
19 “All right,” Jesus replied. “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
20 “What!” they exclaimed. “It has taken forty-six years to build this Temple, and you can rebuild it in three days?” 21 But when Jesus said “this temple,” he meant his own body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered he had said this, and they believed both the Scriptures and what Jesus had said.

Warm Up Questions:
1. Have you ever cleaned out, cleared up, an overgrown garden? If so was it a gentle process? Did you have a plan in mind of what might be planted or built in the newly “cleared space”?
2. Have you ever watched a farmer ploughing a field? If so was it a gentle process for the soils and the environment? Do you think the farmer, during the act of ploughing, might already have an idea in mind of what will be done with the newly ploughed field?

QUESTIONS:

1. At what time of the Jewish religious year did this event in John 2 take place? (see vs. 13). Why is it important to remember this fact while reading the story?
2. Why was the business of buying and selling in the Temple taking place (vs.14)?
3. Why did Jesus react in the manner that he did (vs.15-16)?
4. Do you feel the reaction of the priests and leaders was legitimate?
5. Do you believe Jesus was correct in taking on the religious establishment in such a public and confrontational manner?
6. What is the point of this story?
7. If we take this story, today, as a metaphor for our lives – as our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) – is there something in your life, or something about your lifestyle that Jesus might find “offensive” and need to “clean out or drive out” of your life? What might that be?

The intention of these questions is not to leave us feeling as if we are under a cloud of divine threat or Godly judgement, but rather to remind us that the season of Lent is a reminder that we all need to change. Each of us needs regular “spiritual” cleaning out! Prayerfully consider what the Lord might be saying to you – is this the time to make a change?

God bless,
Rev. Tim

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