Last week our studies in John 2 took us inside the Temple with Jesus and His disciples during the Passover week in His first year of public ministry. But, this visit inside the Temple courts took an unexpected turn. Instead of kneeling for prayer, Jesus knelt to tie together a whip of cords and proceeded to clean house! He was righteously angry that these courts in His Father’s house had been reduced to a kind of flea market. In this, we saw the real Jesus and His zeal for real worship. But, the scene wasn’t over. When the dust cleared, one of the guys who had just been run out of the Temple, steadied himself to challenge the authority of the Man with the whip. My friends, Jesus’ response to this challenge is remarkable and pregnant with meaning for us today.
TEXT: John 2:13-17. Let’s suppose that you were to survey a hundred random people with the following question: “what adjectives would you use to describe Jesus Christ.” My guess is that adjectives like loving, merciful, kind, forgiving, and gracious would be well represented. To be clear, they should be. However, a comprehensive study of the life of Christ helps the honest person to see that the list of adjectives to describe Him is much longer. In fact, the list includes adjectives that some might find surprising. One such adjective is front and center in our text. In John 2:13-17, Jesus is angry. We’ll see why Jesus is so angry and why His reaction is not only appropriate it’s also endearing.
As we open up chapter 2 of John’s gospel, we will see the first of seven signs that John records in chapters 1-12, whereby Jesus manifests His glory. It’s the Sign of Fine Wine =). Yes, this first manifestation of glory is familiar, but there may be more to it than you originally thought.
I trust you’ve had a good week and that you’re looking forward to another opportunity to gather together in worship of our great God! As we open His word together, we’ll be engaging John 1:19-34. In this opening act of the narrative of John’s Gospel, we’ll see a curious delegation of the religious establishment pay a visit to our friend, Jonny B. As they inquire about whether he is or claims to be “the One”, we’ll see both a denial and an affirmation. John the Baptist expressly denies his own importance and affirms the identity of the One who is. Friends, we can learn so much from him about how to engage people today – how to be a witness for Christ. Moreover, we will also have ample reason to stand in awe of our Savior again! Let’s get ready to worship as we “Behold the Lamb of God who comes to take away the sin of the world”!
Well, as we continue to make our initial descent into the Gospel of John, we’ll consider the latter half of the introduction (or prologue) to his record about Jesus. In a message we’ve titled “The Word and Witness,” we’ll consider the two characters verses 6-18 reveal. The first (the Witness) is an eccentric character whose aim is to draw our attention to the second (the Word). The “Word” is both the point of this passage and the ultimate point of all of human history. You see, the “Word” is a person…the revelation of God in Christ!