A House of Prayer for All Nations - Mark 11:15-18

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What heart lessons do we glean from Jesus cleansing of the Temple? …

What heart lessons do we glean from Jesus cleansing of the Temple?
Mark 11:15-18

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  • Source: http://www.welcometohosanna.com/JERUSALEM_TOUR/jerusalempics/Jerusalem_Jesus_time.jpg
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  • Jesus cleansing of the Temple happened twice in the gospels.At the beginning of Jesus ministry – John 2:13-17In the last week of his earthly ministry – Mark 11, Matthew 21:12-16, Luke 19:45-47.This happened during the Passover, one of the three festivals where animal sacrifices were to be made at the Temple.This event repeated twice reminds us of His life’s priority: to bring glory to God by removing hindrances from people to worship himIt also explains why the Temple officials, the high priests, were so upset with him and wanted him dead by the 2nd episode
  • Jerusalem Temple ≠ the local church or believers; but the body of Christ, the Church universal, now has superseded the Jerusalem Temple, with each believer himself/herself a temple of the Holy Spirit.The universal church as the body of Christ is God’s temple – 1 Cor. 3:16-17 (the community as a whole)
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  • Every believer is the temple of the Holy Spirit – 1 Cor. 6:19 (each believer personally)Therefore there are lessons from this event that we can apply to our personal lives as well as corporately to our church
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  • What comes to your mind/heart when you read these verses?Why is Jesus so physical?Why did he do it twice?Can’t there be more “civil” way of doing things?What does the authorities of the Temple think of him? After Jesus cleansed the Temple in John 2, the results were temporary.The religious leaders permitted the return of these merchants.
  • The routine was preventing foreigners (seekers of God) from knowing God:Courts of Gentile in the Temple was set aside to allow foreigners (non Jews) who wants to worship and pray to YHWH to do so (see photo)If a Gentile visited the Temple and saw what the Jews were doing in the name of the true God, he would never want to believe what they taught.These seekers of God wants to get to know God (prayer and worship is an expression of that)There were idols of mammon they saw…The Court of Gentile should have been a place for praying, but it was instead a place for preying and paying.Prevents seekers of God who are not Jews to worship in the Temple (e.g. Cornelius, a “God-fearer”)There were bleating of sheeps, cooing of doves, jingling of coins, haggling over prices. It was a marketplace!People were carrying their goods and taking a shortcut from the city to Mt. Olives through the Temple.It has become like Orchard Road!The merchants were there to make huge profits.They were not there to worship and pray to God. (the love of God and the love of mammon (money) cannot co-exist – either you love one or hate the other)Who can worship in that noisy, smelly, crowded environment where prayer and worship is last on the minds of those around seeking profits?
  • Source: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3269/2853845297_55599c925e_o.gif
  • The routine was exploiting the people of God through selfish gain:The stalls where the animals were sold were called “the Bazaars of Annas”Annas was the High Priest at that time and his family owned these “merchandise”A pair of doves sold in the temple court cost 20x more than those sold outsideIf animals were brought in from outside by the pilgrims for the sacrifice, these were routinely rejected as “blemished” by the Temple priests.Exploited pilgrims changing money to pay temple tax by levying service charge of 25% which in absolute terms equals two days of a worker’s salaryWorshippers who were poor were the ones most affected by these conditionsThey were at the Temple to worship God, but if it is so expensive to do so, does it mean the poor are no longer welcomed to the Temple? So Jesus has to act decisively: in compassion for the poor, for the exploited, for those who should have found God but instead found a love of mammon (riches), as godly example that the religious leaders have failed to show
  • 3 Qn (Jesus entered the Temple)Has Jesus entered the temple of your heart and make residence there as your Saviour and God?For believers who already are temple of the Holy Spirit, what will Jesus find if He were to visit your temple (heart) today?For both, how would you like to have Jesus cleanse your heart today?
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  • Jesus deep identification with the Father’s heart resulted in his righteous anger:In John 2:17, at the first time Jesus cleansed God’s House, “His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘ZEAL FOR YOUR HOUSE WILL CONSUME ME.’”This was quoted from Ps. 69:9 when David said of his heart deeply moved of God.In other words, Christ was moved by the things that moved God’s heart.Jesus was consumed with those things that matters to God’s heart.
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  • TheFather calls us to meet Him with an open heart, not a hidden heart:God is far more interested in the condition of our heart, than for us to go into the temple with a hidden heart.“A den of thieves” is a place where thieves run to and hideThe priests and scribes were using the temple and its religious services to “cover up” their sins and hypocrisy.Both Isaiah 1:10-17 and Jeremiah 7:1-16 had warned the people of their day that the presence of the physical temple was no guarantee of blessing from God.It was what the people did in the temple from their hearts that was really important.Are we willing to be honest and transparent in our relationships that will draw us out of our hidden places?
  • Jesus was able to again minister powerfully in the Temple once he cleanse it:Instead of shouting, He was able to teach as one filled with wisdom from above – v.17; Lk. 19:47, “He was teaching daily in the temple”Instead of seeing selfish profiteering, He was able to heal those who are hurting with His free grace – Mt. 21:14 “the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them”Instead of lifting His voice in anger, He now hear the children singing praises to God – Mt. 21:15 “the children… were shouting in the temple, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David’” Story of the Silence of AdamGen. 3:6, Adam was with Eve when she was tempted, but he chose to remain silent.That silence has bedeviled man throughout history.This is especially true in Asia, where the emotional absence of the father at home wreaks emotional havoc.
  • The temple as a place of sacrifice vs a place of prayer:The Jews looked on the temple primarily as a place of sacrifice, but Jesus saw it as a place of prayer.The leaders promoted a traditional view that was cluttered with rules and regulations, but Jesus had a spiritual view of the Jewish religion.Isaiah 56:6-7 is where Jesus quoted the “house of prayer for all nations”“The most oft-cited reasons for these splits, say theologians, include personality conflicts and doctrinal differences. Disagreements can arise over the type of red wine or grape juice or bread (unleavened or otherwise) used for Holy Communion, baptism (immersion or sprinkling, adult or infant), or type of Bible (King James version only or others permissible).”Gospel and Glitz: Rise of the Splints and Sprouts, The Straits Times, 17 July 2010
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  • Priority of the religious leaders was to maintain status quo and ensure their vested interest (rights) is not infringed onAs Jesus taught and healed others, the religious leaders were furiously trying to find a way to kill him.They have been deprieved of the profits from the Passover festival.They have lost face to the crowd.They have been revealed of their hidden sins of hypocrisy.Just like the Emperor with no clothes, they were shamefully revealed as stark naked before the people of God.Their response was not one of contrition and repentance, but one of belligerence and defiance.They were angry because they have been shamed, their vested interest in the profits damaged.This is unlike Jesus who was angry because God’s name and worship was at stake and God’s people were being exploitedNotice too that they were afraid… not in reverence of God, but in fear of the response of the crowd.What are we fearful of today? In our society, in our world?
  • Priority of Jesus is in establishing God’s name above all else, and proclaiming His salvation to othersJohn 2:17 “His disciples remembered that it was written, "ZEAL FOR YOUR HOUSE WILL CONSUME ME."”It’s all about Him, not about me.Luke 19:10 "For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.“When was the last time you shared God’s love to a seeker?* Story of a positive experience in sharing God’s love with a taxi driver. A missionary is doing cross-culturally what a disciple of Jesus would have done in his own country or culture.Why am I not focusing on explicitely mentioning about missionary so far?Because if we are able to live out a life of committed followers of Jesus, we are establishing the strongest foundation for missions work elsewhere.Story of a missionary advice to me 20+ years ago.“Just be faithful as a disciple of Jesus and fulfill the Great Commission where He has planted you now.”
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  • We have to seek the Father’s heart, allowing Him to disrupt our routines so that we can grow in those areas – hidden places of our heart – thus releasing us to courageously minister even amidst challenging situation.

Transcript

  • 1. A House of Prayer for All Nations
    Mark 11:15-18
    2010.07.18
  • 2. The Jerusalem Temple
  • 3. 15 And they came to Jerusalem. And He entered the temple and began to cast out those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those who were selling doves; 16 and He would not permit anyone to carry goods through the temple.~ Mark 11:15-18 ~
  • 4. 17 And He began to teach and say to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a robbers’ den.”~ Mark 11:15-18 ~
  • 5. 18 And the chief priests and the scribes heard this, and began seeking how to destroy Him; for they were afraid of Him, for all the multitude was astonished at His teaching.~ Mark 11:15-18 ~
  • 6. Jesus Cleansed God’s House Twice
    Jesus cleansing of the Jerusalem Temple happened twice in the gospels
    At the beginning of Jesus ministry – John 2
    In the last week of his ministry – Mark 11, Matt. 21, Luke 19
    Why did He do it?
  • 7. The Church Replaced the Temple
    The body of Christ, the Church universal, has replaced the Temple (Eph. 2:19-21)
  • 8. 19 You are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household,20 having been built upon the foundation…, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone,21 in whom the whole building… is growing into a holy temple in the Lord.~ Ephesians 2:19b-21 ~
  • 9. The Church Replaced the Temple
    The body of Christ, the Church universal, has replaced the Temple (Eph. 2:19-21)
    Each believer is a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19)
  • 10. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God?~ 1 Cor. 6:19a ~
  • 11. A House of Prayer for All Nations
    Jesus disrupts the routine at the Temple… to show our sinfulness (v. 15, 16)
    Jesus cleanses the Temple… to call us to a mission (v. 17)
    Jesus ministers amidst opposition… to remind us of his priorities (v. 18)
  • 12. 15 And they came to Jerusalem. And He entered the temple and began to cast out those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those who were selling doves; 16 and He would not permit anyone to carry goods through the temple.~ Mark 11:15-18 ~
  • 13. Jesus disrupts the routine at the Temple… to show our sinfulness
  • 14. Jesus disrupts the routine at the Temple… to show our sinfulness
    The routine was preventing seekers of God from knowing Him
  • 15.
  • 16. Jesus disrupts the routine at the Temple… to show our sinfulness
    The routine was preventing seekers of God from knowing Him
    The routine was exploiting people of God through selfish gain
  • 17. Jesus disrupts the routine at the Temple… to show our sinfulness
    Has Jesus entered the temple of your heart and make residence there as your Saviour and God?
    For believers who already are temple of the Holy Spirit, what will Jesus find if He were to visit your temple (heart) today?
    For both, how would you like to have Jesus cleanse your heart today?
  • 18. 17 And He began to teach and say to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a robbers’ den.”~ Mark 11:15-18 ~
  • 19. Jesus cleanses the Temple… to call us to a mission
    Knowing and identifying with the Father’s heart may result in holy righteous anger that acts
  • 20. His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘ZEAL FOR YOUR HOUSE WILL CONSUME ME.’~ John 2:17 ~
  • 21. Jesus cleanses the Temple… to call us to a mission
    Knowing and identifying with the Father’s heart may result in holy righteous anger that acts
    The Father calls us to meet Him with an open heart, not a hidden heart
  • 22. Jesus cleanses the Temple… to call us to a mission
    Knowing and identifying with the Father’s heart may result in holy righteous anger that acts
    The Father calls us to meet Him with an open heart, not a hidden heart
    Jesus was able to again minister powerfully in the Temple once it was cleaned
  • 23. Jesus cleanses the Temple… to call us to a mission
    Is church a place we go to as a rule (sacrifice) or for communion with God (prayer)?
  • 24. 6 Also the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD… 7 Even those I will bring to My holy mountainAnd make them joyful in My house of prayerTheir burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar;For My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.~ Isaiah 56:6,7 ~
  • 25. 18 And the chief priests and the scribes heard this, and began seeking how to destroy Him; for they were afraid of Him, for all the multitude was astonished at His teaching.~ Mark 11:15-18 ~
  • 26. Jesus ministers amidst opposition… to show us his priorities
    Priority of the religious leaders was to ensure their vested interest (rights) is not infringed on
  • 27. Jesus ministers amidst opposition… to show us his priorities
    Priority of the religious leaders was to ensure their vested interest (rights) is not infringed on
    Priority of Jesus is in establishing God’s name above all else, and proclaiming His salvation to others
  • 28. "For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.“~ Luke 19:10 ~
  • 29. How do I make a difference?
    Check my heart/attitude when I go to church: Why am I going to church?
    Do I pray for opportunities and seize them to help others find God’s love? 
    Am I willing to be wisely honest in my relationship with mature others to bring out my hidden heart for healing?
  • 30. Conclusion:We have to seek the Father’s heart, allowing Him to disrupt our routines so that we can grow in those areas – hidden places of our heart – thus releasing us to courageously minister in hard places.