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CONSUMED WITH ZEAL (CC)

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www.ziontorrance.info Sermon Text: John 2:13-22 Let us rise for the reading of this morning's Sermon Text recorded for us in John's Gospel where we read from Chapter 2, beginning with Verse 13: WHEN IT WAS ALMOST TIME FOR THE JEWISH PASSOVER, JESUS WENT UP TO JERUSALEM. IN THE TEMPLE COURTS HE FOUND MEN SELLING CATTLE, SHEEP AND DOVES, AND OTHERS SITTING AT TABLES EXCHANGING MONEY. SO HE MADE A WHIP OUT OF CORDS, AND DROVE THEM ALL FROM THE TEMPLE AREA, BOTH SHEEP AND CATTLE; HE SCATTERED THE COINS OF THE MONEY CHANGERS AND OVERTURNED THEIR TABLES. TO THOSE WHO SOLD DOVES HE SAID, "GET THESE OUT OF HERE! HOW DARE YOU TURN MY FATHER'S HOUSE INTO A MARKET!" HIS DISCIPLES REMEMBERED THAT IT IS WRITTEN: "ZEAL FOR YOUR HOUSE WILL CONSUME ME." THEN THE JEWS DEMANDED OF HIM, "WHAT MIRACULOUS SIGN CAN YOU SHOW US TO PROVE YOUR AUTHORITY TO DO ALL THIS?" JESUS ANSWERED THEM, "DESTROY THIS TEMPLE, AND I WILL RAISE IT AGAIN IN THREE DAYS." THE JEWS REPLIED, "IT HAS TAKEN FORTY-SIX YEARS TO BUILD THIS TEMPLE, AND YOU ARE GOING TO RAISE IT IN THREE DAYS?" BUT THE TEMPLE HE HAD SPOKEN OF WAS HIS BODY. 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. This is the Word of our Lord. Let us pray: Glorious and gracious God, may the words of my mouth and the meditation of each of our hearts be acceptable in Your sight, our only source of hope and comfort. Amen. [Text taken from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, 1973, 1978, 1984, used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers] Dear Followers of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ: Growing up and going to Sunday School every once in a while, I loved and longed to hear this story. For me it was one of the most exciting stories on the pages of Scripture. How Jesus got all worked up about what was going on in the temple. How important it was for Him when He looked at what was going on and saw it was so far from what God had intended that He took a bunch of cords and He drove those animals out. Then He went from table to table and flipped them over. And there were coins and money flying everywhere in this mass scene of chaos that I am sure ensued with those people who wanted that money ... who were exchanging that money. And the people that were there tending those animals and Jesus' disciples looking on. The drama of that moment as a child always captured my attention. I seemed to just love it. It was such an exciting story. Maybe it's because part of it was: Here's my God going down and reaping vengence on people who were doing evil. God takes His stand and goes out and really shows people what it's all about. And I think that's exciting and it's a great thing, but as I mature I realize that Jesus comes to me sometimes in that same manner. And He looks at my heart. And He looks at my heart and says: What's in there? What's important to you? What are you spending your time on? Do you have zeal for the Lord's house? If it's important ... of utmost importance to you to be hearing the Word of God. Are you concerned about the place that proclaims that Word of God? Jesus comes right into each of our hearts and each of our lives and He looks to see what's going on. And that's frightening! That has to concern each and every one of us. Because we know that from the first of those commandments: "YOU SHALL HAVE NO OTHER GODS ... " that we read through this morning, that we do not always keep that commandment. There are other things that we will put before God. There are other activities that we will make for ... [make] time for in our day ignoring studying God's Word or worshiping Him. Or praying to Him. There are other things that we will do and make all kinds of excuses for not doing what God has asked of us. And Jesus comes to us with that Law to remind us that we ARE sinners. That we need Him. That He is our Savior. And the only place that we are going to find and hear comfort is in the Word of God. It's exactly what Jesus proclaimed to those Jews who were demanding: What gives You the right to come in here and do all of this? How dare You drive away our cattle and our sheep and make us release our doves? How dare You turn over those tables? Who gives You this authority? By what authority are You doing this? And Jesus said to them: You destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it from the dead. The temple of His body. The Jews there didn't understand it because they were so focused on what was temporal; on what was earthly. The thought of someone dying and raising from the dead was foolishness to them; they didn't understand it. Yes, they wanted a miraculous sign and Jesus said: I will give it to you and here it is and you should be looking for that. You should be watching for that because when I die, I will be raised to life. And it is exactly what happened. And we're told in John's Gospel that when it happened, the disciples remembered this event. Through the eyes of faith they understood it, and they believed it. How important it was for them to have that knowledge to go back and pour over the life of Jesus. And then record it so that others in the future may hear and see what Jesus did. Just as they had those Old Testament Scriptures that when Jesus was doing all of this they realized He was the One who was prophesied that zeal for God's house would consume Him. Would consume the Messiah. The WORD is all-important. It is ONLY in the Word that we find out that there is a God who has loved us and has sent us His Son as our Savior. To save us from hell. To forgive the sins that we do. Who loved us so immeasurably more than we loved Him. Because He made us His top priority to save and to bring back to Himself. In love, He created a plan so that all people would be saved. Through the Messiah ... through Jesus Christ. That that Gospel would be proclaimed. So that people would hear that the Holy Spirit would come into people's lives and give them comfort, and the knowledge that Jesus is their Lord and Savior. And that has happened to us! We rejoice in that wonderful news. But we also have to realize that we can't ignore it. We can't take it for granted. That we always are in the Word learning more. Discovering new things that this is our zeal. It's just like when we come across some new author and we read one of their books and we think: This is really good. I can't wait for the next one to come out. We have people who line up at bookstores at midnight to buy the next volume. Zeal consumes them. And we have that Word in our hands ... in our homes. And it is there for us to study. It is there for us to learn. And there we find our joy. There we find our hope. It reminds us that that is our proclamation. We preach Christ crucified. Because there is our hope. And there is our strength. And we come together as a congregation of believers to do that here ... in this building. From this building. From this pulpit. From the lectures in our classrooms. From the tables that we gather around at Sunday School classes, and confirmation classes. That is, and should be, what consumes our lives. And sometimes we also need that reality of how are we treating this house of God? Is it a concern of ours? And are we doing anything about it? Jesus came in and was appalled that people had turned God's house into a marketplace. And He took the matter into His own hands and He cleaned; He cleansed it out. When Jesus comes and looks at our house of worship, what does He see that we need? Have we neglected it? Have we treated it as if it didn't matter or it wasn't a concern? This is where God's name is proclaimed. This is where the Truth is taught. And it is a reminder to us that we have been given a trust. A responsibility ... of this building. To maintain it as best we can. To preserve it. To put our best foot forward. To give to God first and foremost of our offerings. To support this building. To support the work that is done here. That all of those things go together when we talk about the zeal for our Lord. And how easy and quick we are if there is something that we want to see ... whether it be a sporting event or a concert or a theatrical event and it comes and we look at the price of those tickets and we think: I can make this work. Because maybe I just don't give my offering that week. Or I'll just juggle some other things around. Do we think that way when we see the needs of our own congregation? And the work that needs to be done here. It's not so easy, when Christ comes into our hearts ... and our lives reminding us to stay on track. To get our zeal back. To be concerned about the proclamation of His Gospel. To do that in the best way that we can with the best resources that we have; with the best of who and what we are. And we know that we have failed. We know that we have sinned at times. But we know that the Lord promises to be with us. To bless the proclamation of His Word. To bless the fact that we preach Christ crucified. He has brought us all together as the Body of Christ ... with differences and talents and abilities to be used in His Church. And we continue to work at that as the Body of Christ working together. For we ALL have received that wonderful news ... that Jesus IS our Lord and Savior. May zeal for Him consume us. Amen. Let us rise. Now may the peace of God which goes beyond all of our understanding, keep your hearts and your minds and especially your lives, in the one true faith unto life everlasting. Amen.

Video Details

Duration: 14 minutes and 18 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: R & M
Director: Jesus
Views: 55
Posted by: hischild on Mar 14, 2012

Focusing especially on John 2:13-22, this March 11, 2012 sermon reminds us of what our priorities as Christians ought to be. www.ziontorrance.info

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