Jesus Clears The Temple | Week 6

Would you be the recipient of Jesus’ anger? With this opening question, Tony Fernandez invites us to reflect on ourselves as we dive deeper into John 2. For those today who claim to follow Jesus, if he looked at the depths of your heart, what would he find: a holy temple of the Spirit or a marketplace consumed by greed? The answer to this question is foundational in our faith, and Tony further challenges us to decide which we value more: God or money? In today’s sermon, we learn that it cannot be both.

Welcome. If you’re new here, this is your first time. We’re really grateful to have you. If you’ve been here a bunch of times, we’re great to have you back. If you’ve been here for years and years and years, welcome home.

 

Today we are continuing our Ministry of Jesus series, and we are continuing with the book of John. John, chapter two, verse 13. I’m just going to go ahead and begin by reading the passage. Here we go. When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went to Jerusalem. In the temple court, he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at the tables exchanging monies. So he made a whip out of cords and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle. He scattered the coins, the money changers, and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves. He says, get out of here.

 

Stop turning my father’s house into a market. His disciples remember that it was written, Zeal for your house will consume me. The Jews then respond to him, what sign can you show us to prove that you have authority to do all this? Jesus answered them, destroy this temple and I will raise it up again in three days. They replied, It has taken 46 years to build this temple, and you’re going to raise it in three days?

 

But the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he had raised from the dead. The disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scriptures and the words that Jesus had spoken. Now, while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover festival, many people saw the signs he had performed and believed in his name.

 

But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. He did not need any testimony about mankind or from mankind, for he knew what was in each person. There are many ways to engage in a passage of scripture like this. Or should I say there are many ways for us to allow God’s word to speak to our souls or to help build a spiritual foundation. And depending on what you’re reading, you can vary your approach.

 

For example, in a narrative or a story like the one we just read, you can try to embody the hero or embody the heroine of the account, and you can interpret their character or their passion or their love or their strength or their weaknesses. And then what you try to do is you try to project what you learned onto your world, and you go, wow. You could take some of the Old Testament accounts, for example, and you think about it, well, I may not be able to slay a giant like David was, or I may not be able to split a Red Sea, or I may not be leading an army around Jericho. But there are challenges in my life that will require a David type of courage or a Moses type of trust or a Joshua type of type of leadership. That’s certainly one way to engage in Scripture, and that’s a totally fine way to engage with the Bible.

 

However, I find it to be the case that before I’m really able to embody the actions of the biblical heroes, I first need to be on the receiving end of what they’re teaching, or on the receiving end of the miracle, or on the receiving end of the challenge, or in this case, on the receiving end of the rebuke.

 

So with that being said, I just want to tell you that what we’re going to be talking about today and really the way we’re going to do the rest of this whole series is we are not finding ourselves in the position of the hero. None of us are Jesus Amen. But instead we’re going to find ourselves in the position of the target of Jesus actions or his words or his teachings. All that being said, leads us into the passage that we’re studying out today. Because though this passage can certainly be helpful for understanding the need for righteous people to stand up against corruption, I want to ask you instead to first find yourself not as Jesus in the story again, not as the hero, but instead I want to invite you to search your heart to see if what Jesus is angry about is found in your heart.

 

I want to ask you today would I be the recipient of Jesus anger? I know that may seem intense, but I promise you that the discomfort of Jesus anger will do more for your soul than the comfort of being a hero. The challenge that Jesus is going to give you will do more for your hope in heaven than the comfort of believing that you are the one that has to flip the tables. So again, you can read it that way, certainly. But that’s not the approach we’re going to take.

 

And so I’m asking you really receive this correction, sit in it, learn from it. And let me just say this before we begin, I also want to make one other note, which is that I don’t think I can do this sermon justice if I temper it with my own vulnerability. What I mean is that I don’t even in the smallest sense, have a good hold on what I’m talking about today for my own life. And typically I like to work things out before I present them to the Church. But when you just walk through the accounts of Jesus, you don’t really have the time to do all that.

 

So I’m working through it. But I’m just going to let it go. If that works, I’m just going to let it fly today. I certainly need some repentance. However, I would hate to undermine the teaching of Jesus because of my own frailty.

 

So rather than hold back until I kind of get it all right, I’m just going to speak as on speaking the very words of God. I’m not going to deescalate the intensity of Jesus words because I’m looking at it through the lens of my own life. I’m just going to let it fly. So can you bear with me as I do that? And I know that what I’m talking about is likely to be offensive.

 

Let’s just put it out there. You are likely to be offended today, and I know that that might make you squirm in your seat a little bit, but I want to implore you to let the teaching touch your heart. Let this challenge change your thinking, let it impact your soul. And I know all of this sounds ominous, but let’s just get into it. Are you with me? An Amen would be awesome.

 

All right. Fantastic. Here we go. This is where we’ve been the last couple of weeks. We started the journey down here where Jesus is getting baptized.

 

We went all the way up to Galilee. Last week, we were in a wedding in Cana. That’s where we were. And Shane helped me today, change the map so that it went around Samaria, which we’re going to talk about in a couple of weeks. But today we end up in Jerusalem.

 

We end up in Jerusalem. And what we’re going to read today and we’re going to study out is the beginning of Jesus Jerusalem Ministry, his first Jerusalem Ministry. And we’ll talk about it more as we unpack it. So let’s get into the story. It says when it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

 

This portion of Jesus’ ministry is not discussed in any other gospel. If you look at the other what they call the synoptic Gospels, that’s Matthew, Mark, and Luke. It’s not in those Gospels. All of them are silent on this time frame from basically his baptism till his return to Galilee. There are no real words in those Gospels about what Jesus does.

 

All of these are basically all this Judean Ministry, and Jerusalem Ministry is only found in the book of John. So because of that, we’re going to be in John for the next couple of months or I guess the next month or so because he has all the deets. We’re going to read them all. We see the conversation with him in Nicodemus. That’s actually next week.

 

The conversation with him in the Samaritan woman, the healing of the official son, the healing of the paralyzed man. All of those are John’s Gospels, and they’re exclusive to him or John’s gospel, and they’re exclusive to him. But what we know is that this time frame was critical to him, amassing the crowds that he got in John chapter six, Luke chapter seven tells us that it’s because of this part of his Ministry that he had amassed so many people. So what we read is that, hey, he left Galilee and he heads to Jerusalem.

 

And the Bible says that he headed up to Jerusalem. Up to Jerusalem. This is probably the word up is probably an indication of the city’s elevation. All right. Jesus is on a pilgrimage up to Jerusalem, into the mountains, and he’s headed for Passover.

 

Jesus goes to a Passover meal about three times during his Ministry. It happens at least three times during his Ministry. It happens here, happens again in John, chapter six, and it happens again in John, chapter eleven. And he’s there for the Passover. You guys know what the Passover is?

 

It’s in the book of Exodus. There’s this a feast because God spared Israel from the death of the firstborn and he freed them from captivity in Egypt. Basically, the Passover was a time celebrated in March or April where people would come and bring an animal based on Exodus, chapter 23, have it slaughtered. And there would be sort of remembrance of their sin and also a reminder of the fact that God was able to rescue them. So that kind of sets up the scene.

 

Jesus has left this Galilean area, and he’s headed down to Jerusalem or headed up to Jerusalem. And he enters into the temple and read what it says. It says in the temple courts, he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves and others sitting at tables exchanging money. Here’s a quick picture of the Temple. This is the temple court.

 

This is what we would look like. I know it’s difficult sometimes on that side to see this. This doesn’t work. Fantastic. All right.

 

So this here, this piece is the Temple Courts. As you enter into it, you get into sort of more Holy places. If you get into this place, this is like the Holy of Holies. Most people couldn’t fit in there. Joe, I was talking to Joe on Tuesday.

 

He said there would be about he thinks 20 people could fit in there. So most people didn’t worship in this area. They worshiped in the courts. The actual Holy place is in the middle there. But the majority of the people would be praying and worshiping and spending their time in the Temple courts.

 

At Passover, there would be between 100,000 and 250,000 people there. Imagine that streaming from all over the Empire coming to worship. And it’s hard to even grasp how dense this place would look. But as a reference, I thought it would be helpful to show you what Mecca looks like. Because that’s a good illustration of what this might have looked like. So this is Mecca. If you think about it like this, right?

 

You’re thinking, oh, you see the number of people there. Imagine that. But in this location, it is jam packed. Jam packed with people. And Jesus arrived at the courts and it was supposed to be filled with worshippers, but instead there are all these pens.

 

There’s Ox, there’s sheep, there’s cages piled high with doves and pigeons. It’s noisy. There’s people grabbing on your arm. Hey, two doves for two shekels or whatever. It’s like walking into a flea market.

 

It’s supposed to be a place of worship, but instead it’s like the Sawgrass Mall or something like that on a Saturday afternoon. Vendors pulling your arm to get into the shops, hey, have you. And there’s money changers. And they’re sitting here and you say, well, why are these people selling things in the Temple? Well, a lot of these people have journeyed from long distances to come there.

 

And you don’t bring your Ox from Italy, you buy it there or your lamb or whatever.

 

You can imagine there’s this line of people, they’re trying to exchange money. Why do they need to exchange money? Well, because their money doesn’t work in the Temple. So you’re like, Here, let me give you £4 and you give me €2 and we’ll exchange it and whatever. And it’s this whole money exchange system so that they can eventually buy these sacrifices.

 

So I just imagine it’s filled with fold out tables. That’s what I picture. Fold out tables galore. And there’s just thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of people. And the outward reason is obvious.

 

Again, people can’t bring their lamb from their far distances, but they have made their way this marketplace into the Temple Courts, into the place of worship. Dia Carson makes a note that at one time the animal merchants would set up their stalls in the Kidron Valley, which is just to the east of Jerusalem, so they wouldn’t be in the Temple Courts. But eventually, I don’t even know why. I guess the best reason is greed. They’ve made their way into the Temple.

 

So the most important thing to know is that commerce has made its way into the Temple Courts. That’s the most important thing to know, into the place of worship, into the house of God. And so the question is, what does Jesus think about this? The Bible says, So he made a whip out of cords.

 

I thought about bringing a whip, but thought that might be too dangerous. He made a whip out of cords. Have you ever made a whip? Have you ever thought, you know what? I should make a whip?

 

If you grew up in an island household, there might be a chance that there was a whip in your existence. But for most of you, you’ve never made a whip. How angry would you have to be to make a whip?

 

So he made a whip and drove all from the Temple Courts, both sheep and cattle. He scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. How did Jesus feel? He didn’t approve. I don’t want to overinterpret this.

 

Like, we could say lots of things. Look, the priorities of the system, the Temple, the religious leaders, and even the people buying was super out of whack. They didn’t realize that the point of worship wasn’t just about buying and selling things. And as a matter of fact, sacrifice is irrelevant if you don’t have a good heart. Isaiah, chapter one tells us that Jeremiah, chapter seven.

 

There’s a whole bunch of places that talk about that idea. The Bible doesn’t say very much about the anger in his eyes, but you can imagine he is furious. He drives them all out, whip in hand, just swinging it over his head, shouting, we hear later on, you turned my father’s house into a market. He’s driving out 100,000 people. Think about that.

 

Plus all of their animals flipping tables and pouring all of their profits on the pavement. The Bible uses this word, the same word for cast out, like casting out a demon for drive out. He cast them out. It’s a play on words, right? He’s like exorcising these people.

 

Get out of here. Flipping the tables. Oxen are big animals. Have you ever seen an Ox?

 

Imagine the oxen just running people over. It’s like, Get out of here.

 

There’s Fury in his voice that Jesus says the problem to those who sold doves. He says, Get these out of here. I can’t even do justice to the volume and the intensity of what this phrase would have sounded like in the mouth of the Godman who was furious about the destruction of his father’s house. Stop turning my father’s house into a temple. Why is he angry?

 

You could jump to Mark, Matthew, Luke and hear the conversation about this is a den of robbers and talk about all that stuff. I want you to be careful to do that because this is likely a different event. Jesus probably cleared the temple twice at the start of his Ministry and at the end of his Ministry. And at the end of his Ministry the conversation is very different than at the beginning of his Ministry. But what is Jesus saying that is wrong?

 

He’s saying, how dare you turn my father’s house into a market? A bizarre, an Emporium, a flea market. That’s what you’ve done. And why doesn’t he like it? Well, because the temple is a place of worship and money, money, money, money, money, money might be the main God competing for our affection.

 

Why doesn’t he like it? Because there’s another God in his father’s temple. He’s furious about it. The Bible says the disciples understood what was going on there. Psalm 69, verse nine.

 

He quotes his disciples remembered what it was written. Zeal for his house will consume him. He’s zealous.

 

And you might understand why, right? Because if you contrast a temple from a marketplace, you understand what the difference is, right? My father’s house is a place for knowing God. It’s a place for loving God. It’s a place for fellowshiping with God.

 

These temple courts are a place to unite with the people who love God and communing with God and enjoying God and speaking to God and hearing from God. This is what a temple is about, right? And the Scriptures say a day in the courts in the temple courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. You come into the courts to escape the world outside.

 

But this place has become a market. And what’s a market about market is about making money and finding deals and becoming rich and engaging in trade. So why is Jesus so angry? Well, the worshippers who were there for Yahweh are now focused on money, and that is like setting up an idol in the center of the temple of God. Now to our application.

 

Look, I’m going to speak bluntly about something that I see in my own life, but also in the life of everybody else who lives in the west. But if you’re visiting, this is not for you. Seriously, we love you. We’re so grateful that you chosen to connect with us. But this next part here is only for those who have decided to make Jesus the Lord of their lives.

 

This is the standard for disciples of Jesus. And if you’re just checking Christ out or you’re just trying to figure them out, yeah, come out, enjoy, engage. Eventually, this is the standard you’ll be held to. But for now, you can kind of twiddle your thumbs or whatever, but we love you and want you to be here. Or you can listen to the rebuke.

 

Here’s a question for you all. What is the temple today?

 

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? This begs a question. If Jesus looked at your heart, if Jesus came to visit your soul, if you looked down deep into your mind and your heart and your affection, and he spent some time sort of sifting through everything that’s going on in your life, would he find a person who worships money rather than what your life is supposed to be? The temple of the Holy Spirit. Your life, your body is supposed to be a temple, a place for knowing God and loving God and fellowship with God and uniting with God and communing with God and speaking with God and enjoying his favor. But if your heart is a marketplace, if your heart is filled with focus on making money and finding deals and becoming rich and worrying about retirement, and you’re always thinking about how to get one more dollar and one more cent and you’ll do anything to make sure you get there.

 

But you claim to follow Jesus, I wonder if you would make a whip and flip over the tables of your heart. Here’s a question. Are you more devoted to God or money? Is your mind more focused on money? Do you spend more time thinking about money?

 

Do you spend more time thinking about money or on God? Is your heart happier when you make a little bit of more money or when you have a little bit more God?

 

Is your heart happier when you get a little bit of a bonus from the government because you have five kids and they send you $600 a month or whatever? Or are you just a little bit more joyful when you’re in the presence of God’s people? Is your soul more at peace when you have enough money or when you have enough God? Is your mind at ease?

 

Do you feel more safe when you get your paycheck or when you come to the building to worship with other believers? Another way to ask it is, is your heart the temple of God or is it a marketplace?

 

First Timothy, chapter six, verse ten. For the love of God is the root, or it’s the love of money, I’m sorry, is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people eager for money have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. Luke 16, verse 13. The Pharisees who loved money heard this and were sneering at Jesus.

 

He said to them, you are the ones who justify yourself in the eyes of others, but God knows your heart. What people value highly is detestable to God. There’s another verse here. I guess I missed it. The verse before that says, no one can serve two Masters.

 

Either you will hate one and love the other, or who will be devoted to one and despise the other. Then listen to Jesus words clearly, you cannot serve both God and money.

 

You cannot serve both God and money. Is your life in service of money or in service of God? Well, it’s both. Jesus says, you cannot serve both God and money. Look, if you find what I’m saying to be annoying, the Pharisees thought it was annoying as well.

 

Jesus says, hey, what you hold in the highest esteem, you’re riches becoming wealthy, what you worship is actually detestable in the sight of God. You can hear Jesus’s zeal in Matthew, chapter 23, verse 25. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees. You hypocrites, you clean, and we can replace this, right?

 

Woe to you people who live in the west, who have multiple jobs in a two car garage. You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed, full of greed and self indulgence. You say you follow Jesus, but on the inside you’re greedy. What is greed? Greed is love turned inward.

 

What you’re supposed to do for others, you do only for yourself. What you’re supposed to do for others or what you’re supposed to care about for others. You care only about yourself. See, what Jesus saw in the temple was not an isolated situation. It was the work of greed and the life of all people who claim to love God, who struggle with having another God living in their temple.

 

And this is why Jesus comes back to this discussion again and again and again and again and again.

 

So let’s keep going. How does he respond? Well, he makes a whip with anger in his eyes and he drives them all out. Verse 18. This is what it says.

 

The Jews then responded to him, what sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all of this? Some people, after Jesus draws or casts everybody out, are just hanging around, right? And so Jesus has moved everyone out of the temple courts. And then there’s some guys who are just kind of like watching from a distance, and they come in and they’re like, hey, what can you do to prove that you’re able to do this? What trick can you show us to prove that you’re allowed to kick us all out of here?

 

This is not encouraging response, because later on Jesus will say this line that is so critical. Then some of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law said to him, Teacher, we want to see a sign from you. This is the same question, right? What sign you got? He answered, A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign.

 

He’s not encouraged by the response of these people who are hanging out at the temple courts. The question is, what’s so evil about asking for a sign? Well, it’s not really that they’re asking for a sign. It’s that what they’re saying. They’re saying this in order to Dodge the rebuke of Jesus.

 

This is a side step. It’s a way to get out of it. They don’t need more signs to say that what Jesus said was true. They know in their hearts that they’re held captive by their wealth. So they’re just trying to appease their own conscience by changing the subject.

 

See, if you lived any length of time. You know that people are adept at disregarding the corrections of God and moving them onto some theological problem. A big word for this is epistemological problem, right? They go, you tell me, I can’t sleep with my boyfriend. Well, what place should I worship?

 

You’re like, that’s not what we’re talking about here. Jesus is not talking about showing signs and miracles. He’s talking about their greed, but they don’t care. They’re trying to figure out how to get out of the rebuke. They’re asking for evidence because they’re trying to justify their own spiritual adultery.

 

Do you have another God? It’s called money. So stop asking for a sign. Can I warn you, I’m already doing it, but I’m just going to keep going. It’s likely that if you live in the US you worship or have worshiped at the altar of riches. You dream for more money.

 

There are times at night where you may lay in bed and go, man, if I could just get another $1,000 a month, things would be so much better. You’ve hoped for more money. You have even prayed for more money. Lord God, please give me the thing that you say is an idol.

 

You’ve lied to try to get more money. You’ve cheated on your taxes. You’ve told your employer things that weren’t true in order to inflate your expense accounts. You believed that if you bought something, it was going to make you happier.

 

And you use things that you buy as a sign of your success. You see this logo on the front of my car that looks just like yours? That shows me that I’m better than you.

 

You have given in to the love of money, the worry of money. So I’m just bringing you this rebuke. Don’t try to wiggle out of it. Don’t wiggle out of it by saying, well, how do you do? I have bills.

 

Sure you have bills. Yeah, I get it. Stop trying to say that. I don’t understand your situation. I got it on sale, so it would have been burying my treasures if I didn’t purchase it.

 

I’m not interested in any of that. I’m just here to tell you I’m not trying to listen to any of that. I’m just here to tell you if you live in the US, it’s likely that you’ve cheated on Jesus with riches.

 

So how does Jesus respond? Jesus is furious. He’s furious because you have already been one, you have been set free from other idols, and you are using your freedom to indulge the flesh again, I love Jesus response to these people who are asking for a sign. Jesus answered them, Destroy this temple and I will raise it up again in three days. They replied, It’s taken 46 years to build this temple and you’re going to raise it up in three days?

 

It’s taken 46 years and you’re going to destroy it and raise it up. That doesn’t make any sense. Verse 21. But the temple he had spoken of was his own body. After he had risen from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said and then they believed the Scriptures and the words that Jesus had spoken.

 

And here’s why I think Jesus is answering this way. He speaks at two levels. One is you are destroying the temple by your greed and it will happen like they will actually destroy their temple by their greed. In a couple of years in 70 Ad, the Romans will come in and destroy the temple. Not even a block will be left of the temple.

 

40 years after this moment, every stone will be lowered so that’s one level. And the second level is you are destroying his own body because Jesus is dying for the sin of man and a sin of man is greed. So Jesus is saying it both ways. You are killing me with your greed and you are killing this temple with your greed. Then he says, hey, I’m going to raise it up again.

 

I’m going to raise it up again. And what’s that related to? Well, both he’s going to raise up his body from the grave and also that he’s going to inaugurate the Church in which the Holy Spirit is going to live in every single person. And we’re going to be the temple. And so that warning is the same today. When we are greedy, we destroy the temple of God. The same impulses of greed then, destroy the temple in the exact same way. Their covetedness, their envy, their greed. It killed Jesus, it destroyed the temple, and 2000 years later, it still does it. It’s kind of incredible and it’s sad. So before I give you the way out, the only way the Bible says out of the idolatrous nature of greed, I want to ask a little quiz.

 

Here’s a quiz for you. Does having a bookstore or selling Tshirts in the Church building contradict this text? You have a minute. Jot down your answer and we will come back to you. Does it contradict this text?

 

The answer is no. Why? Because this building is not the temple of God. Do you know what the contradiction of the text is? The real contradiction is a person who claims to love Jesus but worships money.

 

That’s what this text is about. That’s what this text is about. It’s about your own personal greed. So I’m going to ask you again. Does money have your heart?

 

If it does, then there is a way out. There is a way out. I don’t think I put this text in the thing. Did I? Yes, it did.

 

Awesome. There is a way out. There’s a way out. There’s a way out. There’s a way out.

 

One, Timothy six, one, seven, command those who are rich in this present world and if you are here today, you’re living in the United States, more than likely you are rich.

 

My wife and my family, we just have a family moved in from Cuba. They moved in from Cuba and they were doctors. And I think, if I may recall, they were getting paid $25 a month. Surgeons, $25 a month. You are rich. Rich in this present world.

 

Not to be arrogant, not to put their hope in wealth. Not to be arrogant, not to put your hope in wealth. Don’t go ah, if I just get that money. Then things will be better.

 

Don’t put your hope in wealth, which is so uncertain. We did a whole series on just this text, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Then look at the next word. Command them, I’m commanding you, to do good, to be rich in good deeds and to be generous and willing to share. In this way, they will lay up treasures for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age so that they may take hold of life that is truly life. Riches are not really life. Life only comes when you’re rich in good deeds and when you’re generous. Here’s an antidote for the horrific, destructive temptation and devil of money.

 

Be generous.

 

Be generous. Isaiah, chapter 32, verse eight, says, Generous people plan to do what is generous, and they stand firm in their generosity. They plan to do what’s generous and then they stand firm in their generosity. What does the word generous means? It means inclined, willing, Noble, being willing to give up.

 

What is the message? You have to decide. You have to make plans to give a portion of your money and of your time away. And in doing that, you let go of the stranglehold of wealth, of greed, of riches on your heart. You need to take a percentage of your money and you need to decide upfront like there’s a percentage of your money that you put in your 401K and you never even think about it, right?

 

It just goes away. You need to decide to take a percentage of your money and give it away. Give it away just being committed, and I don’t care where you give it. Look, pick an organization. This isn’t about the Church asking for money.

 

I don’t care. I care about your heart. And if your heart is locked up in riches, you are going to be destroyed. It is going to eat you alive. Pick an organization, something you love, something your family can be involved in, something that you want to spend time with and give a percentage of your money away.

 

That means you need to reduce your lifestyle. Ok, maybe you can take out 10%, 15%. Some of you make so much money that you need to give away 20 or 25% of your wealth. You need to give it away because it has a hold on your heart. I think it’s certainly biblical to give it to the Church.

 

But again, if you don’t want to give it here, I don’t care. We don’t want your money. We want your heart. Give it away to the Church, to individuals, to Hope, to 4kids, whatever you do, if you struggle with the worship of money, and again, if you live in the west, you probably do. You need to lean in to the discomfort of giving something away so that wealth doesn’t have a hold on your heart.

 

I love Jesus because he was willing to say the things that would hurt our feelings. And if this is annoying to you, great. Sit in it, enjoy it and decide to be generous. Because if you don’t, the God of money will lead you to the pit of hell. That’s just the truth.

 

Jesus was willing to be generous for us. Scriptures tell us that he left heaven to become a man. Philippian chapter two is my favorite verse of all time. And the picture of Philippians chapter two is that Jesus was willing to become nothing, taking on the nature of a man so that he could save our souls. Jesus was generous.

 

You should be too. We’re going to sing a song. We’re going to take Communion in a second. We’re going to sing a song. And the line of the song is, Jesus gave it all, all to him.

 

I owe sin has left a Crimson stain But he washed me white as snow Jesus gave it all I pray, I pray, I pray you are willing to let go of the stranglehold of wealth in your heart by being generous Father, we come before you and we ask you today that you would Lord That You would make those of us in this room who need to be uncomfortable make us uncomfortable make us uncomfortable tomorrow when we wake up in the morning and we’re trying to figure out how to make another buck make us uncomfortable when we’re thinking about another sale make us uncomfortable Every time our mouths Want to utter a lie So that we could do a little bit better in our finances make us uncomfortable when we have stored up so much treasure Where moth and rust destroy make us uncomfortable, God not so that we can just I don’t know, like give to organizations or any of that but so that we can actually make it to heaven. Dad, it would be so much better to be poor in this world and be rich in heaven Than to be rich in this world and to lose Heaven altogether. God I pray for our Church. Greed is so insidious It’s a liar. I pray, Lord, That You will set us free from its stranglehold Lord It’s rooted in everything we do in so much of our lives Lord, So many of us have been blessed beyond measure I pray that we can be generous in a perfect proportion of our riches that the more rich we get, the more generous we’ll be. God help us, Lord help us to be kind to be compassionate to the people who are hurting in this world to love people who have nothing to not put ourselves in the category of the people who are poor So that we can wiggle out of all of these conversations but let us put ourselves in the position that we are rich, Lord So that we can do What You ask us to do thank you so much for Jesus Who was so rich, So rich and became poor for our sake. Lord thank you for Jesus. I pray that as we take this bread that represents his body and the juice that represents his blood that we could have a moment of reflection about how awesome it is to be in relationship with the King of Kings And the Lord of Lords. We love You, Dad And we praise you in Christ’s name Amen.