Sermon – They paved paradise and put up a parking lot (John 2:13 – 2:25) – Cornerstone Church Kingston
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John 2021

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The Book of John was authored by one of Jesus’ twelve disciples, John, who features in the gospel. John makes his mission for writing the book plain in 20:31; “that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” He details the many words and claims of Jesus, as well as the various responses from those listening; in either faith, amazement, caution or rejection. Listen as Cornerstone preachers unpack the narrative and invite us to reflect on our own response to Jesus.

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Sermon 8 of 58

They paved paradise and put up a parking lot

Pete Woodcock, John 2:13 - 2:25, 6 February 2022

Pete continues our series in John’s gospel by preaching to us from John 2:13-25. In this passage we see Jesus’ reaction to those in the temple when he arrives for the Passover festival, and how it fits into God’s amazing plan to save those who trust in Jesus.

John 2:13 - 2:25

13 The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. 15 And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. 16 And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” 17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

18 So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 22 When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.

23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. 24 But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people 25 and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.


Transcript (Auto-generated)

This transcript has been automatically generated, and therefore may not be 100% accurate.

The last book of the Old Testament, Malachi chapter 3 and in the penultimate chapter, we find this messenger who is also called the messenger of the covenant, the covenant messenger who is coming and paying a visit to his own temple. This is Malachi 3. We're gonna read verses 1 to 5, and then we'll turn on to John chapter 2. This is the word of God.

I will send my messenger who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly, the lord you are seeking will come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant whom you desire will come, says the Lord almighty. But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears?

For he will be like a refiner's fire or a launder's soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver. He will purify the levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the lord as in days gone by as in former years. So I will come to put you on trial.

I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers, and perjurers. Against those who defraud laborers of their wages who oppress the widows and the fatherless and deprive the foreigners among you of justice, but do not fear me, says the Lord almighty. John too then, and we're going to read first 13 to 25. When it was almost time for the Jewish passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the Temple courts, he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money.

So he made a whip out of cords and drove all from the temple courts, 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. Stopped turning my father's house into a market. His disciples remembered that it is written Zeal for your house will consume me.

The Jews then responded to him. What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all of this. Jesus answered them, destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in 3 days. They replied, it has taken 46 years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in 3 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. And then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus spoken. Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing, 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 for he knew what was in each person.

Well, let me add my welcome. I'm Pete Woodcock. I'm 1 of the pastors of the church. We've been going through John's gospel, and we've hit this this amazing little story, which we'll look at in a minute. But can I encourage you to come out on on Wednesday nights?

I mean, church history, people think it hurts really boring. It's anything but boring. And you may wonder why we got a picture of Father Christmas there because it's quite early, isn't it? To be talking about well, because the real Saint Nicholas, there was a real Saint Nicholas. And he was a fighter for the Christian message and punched someone at 1 of these Christian meetings.

Brilliant. There's all kinds of things about him. Why he had rosy cheeks and all of that stuff because he was whipped and beaten up for the gospel and His cheeks didn't heal through the whippings and stuff. All kinds of interesting things, and we're gonna hear some of them. It it's gonna be brilliant.

So come on. We pray together. We're here about what God had done in the past. And the reason why we need to know what was done in the past is because you know, we'll face the same issues, the same things. And and if you don't know what happened then, we're we're we're we're gonna largely make big mistakes.

Let me pray. Father help us now as we look at this passage together, help us please to understand who Jesus is that we may live in the light of that. We ask you by your spirit and in Jesus name, amen. Now, just go back to John chapter 1 and verse 14. John chapter 1 verse 14.

It's not coming up on there, I don't think. And you'll see this amazing sentence. We've looked at it, but it is actually quite amazing. Chapter 1 verse 14, the word and we've been told that that's the 1 that created the world that is with the father that is God is with God. The word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.

We have seen his glory, the glory of the 1 and only son who came from the father full of grace and truth. We have seen his glory, John says. We've seen his glory. He's talking about the disciples. We've seen his glory.

And it's 1 of the reasons I wanna write this book says John. Now 1 definition of glory, which I really love, is the outward shining of the inward character. The outward shining of the inward character. We have seen his glory, the outward shining of the inward character of Jesus. The Hebrew word for glory means weight substance, heavy.

That's what it means. So in the bible, you often get wheat and chaff and they're compared because wheat is the seed, wheat is the grain. The part that has life in it, the part is used that is used for bread, and it's heavier than chaff, which has no weight at all. So wheat has weight. Chaff is the light sort of shell of of of the wheat.

The outside shell and it has no substance, no life, no weight. So farmers would separate the wheat from the chaff by going onto a hill very often and they would take their winnowing fork it's called, they'd lift both the wheat and the chaff up in the air, throw it in the air. And on a windy day, the chaff which is weightless was blown away, the wheat which is heavy and has life in it would fall to a pile. John the Baptist who we were looking at in chapter 1, says of Jesus in Matthew chapter 3 verse 12. Listen.

His winnowing fork is in his hand and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering the wheat in barns, but burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire. He's separating the heavy, the wheat. From the chaff. In the book of Jose, an old testament book, it says this about people. They will be like the morning mist Like the early dew that disappears, like chaff, swirling from threshing floor, like smoke escaping through the window.

Mist, dew, smoke, chaff, Waiteless, no substance, no glory, no inner character to come out and shine out. Just outward, just hollow, just nothing. In the bible, God alone has glory. God alone has substance and life and weight, and everything else is is fleeting. Everything else is gonna be blown away.

Everything else is a a mist, a morning dew, a chaff. Sitting that even the atheistic philosopher, Frederick Nietzsche, said this, If God is dead and he believed God was dead, if God is dead, then everything he said becomes weightless. Everything becomes weightless. There's no glory, no weight, no substance. But here, John says, in John 1, 14, The word became flesh made his dwelling among us.

We have seen his weight His glory, his substance, the glory of the 1 and only son who came from the father full of grace and truth. Jesus, the eternal word of God. Jesus, the light of the world has come into the world. The word has become flesh, has dwelt lived tabernacleed amongst us. And we've seen these outward shining.

Of his inward character. We've seen his weight, the substance and life. And what is he full of? He's full of grace. He's full of truth.

Bursting out of him. Just look at verse 16 of chapter 1 of John's gospel. Out of his fullness. Do you see that word? Abundance, weight, life, substance out of his fullness.

We have all received grace, in place of grace already given. Jesus is the abundant 1 the glorious 1, the weighty 1. Yeah? And we saw that last week, didn't we? We saw that in the first miracle that that John records, the first miracle that Jesus does at the wedding of Kaina.

And if you weren't here, then go back and have a listen to that sermon. Here's a wedding running on empty. It's just about to run out. He filled the empty water pots with his wonderful wine. That's the abundance of Jesus.

You see the glory of him? Best wine anyone had tasted. The the the most of the bank were saying this is unbelievable. You've left the best of everybody has the best at the start and then gives the rubbish wine when everybody's sort of drunk, but you get the best outlast. He brought substance and life to empty water pots.

He brought substance and life to a wedding run on empty. He not only filled the water pots with the best wine. He fulfilled what those water pots were all about. He fulfilled what the wedding was all about. He fulfilled what marriage is all about.

He's the reality. He's the substance. He's the life He's the wheat, and they're just the husks. Grace upon grace. That's what Jesus brings in every situation he walks into.

Grace and truth. He can't help but reveal his glory. His inward character wherever Jesus is bursts out. This is what he's like. And so imagine being in that band of brothers and sisters walking from that wedding.

Imagine you've you've seen that first miracle. The joy. It must have just been terrific. Look at verses 11 and 12 of chapter 2. We're now in chapter 2.

We're now where we wanna be. What Jesus did here in Kaina of Galile was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory. Yeah? And his disciples believed in him. Gosh, they did.

Yeah? Then look at verse 12. After this, they went down to Capernum with his mother and brothers and his disciples, and they stayed there a few days. Hey, what do you think those few days were like as they're walking together as a band of brothers and sisters. They've still got the taste of that wine on their lips.

It's still like, did anybody bring a bottle of that? You know? Have we got to drink this at horrible old stuff? It's we got to go backwards. You know, you could hear you could it's exciting.

There are band of brothers and sisters. They've seen something of the glory of Christ, the inward character of Christ at an empty wedding, burst out in this first miracle, this first sign with the taste of that wine on the lips, but more than that, There's even more excitement in the air as they're walking together. Because it's passover time, we're told, party time. Yeah? And they're going to the city of God, Jerusalem.

Look at verse 13. When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now you gotta get that, haven't you? The wedding We saw the glory of Christ. Yeah?

Now we're going to Jerusalem, an international celebration, not just a small party or wedding now, an international celebration with thousands of people, thousands and thousands. You know, some would say even millions at this time, coming to Jerusalem to the temple to celebrate Passover. This is party time. If we saw the glory of Christ, small wedding party. My goodness, isn't it exciting what we're going to see when Jesus is at an international passover at the city of God in the temple of God.

What is the glory of Christ gonna be like here? Here's my first point then. The temple the Passover. What did that what do they mean? They've been mentioned here.

What's it all about? Well, listen. Very simply, it's a beautiful picture, both of them, of God's utter kindness his utter grace to us. They're just beautiful beautiful pictures of mercy and kindness and forgiveness and acceptance and cleansing. These are beautiful pictures.

So I I don't know about you, if I was in that band of brothers with Jesus going that way. I I think this is gonna be mind blowingly exciting. The s these beautiful pictures, already beautiful pictures exploded with the glory of Christ. The temple simply represents the present of God in the world. God dwelling with his people.

That's what that's what it represents. It also spelt out the need for sin to be dealt with if we're to approach God. Dwelling with us. God is pure, god is holy, and in order for us to approach him, then the seriousness of our sin and our disobedience to God. It needs to be dealt with.

And that's the sacrificial system that goes on in the temple. That there is a judgment on something else rather than on us. We deserve to be judged, but God in his kindness will put his judgment on the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. Very simple. Very simple system.

It tells us very precisely that God will judge a lamb in our place. Yeah? The Passover is another expression of that. It's a celebration of event in the life of the Jewish people, when they were slaves in Egypt. And basically, God's gonna come in his judgment on the land of Egypt because the Jews are not allowed to worship him.

And so this angel of death is going to come. If you put a lamb's blood on your doorpost over the place where you live, then already, the lamb has taken the judgment for you. And the angel of death that's going to come over the land will see the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world and say, judgment's happened on that house. They're free. I'll pass over.

And because of that event, if you know the story, and I have no time to The Jews were free to worship God and become the people of God. It's wonderful. They're wonderful beautiful pictures. That's 1 way of summing them up. You could sum them up, a sort of another complete other way, and say that the temple is the father's house.

God is like a father to us. And it's a place where we can know God as father. And to be part of the family, of God with God as father, then our sin needs to be dealt with, sin needs to be cleansed, And that's what happens in the temple. All at the instigation of God, the provision of God, the invitation of God, And that's what Jesus calls this temple. He calls it my father's house.

It's a beautiful picture. That's what I'm trying to say. If you've never heard that stuff before, then it's a beautiful picture of God's grace to us inviting us into the family by dealing with our sin. Yeah? That's I want you to get the beautiful picture God dwelling with us to say, be part of my family, are provided for your sin, a lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.

So here we are then. Imagine being a disciple. We're walking into Jerusalem with the son of the living God who's house we're going to. Yeah? We imagined sort of walking along.

Just imagine that All these people coming along. Yeah? There's people, fathers, and mothers, and children, and they're with grandmas and granddads and walking along, but you are with the son of the living God who's going to the father's house. Yeah? The 1 who's been declared, the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.

My goodness, the 1 that turned water into wine. The glorious Son of God, you're walking along with him. It's a beautiful beautiful picture until you come into the temple. And then something's gone wrong. Everything suddenly changes.

Horor of horrors, You enter the father's house, and something's gone wrong. There are people there that shouldn't be there. Have you ever been burgled? I have. You opened the door after the burglar's been in.

And as soon as you open the door, you know something's wrong. Something's wrong. Someone left a window open. Why is that stuff on the floor there? Who's emptied out the whole of that sideboard on the floor?

What's why is the fridge open? What why why is milk all over the place? Well, according to the detective that came around our house, he's called the milk burglar. And he drinks a pint of milk. Just gives himself away, actually, because he's got his hand on the milk, and he drinks milk wherever he goes to burgle.

That's what happened to us. Someone some robber has come into the home and made it not a home. All your personal belongings it feels. Well, to give you another real stretch. So when so when just walked into his father's house, there were burglars in there.

There were robbers. Get the sense of the feeling? Something's gone wrong here. Beautiful picture. Something gone wrong.

Well, let me give you another sort of illustration. There's an old singer called Joanie Mitchell. Some of you will know her. She wrote an amazing song with this great line. They've paved paradise and put up a parking lot.

That will be the name of this sermon. They've paved paradise and put up a parking lot. And the picture is this. That there's this beautiful paradise and because everybody likes going to paradise, and so you need a car parking lot to go there. So you pave over paradise so that you can have space for your cars, and someone can charge you.

The money to park in Paradise, of course, it's not paradise anymore because there's a parking lot there. Jesus walks into his father's house how exciting to walk in with the son of the living God. His glory has been revealed at this wedding party. What's it gonna be like here? They've paved paradise, and they've put up a parking lot, and they're charging people for coming.

Jesus walks into his father's house and there are robbers that have changed everything, and it's not like the family home should be. Grace, and the gift of God has been turned into a shopping mall. Where people make money out of worshipers. The grace of God they're charging for. They've paved paradise.

They put up a parking lot. It's a mixture of a flea market and a stock market. Selling animals and exchanging money, all that the temple meant, and all that it was meant symbolized now has been turned into a hypocritical sham as the priests make money and turned God's grace into commerce. It's shocking. You can read about what happened actually if you just look up.

If you put in Anace Bazaar, put Anace Bazaar in to Google, and you can look up what the high priests were doing. Anna, he's you find him in the bible. You find him in acts in in the book of acts, actually, and in Luke's Gospel chapter 3. Anas was like a godfather high priest who was sacked by the Romans but had power over Kyophus and the other high priests that you read about in the in the new testament. He was like a godfather figure.

He was a member of this the the sadducees, the aristocracy of of the Jews at the time and he was a wicked godfather figure that even though he wasn't high priest, he acted as high priest and dominated with his sons and with his son in laws, money at the temple. Wicked man is even in in Jewish Tolmud, There's a poem about him, which really is pretty horrible, but I won't read it. He was making money out of the grace of God, the free gift of God he made money out. And it's amazing how someone can turn Even people into thinking that was okay to do. But not Jesus.

Jesus wherever he goes reveals his jaw glory. So we've seen the temple in the passover and what how beautiful they should be, and we've walked into a Rob robbers den, and they've paved paradise and put up a parking lot, and now what's Jesus glory gonna do. That's my second point. The glory of Jesus is a whip. He makes a whip.

Verse 15, So he made a whip out of cords and drove all from the temple courts, 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. Stop turning my father's house into a market. His disciples remembered that it is written zeal for my house. Will consume me.

Jesus didn't lose his temper. He took time to make a whip He was angry though. He was fulfilling what we read in Malachi 3, that the lord of the covenant will suddenly come to his temple. And what does he see there He stands in judgment. He comes like a refiner's fire.

He will burn up the dross. He will burn up the chaff He will throw the chaff into the refiner's fire, he will bring the unquenchable fire of judgment upon those that treat God in such a way. Those who do not fear God He will bring the fear of God to them. That's what's going on. He makes a whip And he drives out all from the Temple Court.

He takes deliberate calculated action He makes a whip and drives the merchants out of the temple. People running everywhere. Animals all over the place, money flying as he turns over tables in his anger. This place, you've got to get get it, was packed with determined tradespeople under Annus The Godfather. They reckoned he literally made millions out of the temple, and I'm talking about millions contemporary number in those days.

These were seasoned money maker, mafia boss people. Running the show. Yeah? With Anna's behind them all. And 1 man His glory is so powerful for 1 man with a small whip drives them out.

Yeah. And we know that the Roman Gards were just opposite the temple in a fortress called Antonius, Overlooking. So the Roman guards were ready because they knew that this Jerusalem and the Temple was a potential hotspot for all kinds of revolutions, and they were there ready. 1 man. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle.

He scattered the coins of the money changes and overturned their tables, So those who sold doves, he said, get these out of here. Stop turning my father's house into a market. This is to another side to the glory of Christ, isn't it? And it's quite shocking for us. We like the wedding, but do we like this?

This is the other side of grace and truth being revealed, isn't it? This is the glory of cry Christ. This is the inner character of God, working itself out. As he picks a whip up and makes a whip and lashes it at these people. We think of the Lord Jesus Christ, Gentle Jesus, meek and mild.

Well, he is. But that's only 1 side of him. God is light as well as love. God is inflexible in His righteousness, as well as infinitely gracious. God is holy, as well as merciful.

And we do very, very well to remember that. Scripture declares that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. The lamb of God that takes away the the sin of the world is also the lion of the tribe of Judah. The Bible speaks about the wrath of the lamb, the anger of the lamb. Jesus comes as light shining in the darkness and that exposes the sin of the world.

He's the refiner's fire. Now no doubt that these religious leaders and temple People that were making money out of it would try and have an answer and say, you know, people need cattle, people need the money changed, people No doubt they'll have all kinds of excuses, but Jesus lays bare their motive. He opens up the inward character of them and its chaff and he blows it out of the temple. Their inward character is obvious to see, and he blows it away. As lightweight, and religious, outward religious stuff, all about making money.

So Jesus walks into the temple. To those who sold doves, he said, get these out of here, stop turning my father's house into a market. Notice he says, father's house. You see, his sonship is is just on display when he sees that his father is treated like that. The inward character of him being a son Can't help but want to drive out people that are blaspheming, his father.

My father's house. You can go through all of the big people that had to deal with temples and tabernacles, Moses, and Solomon, and Ezra. None of them said, my father's house, but Jesus says, my father's house. And we know it's his father's house because his love action, his glory at the center of his heart, is to be consumed with the glory of God. And so he furious when he walks in to the father's house, which leads me to my next point.

The third point The temple leader's reaction. Look at it, verse 18. I mean, at first, they're all running around, but after they've settled down and sort of gathered together a little bit and got a bit more, you know, strength together and outrage together. Look at verse 18. The Jews then responded to him.

What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do this? Who is this? Who is claiming to be the son of God? Who is this calling God my father? Who is this that overturns our position, yeah, and our traditions, and our ways of doing it.

Who is this? That is taking our business away. Who is this that is taking away our profits? Who is this? That has power to drive these people out.

I mean all these traders and farmers pouring out of the temple. I mean this was an amazing sight to see. Isn't it? It's a bit like people fleeing a fire in a building or fleeing a terrorist attack. Running away because there's some terrorists there 1 man who seems to be taking over the whole event.

But does he think he is calling this the father's house. I mean, what authority is he overriding our permits that the traders can be there and our profits? The Jews then approached him and said, verse 18. What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this? Instead of responding to the Messiah's judgment and the scriptures that says that when he comes to the temple, he'll be like a refiner's fire.

Instead of humble repentance, they demand a sign. Don't look at scripture demand a sign. Sholly, this is a sign. This is a miracle. 1 man clearing the temple with a small whip.

These men have so desecrated the House of God that they've desecrated their hearts and they've stabbed their own eyes out. They cannot see God for their sin. Standing amongst them. And so Jesus answers them, which is my fourth point. And in his answer, he reveals more glory.

Now bear with me here. This is important stuff, I think. This passage is is not just about Jesus hating religious money makers and corruption. It is about that, but it's not just about that. What Jesus is doing here is replacing the very temple with something far better.

That's what he's doing here. He's sacking the temple and replacing himself as the only symbol. Look at verse 19. Look at what Jesus does is. It's quite interesting this.

Jesus answered them. Destroy this temple and I'll raise it again in 3 days. Now that aren't that aren't if you re if you think about it, that answers both both both revealing and concealing. It's both isn't it? It's revealing and concealing at the same time.

It's like a riddle. It's it's like his parables. They make things easy, but they make things difficult. And he's sort of doing that here, isn't he? You know, here they are.

He's whipped all these people out. Now it settled down. They've suddenly got a bit more courage. They were scared. Stiff at first because the judgment had come to their house, and now there's suddenly got a bit more courage because they will not listen and so they reinforce themselves in unbelief and in sin, and they go up to him and they say, you know, you know, what authority, and then he answers, destroy this temple, and I'll raise it again in 3 days.

Yeah? So they don't understand what he's talking about. It's both revealing and concealing. So look at verse 20, they reply, it's taken 46 years to build this temple. And you're gonna raise it in 3 days.

So they assume he's talking about the bricks and mortar temple. Yeah? That's what they assume. And wouldn't you After all of this. Yeah?

He's just cleared the temple. They assume he's talking about the bricks and mortar temple. And it's been built in tech 46 actually, it hasn't even been finished yet. It takes another 10 years or so to finish, and then the whole thing is destroyed about another 10 years later. No, actually.

I think it's only literally a few months. It's just about finished, and then it's completely wiped off. Yeah. So he anyway, they think he's talking about the building. So to help us with this riddle, John helpfully puts in verse 21, which is very helpful of him.

But the temple he had spoken about was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled that he had said, what he had said, and they believe the Scriptures and the words that Jesus has spoken. So thank thankfully, John just pokes that 1 in so that we get the riddle. So these religious leaders, they clearly want to destroy his body. They're already right at the beginning here, wanting to kill him to put him to death.

But here's the irony, and I hope you stay with me we're here. I know it's been quite a lot of stuff here, but please stay with me on this because here's the irony going on here. And this has blown me away this week. Here's the irony. When the religious leaders called for the death, of Jesus, the killing of the temple that he's talking about.

When the religious leaders called for his death, They didn't realize that not only would they destroy the body, that temple of Jesus, They would destroy the temple, the building. In crucifying Christ, they're bringing an end to all of their jobs and the temple. It's brilliant. The irony is brilliant. The temple you see is only a type As marriage was in the in in in the in the the first miracle in Kaina.

The temple is only a type. It's a prophecy. Is pointing forward to Jesus Christ. In Christ, all the shadows, all the types, all the prophecies are fulfilled. So Jesus is much more glorious than the temple of bricks and mortars.

Jesus is the temple made flesh dwelling with us. Jesus is the temple, the meeting place of God. Jesus is the sacrifice in the temple, the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. Jesus is the high priest that intercedes on our behalf to God and brings the blood of the lamb to God. Jesus is the son of the father.

No 1 has ever seen the father, but the 1 and only son who, himself, is God and has made the father known, says Paul John in chapter 1. He is the 1 who cleanses the temple and brings the proper righteous offerings. Jesus is what everything is all about. Det this temple my body, and you will destroy your temple that you're so proud about. That's the irony.

You put judgment on me and kill me and I will have the final judgment on you. It's the end of the temple. I am what this is all about. Distroy this body, and I'll raise it up to life, I'll raise a new temple, a new kingdom, with everyone in that kingdom will be priests to their God. Everyone, a new kingdom called the church.

That's what it's all about. I can't think of the author's name now. What's his name, Anne, who says that the whole bible Tim Chester. He says the whole bible is like an hourglass. You have all of these prophecies, pictures of the temple and the lamb of God, and they're like an hourglass.

They come like that, but they come right into Jesus. All of those prophecies are all in Jesus. And then Jesus opens it up to the church and the new world, and there's a new temple and a new people. And a new priesthood. That's what's going on here.

This is what the scripture is about. Verse 22, After he's raised from the dead, his disciples recalled that he had what he had said, and they believed the scriptures and the words that Jesus had spoken, they understood it's all in the script It's all in the scriptures. He's the temple, and he clears it. And says, now it's all about me. Now here's my fifth point.

And then we're done. We've got about 8 points under this, but there we go. Do you see the glory of Christ? Do you see the glory of Christ? First of all, outward religion.

Religion is actually really very, very dangerous. Religion is extremely dangerous. Eugene Peterson says religion is the death of some people. Be careful of religion. Flannery O'Connor talks about that 1 of the best ways to avoid Jesus is to be religious.

Brilliant, isn't it? If you're religious, you can avoid Jesus because if you're religious, you don't need Jesus. If you're religious, you'll have a temple. If you're religious, you'll have a whole process of stuff going on in the temple. And you won't even recognize Jesus when he turns up.

In fact, you won't like him. Because he wants to clear you out. In fact, you'll hate him. In fact, you wanna kill him. Religion is a really bad thing, and religion takes you away from Jesus.

And I want to say to you, if you've got religion and you've got all kinds of religious ways of doing stuff, without Jesus, then you need to ask Jesus in your in his kindness to come into your life and cast out religion like he would a demon to bring his winnowing fork. And to throw up in the air, everything that isn't glorious, everything that isn't of Jesus, and let the chaff be burnt with unquenchable fire. So be careful you're not religious. Be careful you've got Jesus. Now again, I know I've said this many times, but I think the whole lot thing of of COVID has been a thing that's been the winnowing fork, isn't it of people?

Are we really loving Jesus? Or were we just in habits? So allow Jesus. It's very interesting Was it I I forget now because of the COVID years, was it last year or the year before when we had all kinds of iconoclasm. I quite like iconoclasm.

I always have. You go iconoclasm is smashing up idols, you know, you see an idling, you smash it up. But we had loads of people on the streets, didn't we smashing up you know, statues of people we didn't like. You know, was it Colson or whatever his name was? Never no.

No. Never before. But suddenly there's these people pulling down that well, allow Jesus to do some iconoclasm in your heart. Go on the streets of your heart and start smashing up idols that are in the way. Of seeing the glory of Jesus, the son of the living God, whatever they are.

Smash them down. Bring Jesus in. That's the first thing. Second thing, watch out for Christian superstars that have vast amounts of money and they make vast amounts from God. Don't trust them ever.

They'll lead you astray. Watch out for people that take religion and make vast amount of money out of songs that praising Jesus. We love Jesus. We don't love money, but we're gonna make loads of money the song that I've just written. I might write that 1.

Pastors that sell their sermons and courses for vast amounts of money. It's extraordinary, isn't it? And we pay. It's that's the amazing thing. Why didn't someone beat up Annus?

Yeah? A vast amounts of money. So be careful. Third thing. Study the Scriptures and see Christ like the disciples did.

Not like the religious leaders. If you go through chapter 1 and 2, we've only done chapters 1 and 2. You'll see there there are blind priesthood. They don't recognize the savior when he comes. He comes to his own and they don't know who he is.

You see in chapter 2 that all they've got is empty ceremonial jars. They they they they haven't even got water in them. Jesus puts water in them and then turns it to wine. There's a joyless religion going on there and then they're desecrating the temple. They're as blind as anything.

They're not seeing the Scriptures. But the disciples, they looked into the Scriptures and then saw who Jesus was. And they see that he's the glorious 1. Pay the prayer, hallowed be your name. Make that your prayer Lord, hallowed be your name.

That's the prayer Jesus told us to to to pray. Hallowed be your name. You don't really have to get any further than that. Hallowed be your name, may your name be honored, may the zeal of the lord consume me, eat me up? Studies the scriptures and get priced into you.

We are the temple of God. We're not a playhouse. We're not a bank. We're not a warehouse where we get loads of stuff. We're not a retirement home, and we're not a holiday home.

We're supposed to be the temple. So fill it up with the glory of Christ. Hallowed be your name in my life. And you get that in scripture. Keep reading scripture.

Or have it read to you. Fourthly, he's glorious, isn't he? I mean, come on. Here is Jesus. He walks into his house, opens the door, and he's majestic.

He opens the door like a whole load of, you know, armed police knowing there's robbers there. With utter confidence. He makes a whip, walks through the door and purges it of the sin that's going on. It's fantastic. He's king.

He's the 1 that John The Baptist has said, there's 1 mightier than I whose sandals are not worthy of to touch. He's he walks in with his sandals, It's powerful. That's the king of righteousness we want in our heart. To come in and cleanse us, to love, to glory in. And to stand for, hallowed be your name.

He came full of grace and truth. We have seen his glory. Well, I was gonna have some questions for what I've gone on so long. There's no time. So over to Tom.

Preached by Pete Woodcock
Pete Woodcock photo

Pete is Senior Pastor of Cornerstone and lives in Chessington with his wife Anne who helps oversee the women’s ministry in the church.

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