Perhaps a little direction of where we are going is in order. During the summer, the blog went through the Gospel of Mark bit by bit. During the fall we are back to following the scriptures listed in the Disciple Study "Jesus in the Gospels". Thsi fall the theme will be the Passion and Resurrection. In January through May 2011 we will concentrate on the Gospel of John.
This week (and next) we have been on Chapter 17 of the study, which focuses on the Cleansing of the Temple and the Entrance into Jerusalem. The blog is written so it is not necessary at all to be in the Disciple study. To me, the passages we study are the heart of scripture. Occassionally, as today, we will look at Old Testament passages that give fuller meaning to Jesus' actions and sayings. We have about 80 people in my church going through this study, and this is meant as a help to them, and to any others who just want to study Jesus as he is portrayed in the scriptures.
Every day we read a scripture passage (from the TNIV); my thoughts reflect on that passage and how it applies to every day life (written each day- pray I don't get sick!). I also try to summarize and put into modern day English some of Calvin's commentaries on the passage. Calvin is brilliant, but his commentaries are not up to date, and they often are too lengthy. I started doing this as a way to celebrate Calvin's 500th anniversary. Try to give a visual image/art to go along too. Enough housekeeping!
Psalm 69:6-12: 6 Lord, the LORD Almighty, may those who hope in you not be disgraced because of me; God of Israel,
may those who seek you not be put to shame because of me. 7 For I endure scorn for your sake, and shame covers my face.
8 I am a foreigner to my own family, a stranger to my own mother's children; 9 for zeal for your house consumes me, and the insults of those who insult you fall on me. 10 When I weep and fast, I must endure scorn; 11 when I put on sackcloth, people make sport of me. 12 Those who sit at the gate mock me, and I am the song of the drunkards.
John 2:16-19: 16 To those who sold doves he said, "Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father's house into a market!" 17 His disciples remembered that it is written: "Zeal for your house will consume me." 18 The Jews then responded to him, "What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?" 19 Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days."
Thoughts: Jesus was not simply for keeping the status quo of comfort. Sin usually has a way of seeping into things- almost like dust and grime slowly gather on a good painting. It is the easy thing to ignore the problem. Every blue moon, care should be taken to clean a good piece of art in order to preserve it. So, reform is necessary in our lives and in the Church, and we should continually re-evaluate what we are doing- not by how we feel, or what the latest polls are saying, but by the Word of God. In fact, Psalm 69 points out that when zeal for doing things properly and for God's glory consumes us, it often- if not always has a tendency to isolate us or bring insults on us. Certainly, this aggravated the Jews so that some wanted to kill Jesus after his cleansing of the Temple at the end of his ministry (Mk. 11:18). The cleansing of the Temple by Jesus was linked by Him to the destruction of the Temple by the Romans in 70 AD (Jn. 2:19; Lk. 19:28-48- which we will study tomorrow). Jesus was concerned about the purity of individuals (Mt. 5:8), but also about the purity of the religious structures. The love of money and human lust for power can easily corrupt a church or a heart, and are to be continually fought against.
Prayer: Lord, help me today to live a generous and kind life. Convict me of my sin, and show me where I can live my life better for you. I also pray for my church and the Church in general that you would make your Church more pure today.
John Calvin abridged: Christ declares himself to be the Son of God in order to show he has the right and authority to cleanse the Temple. He drove the buyers and sellers out in order to restore the purity of the worship of God, which had been corrupted by human wickedness. This passage does not apply to church buildings as much as to the Church as a whole- which is the heavenly sanctuary of God on earth. We should therefore keep before our eyes the majesty of God which dwells in the Church, and not let it be defiled by any pollutions. This cleansing was a witness to the disciples that Jesus was the One who would restore the kingdom of God.