Supper Time Conversations Through the Gospel of St John John 2:12-25 Then His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.” John 2:17 Rev Fred Shaw of Our Christ-confessing CHURCH in this Christ-denying World Reformed, Wesleyan, Methodist. No. JG 16 Sunday John 2:12-14 After this He went down to Capernaum, He, His mother, His brothers, and His disciples; and they did not stay there many days. Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the moneychangers doing business. The time of our Lord cleansing of the Temple is right at the beginning of His ministry in Johns Gospel while in Matthew, Mark and Luke it is shortly before His crucifixion. It is undoubtedly the same event. John is far more concerned about the impact that these events make upon our lives than its chronological order. The Holy Spirit therefore guided Him to bring together in a dynamic way the significance of Christ’s ministry. From the first verse of this Gospel John clearly and consistently emphasizes the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is also the most essential message for our time. Read John 1: 1-14. It is not Christ’s physical birth that he focuses on, but His divine origin. The second emphasis is the end of Judaism and its exclusiveness. Christ’s Baptism “Behold the Lamb of God.” which is also at the beginning of His ministry is more important than His growing up and His parent’s home. The wedding feast in Cana showed the failure and emptiness of Judaism and their spiritual deadness. The New wine symbolizing the New life that has come. Pray: Lord, please refresh my life and make me alive and joyful in my walk with You. Amen. Monday John 2:15-16 When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” Too often we forget that God’s absolute holiness, love, truth and righteousness are not mere attributes or qualities belonging to God, among others. God are these absolutes! From Him we derive them. This also carries with it very logical consequences which means that God is totally and awesomely intolerant of anything that is not holy, that is not love, righteous and truthfulness. In Communism and Humanism everything is relative and the average of human behaviour becomes the measure of normality. It must follow that the House of prayer and worshiping the true and living God must not be profaned. Those who enter His House must do so with reverence before Him. Jesus, with fierce and Holy indignation drove them all out of His House with their sheep, oxen and He poured out their money and overturned their tables. Today many of His holy Churches are profaned by lies, the anti-Christ and night-club music. Pray: Dear God, please cleanse us from all hatred, vileness, envy, covetousness, selfish ambition and vain conceits we bring into Your House. Amen. Tuesday John 2:17 Then His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.” We have no idea of being under the direct rule of a sovereign King and belonging to His Kingdom. Being subject to a King is inconceivable. Prayers of petition to a sovereign King are not the same as petitioning an elected President. In the kingdom of God James 5:16 “The effective, fervent prayer of a (single) righteous man avails much.” We can trace the decline of those who frequented the Temple of God and note how they slowly turned the House of Prayer into what they, not God, wanted. We have also polluted and profaned the sacred. Read Ps 69: I -36. Note: v 4b (NIV) “I am forced to restore what I did not steal.” v 9“Because zeal for Your house has eaten me up, And the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me. v12 (NIV) Those who sit at the gate mock me, and I am the song of the drunkards. In our time it is still the same. Many unbelieving Jews still mock and ridicule Christ when they are among their own. Many great Church buildings have foundation stones that read: “To the Glory of God this stone was laid by.” These sacrifices of our Father and mainly of our Lord Jesus are ignored. The preacher is of the Anti-Christ and the sensuous music, singing and gyrating are to the glory of Satan. Pray: O my God, What have I done to You in turning Your Father’s House into a supply store that will satisfy my own selfish desires. Forgive and change me Amen Wednesday John 2:18-19 So the Jews answered and said to Him, “What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” These answers are most important in the face of modern heresies. The first signs and miracles Christ Jesus performed as the creator of all created things and out of pure love and compassion. No hidden motives to promote His ministry. He renounced such. The turning of water into wine was not to make every guest enjoy such a harmful substance. It was indeed a wine no winery on earth could ever produce. It could make the occasion a glad and happy one and with no after effects. It was only a show to brighten up their rather dull lives. To those who do not know God but again no sign is ever sufficient. Secondly, those who see the nation Israel as the Alpha and Omega of God’s revelation and therefore do not take the Word of God seriously over several matters; this being one them. Jesus states that an evil and adulterous people look for signs and none will be given except that of Jonah. Matt. 12: 39-40. Here Jesus is NOT engaging in something hypothetical but that Judaism will be destroyed and He will rebuild it Himself. This was to be through His resurrection, ascension and then by His Holy spirit living in us. We become that Temple wherein Christ dwells Pray: Thank You Lord for living in me and that this once foul body has been washed clean by Your Blood. Amen. Thursday John 2:20-21 Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” But He was speaking of the temple of His body. This ministry of Christ is brought to a dramatic climax in the cleansing of the Temple. Introduced early in John’s Gospel so that the end may be seen in the beginning. Here we note how the new wine of the New Covenant announced the end of God being distant from His people and not understood by them. But now Jesus could say to Thomas and Philip (John 14: 8 -9) “Any one who has seen me has seen the Father.” God, who was beyond human understanding, came to us as one who is altogether human and altogether divine. Jesus cleansed the Temple and then told His critics that they can destroy that Temple and He would raise it in three days. He spoke of His body which would be raised on the third day. Jesus, in referring to His own that would also ascend into heaven and then at Pentecost, The Holy Spirit who is also the Spirit of Christ would come and live in His Children. Then they would be Temples of the Living God. Its Holiness will never be profaned again. Read all of 2 Cor 6:14-18 and learn that you who are the Children of God are the Temple of the Living God. Learn how holy your life must be. Learn to be separated from the world and have Christ living in you. Christ must be at home in you – You are His Temple! Pray: Lord help me to break completely free from the world and never hobnob with it again. Amen. Friday John 2:22: Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said. The question arises as to when the disciples truly believed the Lord Jesus Christ. In these days “Faith” has deteriorated into a meaningless but convenient cliché. It applies to anything that is called religion and worse. It is just a substitute for the lack of knowledge and understanding. The disciples found no sense in what Jesus was referring to concerning His death, resurrection and the sign of Jonah. Read John 16:25 -33 and note: “the time is coming when I will tell you plainly about the Father. “In that day you will ask in My name, and the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God, we believe that You came forth from God.” Jesus asked: “Do you now believe?” At the time when Jesus was ascending into heaven they still had only one thing on their minds, and that was the restoration of the Nation Israel. (Acts 1:6). Only after the resurrection of Jesus, were they able, however, to grasp what Jesus meant in referring to the sign of Jonah. They believed that He had come from God and this was confirmed in the Christ’s High Priestly prayer: Read all of John 17. And note verses: 6-8: They have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me.” Pray: Dear Lord, I am also very prone to believe You only for rewards this side of the grave and not for the eternal joy of being with You. Amen. Saturday John 2:23-25 Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did. But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man. During this feast Jesus performed many miracles. Nicodemus was certainly among those who were witnessing these. He was a scholar who had studied all the writings and teachings of the teachers of the law and scrolls of the old Testament. He was also a member of the Sanhedrin. He was undoubtedly among those who believed Jesus after what He heard and saw. Nicodemus was therefore one of the many who on that day believed Jesus. “But Jesus did not commit Himself to them”. Nicodemus must have been deeply disturbed in that Jesus would not receive him. He had to settle this matter before he could sleep that night. Perhaps Nicodemus, like many Christians today think that God is hard-up for them and all they have to do is to believe in Him. Knowing that even devils believe as much about God as they do does not disturb them. We also learn that Jesus will not commit Himself to anyone on the basis of miracles, for that is evidence. Believing Jesus on the basis of evidence is not believing at all and cannot please God. Romans 14:23 for whatever is not from faith is sin. Pray: Forgive me Lord for my sheer arrogance in imagining that I can become Your child on my terms as if You were desperate to have me. Amen.