"Not the God You Expected"

Sermon Date: 
Apr 09 2017
Sermon Audio: 

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Please feel free to use the following as a reflection, personal study, or for your Life Group. Please be sensitive to other views expressed.

INTRODUCTION
1. What is your understanding of the Passover Celebration (see Exodus 12)?
2. Why do you think Jesus made it publically known that He is the Messiah during Passover?
3. Have you ever experienced times when God didn't allow things to happen as you would have expected? How did you respond?
4. Do you look forward to a time when God will finally judge the wickedness of humanity?

ADDITIONAL NOTES
The crowds were excited to welcome their Messiah (the Son of God) in hopes Jesus would be their religious-political leader who would finally grant them victory over Roman oppression. In their eyes it made sense that God has finally arrived through their Messiah to judge those wicked of idol-worship such as the Romans.

READ MATTHEW 21:1-17
1. Instead of Jesus commanding a charge for battle against Rome, where does He go?
Notice the priority wasn't for Jesus to go to war against the oppressors but rather His priority was to stand in opposition to God's own religious leaders at the Temple. You may want Jesus to condemn others for their corruption but what if Jesus' priority is to first go after the corruption in your own heart...?

2. What are Jesus' actions and words demonstrating to the religious leaders?

ADDITIONAL NOTES
The buying & selling was done at the "Court of Gentiles." This was a dedicated space for non-Jews (i.e., the nations, Isaiah 56:7) to come and worship God. This space was being violated by the market which should have been outside such premises. This was to be a place of prayer!

The money-changers were assessing heavy exchange rates and taxes making it very difficult for even the poor to purchase an animal for their offering to God. The Temple establishment was profiting for personal gain at the expense of others in the name of religion!

IN SUMMARY
Jesus is condemning those guilty of their practices preventing others from being able to truly worship God.
Jesus is also condemning those guilty for their practices profiting (or gaining) at the expense of others within a worship context.

3. What implications (principles) could be applied within our own church context?
(Note: We are the body of Christ and now the spiritual temple of the Holy Spirit. 1 Cor. 6:19-20)

4. Why do you think Jesus healed the blind and the lame?

5. Why are the religious leaders angry at Jesus?

CONCLUSION
1. What does Jesus need to clean up (or clean out) in your relationship with God?
2. How might we take advantage of others in the church-body for our personal gain?
3. How did this reflection speak into your heart?

May we continue to grow in the Word of the Lord!
Pastor Trevor