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Following the liberator…

14 Sep

Jesus the liberator

Hey all!

Back to our journey through the Gospel of John, been so long I had to remember where we left it!

But, we are still in Chapter 2 and our verses are 13-15. So here they are;

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 money changers doing business. 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!” 17 Then His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your househas eaten Me up.” 

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.”

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.

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.

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. John 2:13-25 NKJV

If you know your Bible stories you may be wondering why this narrative is happening here. Matthew, Mark and Luke have this story towards the end of Jesus’ life. But, it would appear that Jesus cleared the temple more than once. John has Jesus going to and fro Jerusalem several times during his short ministry. If this event did happen more than once than it would as NT Wright has noted explain why people travelled from Jerusalem to the little town of Galilee to check up on Jesus (Mark 3:22 & Mark 7:1). But either way John is clear in why he is including the story.

John clearly states that this event is during the passover – he has already told us in the previous chapter that Jesus is the passover Lamb. John is showing that Jesus is changing the meaning of passover. Moreover, he is fulfilling the true meaning of the passover.

The passover was all about liberation, rescue from the slavery of Egypt, celebrating the God of gods and His faithfulness to His people. This is the first example of John explaining the full meaning of the passover, he will continue this in Chapter 6 and Chapter 12 of his Gospel. Jesus came to set people free. He came to conquer.

Every single act Jesus did was an act of liberation.

When he ate with someone who was an outcast or a ‘sinner’ he set them free. He declared that they were worth something, no longer worthless, but worthy of knowing God. He redeemed.

When he healed, he set people free from their illness or debilitation. He set people free from the stigma of being an outcast, he brought them back into the community. He restored.

When he let himself be crucified, he did it to restore us, to redeem us and rescue us. The greatest liberation!

The act in the temple, was about setting people free. Jesus has come to declare that He is the true temple, the word made flesh. Greed and corruption will eventually be destroyed.

Jesus tells the Jewish leaders, you can destroy me, but I will be back in three days, from then on things will be different.

The God who still loves the world has a plan. To redeem, restore and renew; and it comes through Jesus. As we learn to follow the greatest liberator we take our place in God’s plan. When we choose Jesus we are in the process of being redeemed, restored and renewed. Then God in His sovereignty does the same thing through us as we follow Him!

The gospel of John is about presenting the story of Jesus and then asking us to respond. John hints as to how people should respond. If you see the signs, then trust Him, it may be a little bit to start off with. But, take the risk. Jesus is the liberator and he knows you through and through (John 2:24-25), there is nothing about you, your past, your story that God does not know and He still loves you. (check out the MrsBlunders  tab for some excellent posts on the theme of God’s love)

God is all about resurrection!

Resurrecting the things we thought were dead, restoring broken dreams, replacing what has been lost, redeeming us to a better way of life.

We are living in a world of endless possibilities.

We are living in the midst of rescue.

We are living in the resurrection!

What have you got to loose?

How will you follow Jesus the liberator today?

Have a think and let me know your thoughts in the comment section or email me if you have any questions,

Grace and peace,

Steve

Prayer

Father, thank you for your grace.

Thank that you are the God of the resurrection.

The God of redemption.

We thank you for your Son, his life, death and resurrection.

We thank you for saving us, for liberating us.

May we live with eternity in view.

We will play our parts in the redeeming, restoring and rescuing of this world.

May we learn to follow the liberator.

Holy Spirit, teach us!

In Jesus’ name

Amen 

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