Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part II: Presentation Of The Messenger Of Salvation
B. Christ's Credentials Exposed Unto Men
3. Christ's Credential Of Sinlessness Exposed In His Holy Intolerance
(John 2:12-25)
  1. Introduction
    1. If Jesus is the Messenger of God sent to present God's salvation from SIN, Jesus should be sinless.
    2. An evidence that Jesus was sinless was exposed in His attitude of great intolerance FOR sin.
    3. John 2:12-25 exposes this great intolerance for sin in Christ, and offers effective lessons as a result for us:
  2. Christ's Credential Of Sinlessness Exposed In His Holy Intolerance, John 2:12-25.
    1. Jesus expressed His holy intolerance of Israel's abuses against true worship at the temple, John 2:12-17:
      1. When Jesus and the disciples went to Jerusalem for the Passover, Christ found money changers in the temple with their sacrificial animals and money sitting, doing business, John 2:12-14.
      2. This business presented a very godless scene that thwarted the whole atmosphere of true worship:
        1. The nature of the business on the grounds was very raucous opposite the environment of worship: (a) the people of Palestine used Persian, Tyrian, Syrian, Egyptian, Grecian and Roman coins in Christ's day, and only Galilean shekels or temple half-shekels of the Sanctuary were allowed to pay the Tribute tax for every person, Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus, The Messiah, v. i, p. 367. Thus, the money changers had much work to do, making for a lot of noise. (b) Many worshippers came from a distance, bringing money to buy sacrificial animals instead of carting the animal from their homes. The presence of animals only added to the noise, Ryrie St. Bib., KJV, ftn. to John 2:14.
        2. Also, the abuses of the money changers made it hard for worshipers: (a) extra charges were made for wealthy Jews from distant lands to change their foreign moneys into temple curre ncy, Ibid., p. 368. (b) Also, if one brought his own animal for sacrifice, charges were made for examining his animal and making sure it was acceptable, Ibid., p. 370. (c) With such abuses going on, people could get angry over having been cheated out of money, and enter the temple quite sour!
        3. Finally, the religious leaders in Christ's day often let their servants to use whips to keep the people in line, something that disrupted worship at the temple, Ibid., p. 372: Edersheim reports that the Talmud records the curse that the distinguished Rabbi Abba Shaul of Jerusalem put on the High-Priestly family of Annas, the High Priest of Jesus' day, for such abuse of the lay people!
      3. Jesus showed His intolerance of this abuse and Himself took a scourge to punish abusers, Jn. 2:15-16.
      4. The disciples noted how well this event fulfilled the prophecy of Psalm 69:9 that the zeal of Messiah for the holiness of the temple had "eaten him up" with anger! (John 2:17)
    2. When the Jews asked Jesus for a sign to validate His authority to cleanse the temple, He claimed that if they destroyed the temple of His body in response to His temple cleansing, He would not tolerate them to keep His body dead, but would raise it up after three days, John 2:18-19. The disciples later recalled this p rediction after Jesus had been raised from the dead, a recollection that added to their faith in Him, 2:20ff.
    3. Finally, Jesus revealed His intolerance of personal fellowship with artificial believers, John 2:23-25:
      1. While He was at Jerusalem, many people who saw Jesus' miracles believed in Him for that, John 2:23.
      2. However, knowing that they were not really accepting Him as their Lord and Messiah, but merely as some man of God, Jesus refused to let Himself have close communion with them, John 2:24.
      3. John reports that Jesus knew what was in man so that nobody needed to tell Him of the heart of man: this intolerance of the sin He could see revealed Jesus was the Holy Son of God and Messiah, Jn. 2:25.
Lesson: Jesus expressed (a) angry intolerance of the desecration of quality worship, (b) intolerance of those who objected to His intolerance of such sin and (c) intolerance of having close communion with those who had an artificial faith. As such , He revealed He was HOLY, and God's true Messenger!

Application: If we are truly indwelt by God's HOLY Spirit as BELIEVERS (cf. Rom. 8:9b), we like Jesus will ALSO be INTOLERANT of ungodly group worship, be intolerant of objections to such desecration and not seek close communion with people who have an artificial faith or spirituality!