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John’s gospel post 17: Get out!

September 11, 2013

“My home, my joy. I’m barred and bolted and I (Won’t let you in).(Get out of my house!)
No stranger’s feet will enter me.(Get out of my house!)I wash the panes,(Get out of my house!)I clean the stains away.(Get out of my house!) – Kate Bush – Get out of my house (from the album “the Dreaming)

John 2:13 – 17

What I am trying to do with this walk through John’s gospel is to read the thing as if for the first time without any preconceptions. Which of course is pretty much impossible. Given the number of times I have read these stories.

Trying not to read anything back into it. Hopefully that way there is still room to be surprised. So far so good I would say.

Last time out we had what we are told was Jesus’ first miracle. A miracle which showed his glory, but which actually hardly anybody knew about though many enjoyed the results. I suppose if we go back to the start and his original involvement in creation, many people enjoy Jesus’ creation without noticing Jesus.

Well as we read on things change. No miracles on show here, but very very public Jesus. Angry Jesus! It’s festival time. The Passover festival. A reminder of how God rescued his people from slavery in Egypt. A change of scene. Jesus travels up to Jerusalem – the religious headquarters.

The temple was a hive of activity. People buying and selling sacrificial animals. And a bureau de change.

Angry. Whips. Driving people and animals out. A whirlwind. Tables overturned. Money thrown everywhere. Talk about how to get noticed!

There was something about the presence of these things but more about the way people were going about their business. People needed animals for sacrifice, but there was plainly something not good about the activities. This is God’s house – you have turned it into a market. The buying and selling perhaps has become the main thing – even more important than the worship it was intended to facilitate.

WE then realise the disciples are there too. And they remember the words “Zeal for your house will consume me”. Where did they get that from.Time to cheat and use Bible Gateway.

This is a quote from the old song book. Psalm 69 to be precise. A psalm written by the king/pop star David. The disciples recognise that Jesus cares deeply about what takes place in God’s house even to the point of anger and violent action.

Extraordinary stuff. Jesus gets angry about stuff that gets in the way of worshipping God. Stuff that distracts us from the main thing.People wanting to make money out of religion. Plenty of people still trying to make money out of religion. Just scroll through some of the Christian satellite TV channels. It won’t be long before someone is asking you for money, dressed and furnished looking as if they don’t need a thing. It was never a financial thing when it comes to knowing God. Knowing God will change the way you look at your finances, but there is no money admission charge to the house of God. Jesus whips up a storm and clears the way


From → Christianity

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