All I Can Do

John 2:13-22
13. And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
14. And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:
15. And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables;
16. And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.
17. And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.
18. Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?
19. Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
20. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?
21. But he spake of the temple of his body.
22. When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.

Recently we visited my in-laws’ church, where the pastor preached on John 2, which gives the account of Jesus cleansing the temple. He noted that the activities going on there were necessary services for the many travelers who came to Jerusalem from afar to take part in the passover. The problem, of course, is they should have been practiced elsewhere.

Along came Jesus and kicked out the animal sellers and money changers who collected temple taxes. As verse 17 notes, Jesus was consumed by the zeal of the Lord. The temple was to be a place strictly for worship, not for commerce.

When the religious leaders wondered about His authority to do what He did, He indicated the sign of His authority would come at His forthcoming resurrection. The disciples would put the pieces of that together in their minds after the event.

I thought the pastor’s message was very good. A friend doesn’t think so because we should all know about this story. He says we should move on to new ideas. He does raise a good point though. Does this story provoke us to action in our own lives?

The pastor encouraged believers in his audience to recognize we’re temples of God, and we should cleanse our own lives, or allow God to do so.

That’s all good and well, but what do we do about the garbage in our churches as a whole? Nothing. I’m sure no change is forthcoming in the pastor’s own church.

And what would Jesus do if He came back today? There would be much to cleanse. We’re bombarded by shallow music, shallow teaching and false doctrines. We celebrate Christmas and Easter–both steeped in paganism–neither of which is commanded or even promoted in Scripture. Talk about false worship!

I used to be quite zealous as a young man. I worked at Christian radio stations, hoping to get truth to listeners. Unfortunately, to be succinct, the nature of the business puts up roadblocks. I used to argue with family members and friends in an endeavor to share truths about God’s word and the world we live in.

I’ve since mellowed considerably. I realize I have little to no credibility with nearly everyone I know. Yet the fires of zeal for the Lord flare up from time to time. But there’s no hope of reforming others. I left off going to church years ago because I don’t have the stomach for their idiocy and B.S., and they don’t welcome anyone who’s perceived as a troublemaker who rocks the boat.

I cried when I heard the pastor’s message on John 2. Why? Jesus may have cleansed the temple that day, and He’ll return to carry out the judgment the world and our churches so richly deserve. But I realized all I can do for now is grieve.

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