About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
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you are visiting Jerusalem
for Passover in 26 or 27 AD.
The city is bustling with a countless number of families like
yours, each having brought their prized lamb to be offered to the Lord.
Among the throng of visitors is Jesus. It's
His first Passover since being baptized by John, and what He sees in the
temple courtyard disturbs Him immensely (John 2:12 - 24).
you submit your lamb to the priest to see if it's suitable for sacrifice,
which you know it is, he rejects it.
He forces you to buy one of his lambs.
It's called the business of Passover.
Before you make your purchase from the priest you walk to the
currency trading tables to convert your Roman currency into Jewish
currency, and that for a fee.
Pagan coins are not legal tender at the temple.
Clearly, Passover has become the highlight of
glance to the right to see a guy looking like a rough and rugged carpenter
Those huge and heavy blocks of rock you carpenters haul around add
to your muscular physique.
He's whipping the daylights out of the temple animals that are for
scattering in all directions.
He's turning the heavy wooden money exchange tables upside down.
Coins are flying everywhere as money grubbing customers scramble to
grab a few coins for themselves.
You hear this guy yell at the top of his voice.
"You've turned my Father's house into a market place."
The crowd is chaotic.
The temple authorities are outraged.
The business of Passover has abrupttly ended for the day.
"Who is this guy?" you ask the man standing next to you.
Jesus, a carpenter from
an understatement," you say.
"If he's the Messiah these priests are literally in a hell of
putting it mildly," Peter replies.
forward 70 years.
You're an old man in the congregation of saints at Laodicea. Your
church has acquired great wealth.
It's prosperous, self-sufficient, and you're proud of it.
Now a letter arrives from John the Apostle that he claims is a
prophetic message from Jesus.
What you read is disturbing.
Jesus seems as angry as He was the day you saw Him at the temple 70
years earlier. Despite
your church's material prosperity Jesus says it's wretched, poor, pitiful,
blind, and naked.
He's about to vomit it out of His mouth (Revelation 3:16 - 17). You
wonder how Jesus could be so angry in this age of grace, but you should
1 Corinthians 3:16 and 17 tells you that the community of Christ is
now the New Testament temple
the western world church today.
Maybe you'll agree with me.
Generally speaking, it looks similar to the Laodicean community of
In many respects it resembles a Dow Jones Thirty corporation
instead of the Body of Christ it was meant to be.
get me wrong.
I understand the legalities that must be followed to maintain a
church's charitable status and other government perks, which by the way,
we're in danger of losing.
I've prepared and submitted the yearly reports to the government.
I've sat on church boards.
I know what it's all about, but still, we are Christ's temple.
We're not a Fortune Five Hundred Corporation.
We don't pattern ourselves after the world around us.
We influence the world.
know I'm talking in generalities.
Not all segments of today's western world church resemble the
My wife and I have recently joined a community of believers who
purchased and renovated an old downtown public library.
As long as we have the freedom to exist in this format we cannot
neglect the legal and organizational responsibilities.
That being said, the business of church in this instance has not
replaced the functionality of the Body of Christ, something that is
becoming progressively important in our present anti-Christ cultural
may disagree and that's fine, but, if the