Updated: Sep 1, 2020
In scripture it is recorded that Jesus cleared the temple two times. In John 2:13-16 Jesus cleared the temple from those who were selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifices and even those who were exchanging foreign money. Jesus cleared the temple right after his first miracle of turning the water into wine in Cana. Three years later after His triumphant return to Jerusalem Jesus clears the temple again. Matthew 21:12 Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out all the people buying and selling animals for sacrifice. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves. 13 He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves!” Even after three years Jesus had to remind them of the corruption that had come into the church and the lack of relationship the leaders of the church had with God. This was a vivid example of what happens when the ways of the world become more dominant than the ways of God. Men trying to exalt themselves and not Jesus into the ministry of the church will always result in failure and worldliness. Also, after three years of Jesus preaching the truth and warning the churches to get back on track there was no change.
Which brings to mind. Why don’t we get it? You know, the lessons in the circumstances presented before us. Jesus was talking to His disciples in John 14 about Him going to prepare a place for us and that His departure was going to be soon. In verse 4 Jesus said “And you know the way to where I am going!” Doubting Thomas who appears to be the poster child for Christianity in our country says this “5 “No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?” And then Phillip, good ole Phillip says ““Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” Jesus replies to Phillip in the following verse 9 Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you? It’s like Jesus would need to say “Come on!”
As we fight through these Covid-19 days I have heard numerous things said about the reason for the virus and how we as Christians should react and I just have to think “Don’t you get it?” The eternal, all powerful, God of the universe is reaching out to us to get us back on track and get back to the MAIN THING!! Main Thing = Winning and discipling those who need Jesus. Of course, the modern day evangelical church has left the element of discipleship out of the faith experience, so we are asking stupid questions like Thomas and Phillip every day because we don’t know enough about God to even reply to the things happening every day in our world. You may think that comment by me is so critical and mean, but in reality “the truth has to be said.” In the relay race of the Christian faith we have dropped the baton and now we are paying for it. I was in a wonderful church when I accepted Christ ,but there was no discipleship for me as a new believer and many years were wasted until at 19 years of age when God called me back to learning from Him through His Word and my life began to grow in leaps and bounds.
Just like those who couldn’t keep their priorities straight about the purpose of the temple we have lost sight of the importance of winning new converts and discipling them. The Covid-19 should be our “wake up call” to recapture the heart of the evangelist and do it right from here on. Do it right has discipleship coupled with the salvation experience to develop fully grown new believers who go forward in their faith and continue to win more disciples. What a waste the Sermon on the Mount would have been if those listening in real time would have ignored the truth in it. I am sure many walked away confused, but that is where we as believers step alongside those new converts and grow them in the faith.
Now back to Thomas and Phillip. The words of the truth of Jesus apparently didn’t “click” with these guys and they’re asking their stupid questions must have surely been frustrating for the one who was living it before them. Paul addressed the strong relationship with God the Father and how intimate it is because of Christ in Ephesians 3:12 Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence. I was never told about how close God wanted to be with me and how much He paid for that to happen. And then I don’t allow that relationship to flourish and I am asking questions about stuff I should already know the answers to because I have my guidebook (The Bible) to answer everything!! Paul further made note of the responsibilities of all believers, but especially ministers of the Gospel to equip God’s people. Ephesians 4:11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers.12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. What happened to that?
Time to get things right and get them right NOW! The “basics” of the faith are the “necessaries” for our faith. Just like Phillip asked Jesus to “show us God.” That is a real “duh” moment for Phillip and really for us. Jesus told Him God has been walking on these dusty paths with you the whole time in the form of Jesus. So Jesus left the Holy Spirit with us to do all of this through us and we are still asking the wrong questions. Our question might be “What is God trying to show us in all of this?” To which the Holy Spirit will say “Ask, seek, and knock!” The plan and the purpose and the power is laid out plainly before us in the Word of God. Time to dive in there and let deep call to deep. God is waiting, but are you willing? I AM!!
The Pilgrimage continues…..