Outline and Audio Sermons:
Dr. Walter D. Huyck Jr. D.Min.

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To Seek And To Save

Communion With God

Luke 19.45-20.8

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A.     A Distracting Temple 

1.      A Pilgrimage To The Temple  (1 Sam 1.1-3; cf. Deut 14.22-29) [- A Pilgrimage Of Praise - Coming to Jerusalem to worship God.  Some think this pilgrimage was to occur once a year others once every three years.  The indication of 1 Samuel 1.1-3 was that Elkanah made this journey annually.  Hence many a devout Jew would make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem to offer his sacrifices and cheerfully give his tithes every year.  They were to bring their tithes and offerings when they came.  However, if their journey was long, then they were to sell their offering, bring the money, then buy back the animals they needed for their sacrifices.] 

2.      The Problem in the Temple (vs 45; 1 Sam 2.12-18; cf. 12,17) [– And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought;” - Necessity had turned into commerce and commerce had turned into covetousness (greed).  When these people had arrived in Jerusalem they needed to prepare for their approach to the Temple.  They needed sheep, oxen, turtle doves and other sacrifices.  They needed to make atonement for their sins.  They needed offerings that would satisfy the ceremonial law.  Hence, the sellers were there near the temple and in the temple ready to trade and traffic.] 

a.       [Worship and Sacrifice -When it all began the trading was more about Worship and Sacrifice.  Obviously, those who provided these services needed to earn a living, and that was fine. ]  

b.      [Gain and Greed - However, someone realized that there was more to be made here and profits began to be realized, after all what choice did people have.  We know that greed had found its way into the temple by B.C. 1171 when Eli’s sons were taking wicked advantage of the priesthood, the temple, and God’s people.  It probably actually started much earlier.] 

[1 Samuel 2:12 12 Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD. ]

[1 Samuel 2:17 17 Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD: for men abhorred the offering of the LORD.]

c.       [Treasures or Tithes - It wasn't long until the whole tithe brought to the lord was used to buy sacrifices and now the commerce was drying up the temple.  Hence, merchants were given spots at a price right inside the temple and that commerce began to support the priesthood.  Hence, the temple became more about commerce than spiritual cleansing.] 

3.      The Passion of the Temple (vs 46) [– Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves.” – God intention for the Temple was that it should be a place where people could come and pray.  Prayer is simply communication. It is communication with the divine, with Almighty God.  Hence, the temple was meant to be a place where people could come and talk with God while entering into a sense of His presence.  But the corruption and corrupt commerce within the temple had defile the temple and distracted people from the true purpose of the temple.  So that they found it nearly impossible to worship God at His house.] 

a.       [It is important to notice that it wasn’t so much the selling and buying of sacrifices that was defiling the worship experience.  After all, God had command that offerings be sold and bought by those who made extended journeys.  It was the covetousness and greed of those who had turned the whole processes into one of incredible frustration and distraction that defiled God’s ordained plan.] 

b.      [Consider that when one sold his sacrificial lamb for one price at home.  Traveled to the temple expecting to purchase a replacement at a fair price, only to discover that it costs three, six, or ten times the price to purchase a replacement lamb.  Then the bartering to find a more reasonable price, only to discover that only certain merchants lamb would be accepted by the priests.  Hence a monopoly was established that increased the purchase price even more.  Such corruption would frustrate the most devoted seekers.] 

c.       [The Passion of the Temple, God goal for those coming to pray was that they come into the very presence of God.  All they were finding in this sacred place was distraction, frustration, and corruption.  Jesus came seeking to correct this grievous error.] 

B.     The Disturbed Teachers 

1.      The Reason In Religion (vs 5; Col 2.8) [– And they reasoned with themselves , saying , If we shall say , From heaven ; he will say , Why then believed ye him not ?”   -  Reason and philosophy are powerful in our lives.  Reason and philosophy can be powerful agents of deception in our lives as well.  Obviously, God expects us to be reasonable and customary with one another.  But reason must be based upon truth, reason cannot establish our truth.  Our philosophies must be tempered by authoritative truth of God’s Word, but for man the word of God is tempered by reason.] 

a.      [The Word of God is Tempered by your reason if you find yourself:] 

(1)   [Denying the Supernatural – If you find yourself saying it just is not reasonable to believe in a six day creation because it seems impossible.  It just is not reasonable to believe that a flood actually covered the whole expanse of the earth as implied in the story of Noah’s ark.  It  just is not reasonable to believe that Jonah was actually swallowed by a specially prepared whale.  Then your understanding of God Word in being tempered by your reason and philosophies rather than enlightened by the revelation of God.] 

(2)   [Determining your own Standards – Notice that the religious leaders here are more concerned with the outcome of the conversation than they are about actual truth.  “If we say this, then he will say that.”  They are more interested is supporting a predetermined truth that they already have in place than about supporting the actual truth.  Their standards are their truth.]   

[Many people do just this.  Their truth is based upon some standard of living or perceived emotional well being.  They have learned what they think makes them feel good and happy and they have established a personal standard of truth based upon some undefined principle.  Yet, standards based upon traditions, feelings, or philosophies are the always reliable nor can they actually define actual truth.]  

(3)   [Developing your own Salvation -  Many have developed religions based upon the fancies of mankind.  Their religious principles will be reasonable and philosophical, but they will be far from God. We are warned in the Bible to:] 

[Colossians 2:8 8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. ]

2.      The Regard In Religion (vs 6; Heb 13.7-9) [– But and if we say , Of men ; all the people will stone us : for they be persuaded that John was a prophet .” – A good indication that your religion is based upon the reasonable and acceptable tenants of mankind will be discovered in the regard of your faith.  Notice that these religious leaders are more worried about what people might think and how people will respond than they are about how God might respond. 

In this popular majority regard one becomes superstitious and political in their faith.  The superstitions of the people become the foundational principles of the religious system, and the desire of the majority of the people becomes the guidance for the decisions of its leaders.  The warning of Paul seems appropriate here.  He wrote:] 

Hebrews 13:7-9 7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. 8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. 9 Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.

3.      The Response of Religion (vs 7-8) [– “And they answered , that they could not tell whence [it was]. 8 And Jesus said unto them , Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things .” -  Notice that their response is one of avoidance.  They do not give an answer because their system of philosophy and reason has led them to a dead end.  Life and religion based upon reason and philosophies will always lead you to a dead end.   

[Mankind can not find God apart from God’s revelation of Himself.  God’s revelation of himself will always extend beyond the comprehension, reason and philosophies of mankind.  Hence the response of religious principles based on the ambiguous thoughts of mankind will always lead to a dead end, and will never end up at Almighty God.]  

C.     A Distinct Treasure (Luke 20.1) [– “And it came to pass, that on one of those days, as he taught the people in the temple, and preached the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes came upon him with the elders,” - Jesus Preached the Gospel.  All that Jesus did on this occasion and throughout His ministry sought to:] 

1.      Remove the Frustrations of Worship ( 1 John 3.5; Heb 4.14-16) [– In cleansing the temple Jesus was seeking to free people from the frustrations and discouragements of a religious system that had become commercially corrupt and was far from God desire, God’s passion for people.  After cleansing the temple Jesus sat down and started teaching the Gospel.  In the gospel people would discover the answer to life’s frustrations.  There is the answer to the frustration of:] 

a.      [Sin – Which separates people from the presence of God.  Jesus paid the penalty for our sins and offers to wash our sins away with His own precious blood.] 

[1 John 3:5  And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.]

b.      [Sanction – A priest, temple and sacrifice are no longer required to gain access to God.  We no longer need to take the long pilgrimage, convert our sacrifices, and reconvert them at the Temple.  We no longer have to face and struggle with the corrupt commerce of false religious systems.  We no longer have to deal with the systems of the priesthood.  For in Christ have direct access to the presence of God and we each can come boldly to the very throne room of God.]  

[Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.]

2.      Restore the Freedom in Worship [- You and I now have liberty in Christ.  We have the liberty to know our Lord and Savior personally and intimately.  We have the liberty to worship Him in Spirit and in truth.  We have the liberty to know His incredible love and love Him in return, apart for traditional and legalistic religious practices that would draw us away from the heart of God and our passionate worship of him.  Jesus sought and seeks to restore our freedom in Worship by offering a personal and vibrant relationship with Almighty God through the gift of eternal life available only through Christ.] 

3.      Renew the  Fullness of Worship (John 14.17; Rom 8.10) [ - The fullness of worship is the personal presence of God in our Worship.  They fullness of worship was God’s intention throughout the ages.  It is more than just a prayer offered toward God, it is to be in instant communion with God.  Bible says it this way.] 

[John 14:17 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.]

[Romans 8:10 10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. ]

[So just what is the pilgrimage you have made for worship today?] 

[Are you distracted in Worship?] 

[Are you frustrated in Worship?] 

[What is hindering you today?  The religious practices around you?  The rationalizations of your humanity?] 

[Restore your relationship with Christ today!] 



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