A Distracting Temple
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
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
The Problem in the Temple
(vs 45; 1 Sam 2.12-18; cf. 12,17) [–
he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them
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
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.]
[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. ]
[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.]
Now the sons of Eli
were sons of Belial; they knew
not the LORD. ]
Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great
before the LORD: for men abhorred the offering of the LORD.]
[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.]
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.]
[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.]
[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.]
[The Passion of the Temple,
God goal for those coming to pray was that they come into the very presence of
All they were finding in this sacred place was distraction, frustration,
and corruption. Jesus came seeking
to correct this grievous error.]
The Disturbed Teachers
The Reason In Religion (vs 5;
2.8) [– “And
they reasoned with themselves
, saying , If we shall say , From heaven ; he will say , Why then believed
ye him not ?”
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.]
of God is Tempered by your reason if you find yourself:]
[Denying the Supernatural –
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.]
[Determining your own Standards
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.]
[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:]
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. ]
The Regard In Religion (vs 6; Heb 13.7-9) [–
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
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.
Remember them which have the rule over you, who
have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of
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.
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.
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.]
A Distinct Treasure (Luke 20.1)
it came to pass, that on one of
as he taught the people
in the temple, and preached the gospel, the chief priests and the
scribes came upon him with the
Jesus Preached the Gospel.
All that Jesus did on this occasion and
throughout His ministry sought to:]
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:]
– 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.]
ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.]
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.]
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.]
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.]
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
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
[So just what is the pilgrimage you have made for
[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!]
Nov 25, 2007