By Pastor Wu
26 Aug. 2012 Sunday
|Sermon: Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days||video||audio||doc|
|Worship song: How Great Is Our God||video||audio||lyric|
|Worship song: I Will Worship||video||audio||lyric|
|Worship song: Knowing You Jesus||video||audio||lyric|
|Worship song: The Gift Of Knowing You这一生最美的祝福||video||audio||lyric|
Worship song: The gift of knowing you这一生最美的祝福
|Verse 1||When I see the starts at night
How my heart is drawn to you
And their light shines Your grace on me
How I long to be with You
I lift my voice in praise,
I will love You with my life
For Your beauty and Your goodness never end
|Chorus||Nothing compares to knowing You
You are the treasure of my life
Trusting in Jesus Christ my Lord
My richest blessing in the world
In the valleys or on high
You are with me all the time
Thank You Lord,for the gift of knowing You
|Verse CN||在无数的黑夜里, 我用星星画出你,
zai wu shu de hei ye li, wo yong xing xing hua chu ni,
ni de en dian ru chen xing rang wo zhen shi di jian dao ni
zai wo de ge sheng li, wo yong yin fu zan mei ni,
Ni de mei hao shi wo jin sheng song yang de
|Chorus CN||这一生最美的祝福, 就是能认识主耶稣,
zhe yi sheng zui mei de zhu fu, jiu shi neng ren shi zhu ye su
zhe yi sheng zui mei de zhu fu, jiu shi neng xin kao zhu ye su
zou zai gao shan shen gu, ta hui ban wo tong xing
Wo zhi dao zhe shi zui mei de zhu fu
Scripture Reading: John 2:18-25
18 The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”
19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”
20 They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?”
21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body.
22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.
23 Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name.
24 But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people.
25 He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person.
I love the song we just sang, because it tells us how great our Lord is, how great our Lord has been, how great He is when I am in the valley, and how great He is when I am on high. So I love that song, I love to give thanks to our worship leader and the worship team, because of the Holy Spirit, and also the effort from them. Every Sunday, brothers and sisters at this church are brought to the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, so I’d love to give thanks to them, and also give glory and praise to the Holy Spirit, and that Jesus Christ would die for us on the cross.
Brothers and sisters, we just read John 2, let me repeat part of which we just read. Let me repeat what verses I am going to focus on: Chapter 2, verse 18 “Then the Jews demanded of him, "What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?" Jesus answered or urged them, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days." The Jews replied, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?" But the temple He had spoken of was his body. After He was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what He had said. Then they believed the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken. Now while He was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many people saw the miraculous signs He was doing and believed in his name.” These people believed in Jesus as a result of being able to see the miracles done by Jesus, they saw it so they believed in Jesus. As a result of this, Bible continue to tell us in verse 24, “But Jesus would not entrust himself to them.”
Brothers and sisters, when Jesus came to Jerusalem for the Passover Feast, what He was seeing at the temple area really angered Him, to such a degree that He made a whip out of chords, and with which He drove out people who was selling doves, lamps, cattle, he was so angry that He overturn the table of the money changers, and he scattered the money of these people, He rebuilt them by saying “How dare you! You have turned my father’s house into a market!” He was so angry, so He did all of this. After that, the Jews, demand of Jesus, “What a miraculous sign you can show us to prove your authority to do all of this?” Jesus told them, urged them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it in three days.” The temple, we all know, was the body of Jesus Christ. We all know it was about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But brothers and sisters, I want to ask you a question today, what kind of temple that Jesus Christ, upon the question raised by the Jews, what kind of temple did Jesus urge Jews to destroy? What kind of people would Jesus Christ not entrust His life to?
The Jews came to Jerusalem for Passover Feast. They were all required by the laws, the rules set up by the Jewish priest, that they must bring the first born of the animals they raised at home. They must bring either dove if you are poor, or lambs or cattle if you are rich. You are supposed to bring all of this to the temple as a sacrifice, and also you need to give a tenth of what you get to the temple, so that you can fulfill your duty as a Jew. But because many Jews live so far away from Jerusalem, the priest gave them an easy way for them to fulfill their duty by allowing people to sell cattle, doves and lambs outside the temple area. So people who came to Jerusalem for the Passover Feast, to fulfill their religious duty, all they needed to do is to buy something and to give it to the priest who can slaughter it as a sacrifice. All a Jew is supposed to do is to change the money from Roman’s money or Egyptian money or other area money into Jew’s money, so that they can give it to temple. All they need to do is to do this. So the Jewish priest give them an easy way to carry out their religious duty.
It reminds me of a fast-food religion. Brothers and sisters, when you go to McDonald’s, when you go to Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), when you go to 7-11, all you need to do is to pull out your money, the bill and give it to the cashier, you take your things and leave. Take your food and your dumplings. And the cashier does not care if you are OK, does not care if you are OK. And the cashier do not care if you are struggling in your spiritual growth. And the cashier does not ask even "Have you been OK recently? Are you OK in the battle against evil?" They do not care at all. All they need to do is to pull out the money and show it to the cashier. In America and many other countries, when people want some food from McDonald’s, what they often to do is to drive in and speak to the speaker: "I want a hamburger......I want two pieces of chicken......Or I want big-size Cola, I want a medium-size French fries."And then they drive in again at the window, an arm reaches out, you take the food, and drive home and eat it. You fulfill paying the bill and get your food to eat.
Brothers and sisters, Jesus Christ was urging people to tear down the temple where people worship the Lord carelessly, unconcernedly. And Jesus said, "I would not entrust my life to these people." He would not entrust His life to people who do not care about their spiritual growth, do not care whether the Lord is with him. Brothers and sisters, you come to church because your mother is a Christian. You come to church because your parents have been bringing you to church in the last five years. Because your parents want you come here, but your heart is in Disneyland. Jesus Christ would not entrust himself to these people. Brothers and sisters, Jesus Christ not only would not entrust himself to this kind of people, to this kind of temple, but also, He would not entrust himself to a legalist person. He would encourage people to destroy the temple where people worship the Lord with their mouths, worship the Lord legalistically by obeying the rules, by obeying the laws, the traditional laws.
In the John Chapter 5, Jesus saw a person who was paralyzed for 38 years, so he asked the person, "Do you want to be healed?" This person said, "When angel came down in last 38 years, stirred up the water, the other people who were always able to move jumped to the water before me. So I had never got a chance to be healed." And Jesus asked him again, "Do you want to be healed?"And he said, "Yes, I do." Jesus commanded him, "Take your quilt and leave."And this person did it. But the Pharisees blamed him because what he was doing was on Sabbath. Because he picked up his quilt on the Sabbath. By Jewish laws or rules, they were not supposed to do these things on the Sabbath Day. But the grace of Jesus Christ was upon him on Sabbath Day.
Brothers and sisters, I'd like to weigh which is more important: the grace of Lord upon this person or obeying the rules. I am sure your answer would be the grace of Lord with people is more important than rules. I remember one day I was by the side of the door of this church. Two young men were entering the church with shorts and sandals. And the layman stopped them and told them, "Well, you guys are not supposed to enter the church with sandals and shorts because it does not look good. Our church does not allow these people to walk into the church.You have to dress yourself up, wear decent clothes because you come to church to worship the Lord. So, you are supposed to be very decent." I was there and said to this layman, "Would you please take off your shoes and give them to this young man so that they can put them on, and walk into church and worship the Lord. And you wear the sandals outside the church because you are not there inside anyway. In the next service, when he comes out, he can give back the shoes and go home with his shoes." He was not happy at all. I insist, but he did not do it. Anyway these two young men entered the church were being exposed to the grace of the Lord, being exposed to love of the Lord Jesus Christ. Brothers and sisters, let me ask you, which is more important? Obeying the rules of not entering the church with sandals, or being exposed to the grace of God? I am sure your answer would be that being exposed to the grace of the Lord is more important than wearing decent clothes. The answer is obvious.
Legalism, always, all the time, will lead to hypocrisy. Because legalism makes you feel good, make you feel pure, make you feel like “I’m more committed, I’m more devoted than other people. I am better than you are. I have better faith than you have. I’m better than you!” Legalist hypocrisy always results in this. And that is exactly what Jesus Christ wanted to urge people to destroy, because when Jews come to worship, come to Jerusalem for Passover, they were required by the priest to offer doves, cattle, and lamb as a sacrifice. And then give a tenth of what they get to the temple as a tithe. And the priests do not care if they are growing in their spirit. The priest didn’t even care to ask, “Are you growing in the spirit of the Lord?” All they required was that you come to church with a sacrifice; you come to church with money. That’s all you are supposed to do. That is what—that is legalism. That is hypocrisy. And that is something that Jesus wanted to destroy. And the people that practiced that kind of legalism, Jesus will never entrust His life to. Jesus will never entrust His life to these kinds of people.
In Luke chapter 18, Jesus was telling a parable. One day, two people came to the temple. One is a Pharisee, and the other is a tax collector. And this Pharisee stood up and prayed. What he was saying was so legalistic and hypocritical. This is what he was saying: “Lord, my Heavenly Father, I am not like those evil-doers. I am not like those adulterers. I’m not like those sinners. I’m not even like this tax collector. Why? Because I fast twice a week. And I give a tenth of what I get to you. Lord, I’m good. Lord, I’m better than this tax collector. I am better than all those sinners. I am the one you are supposed to be pleased with!” This is what? This is legalism. This is hypocrisy. And this is what Jesus wanted to urge people to destroy. And these people – the people who practice this kind of legalism – Jesus wouldn’t entrust His life to. Not only so, but Jesus also wouldn’t entrust His life to people who believe as a result of only being able to see the signs. The miraculous works, the signs and wonders done by Jesus.
In Mark 8:22, the Bible tells us, “They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, ‘Do you see anything?’ He looked up and said, ‘I see people; they look like trees walking around.’ Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26 Jesus sent him home, saying, ‘Don’t even go into the village.’” Why did Jesus ask him not to go into the village. Why did Jesus stop him from going into the village? Because the people, everybody that lived in the village knew him, knew he was blind. And now he was able to see. He was able to read. He was able to look at things. So they would be very surprised and ask, “What happened to him?” and he would say, “Well, Jesus Christ healed me. He was so mighty that I was healed. I was saved.” Then people would flood out from the village and follow Jesus for his healing, rather than for his salvation. But what Jesus was supposed to do in this world was to tell the people in this world that He is the Son of God and that He came here for the salvation of the people of the world. That is the call of the Gospel. That is the call of good news. So He didn’t want His time completely occupied and wasted in healings. So that’s why He told this person not to go to the village. And brothers and sisters, you know that back in those days there wasn’t a 协和医院 in that village. There wasn’t a 北医三院、海淀妇幼保健站 in that village. When people were sick, all they could do was let out some blood, or do some completely, entirely non-medical thing.
So, brothers and sisters, Jesus Christ was to intend for people to destroy the temple. The very people who worship the Lord carelessly, unconcernedly, legalistically. Where people worship the Lord because of the sign that they saw. Brothers and sisters, I wanted to ask you a question: Do you believe in the Lord carelessly, unconcernedly, legalistically? Or believe in Jesus because of the miraculous signs of Jesus done in your home, in your family, or in your life? If so, destroy they temple, so that Jesus can entrust Himself to you. May the Word of the Lord be with you. Amen. May the praise and the glory be to our Father in heaven. Amen.