Hope is Here / 06. Hope is Here // 7 The Cleansing of the Temple - Joel Virgo // Matthew 21:12-17

06. Hope is Here // 7 The Cleansing of the Temple - Joel Virgo // Matthew 21:12-17

Throughout the bible, we see God’s people taking the gifts that God has given then and using them to be a means of privilege. For example, the sabbath was intended to be a gift of rest but it was turned into a weapon used to shame people who couldn’t keep up with all of the legalistic obligations that they made up to go along with it.
In this week’s passage we read about the temple. God chose to set up His house in their land and honour them by living among them. However this gift of God’s presence was turned into a trophy until eventually they started putting their hope in the temple rather than God himself.
When Jesus comes into the story we see Him deal with this. He speaks strongly to them about how they have missed the point and turned the house of prayer into a den of thieves. The temple was supposed to be a place where God and people could be together the way that they were at creation before it was spoiled by sin. Sin separated us from God and made it impossible for humans to be near Him. But, in His love, God set up a temple and rituals so that they could be with Him. It was intended to be a precious and treasured gift but the people lost sight of this and turned it into a place of nationalistic arrogance.
There would have been people buying and selling products at the temple. This is because people would travel and then buy sacrifices when they got there. This was not wrong and is not what Jesus objects to. He is angered by their self importance and the way that they turned the house of God into a symbol of their own importance. Their security was in the temple, more than it was in God.
This can happen to us in our lives sometimes. We can look for our security and comfort in things that God has given to us instead of in Him. We can imagine that we are protected and that God would never touch those things, but His desire is not for your things, rituals or religion, He wants your heart and He is not afraid to take away everything else in order to draw you back to Himself, just like the temple was eventually destroyed so there was nothing left of it to cling to. He wants us to see straight and take Him seriously so keep a soft heart and don’t build a false den for yourself.
Jesus is the Lion and the Lamb. He is gentle but He is also fierce. He wants justice and we can see this in His actions. The temple was built to be a way for us to dwell with God. Now Jesus is building a temple of people who are joined to Him. People who are proud and self important can’t stand Jesus but people who come to Him like helpless children will be healed and restored.

Put your trust in Jesus, nothing and no one else. Don’t let any ‘temples’ distract you from Him.
Understand that Jesus is the Lion and the Lamb, we need to see and know both sides of Him.
Ask God to raise your expectations for what it means to be in His presence.

More Episodes

  • 17.Easter Sunday // Starting Again - Joel Virgo // Matthew 28:1-15

    In the final passage of our Hope Is Here Series, we look at how Jesus’ resurrection makes a difference to us in our lives today.
    The guards at Jesus’ tomb had an extraordinary encounter with an...

    Show episode   34:44

  • 16.Hope is Here // 12 The Cross - Tobi Ford-Western // Matthew 27:27-50

    The cross represents different things to different people, to some it symbolises Christianity, to others, crucifixion, and others Jesus Himself. While the cross displays many things,...

    Show episode   39:47

  • 15.Hope is Here // 11 Gethsemane - Matt Carvel // Matthew 26:30-56

    The word ‘Gethsemane’ is derived from two Hebrew words: gat, which means "a place for pressing oil (or wine)" and shemanim, which means "oils." During Jesus' time, heavy...

    Show episode   34:32

  • 14.Hope is Here // 10 The Lord's Supper - Joel Virgo // Matthew 26:17-35

    In the passage this week, we read about the last night before the crucifixion. This is the crisis point that the story has been building up to. The disciples have been repeatedly told that Jesus is...

    Show episode   35:24

  • 13.Hope is Here 9 // Jesus Curses The Fig Tree - Tobi Ford-Western // Matthew 21:12-14, 18-22

    In this week’s passage, after throwing the people out of the temple Jesus came across a fig tree with no fruit on it and cursed it so that it withered. It would be easy to get the...

    Show episode   38:42

  • 12.Hope is Here // 7 The Cleansing of the Temple - Joel Virgo // Matthew 21:12-17

    Throughout the bible, we see God’s people taking the gifts that God has given then and using them to be a means of privilege. For example, the sabbath was intended to be a gift of rest but it was...

    Show episode   35:08

  • 11.Hope Is Here // 6 The Triumphant Entry - Tobi Ford-Western // Matthew 21:1-11

    This week’s passage tells the story of Palm Sunday and Jesus’ return to Jerusalem. We know that it is an important story because it is written about in all four gospels.

    Show episode   38:21

  • 10.Hope is Here // 5 What do you want? // Application

    Application of the sermon: https://youtu.be/16w9LYvEhck

    Show episode   05:04

  • 09.Hope is Here // 5 What do you want? - Joel Virgo // Matthew 20:17-34

    In Matthew 17 we read about the transfiguration where the voice of God says, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” After witnessing this, it would be fair...

    Show episode   34:11

  • 08.Application // The Temple Tax // Matthew 17:24-27

    From the sermon:

    Show episode   04:31

  • 07.Hope is Here // 4 The Temple Tax - Matt Carvel // Matthew 17:24-27

    In this week’s passage, Peter is asked if Jesus pays taxes. As laid out in Exodus 30, the Israelites paid tax for the upkeep of the tabernacle and this seems to have been carried over and applied to...

    Show episode   33:10

  • 06.Hope is Here // 3 Jesus and the Children - Matt Carvel // Matthew 19:13-15

    In the passage this week we hear a story of children being brought to Jesus so that He could lay His hands on them. Firstly what we can see is how the people wanted to bring their children to Jesus,...

    Show episode   32:23

  • 05.Hope is Here // Jesus heals a Boy with a Demon Q and A Live

    Following the evening service, Tobi Ford-Western and Joel Virgo engaged in a live Q and A around the Sunday passage from the Matthew teaching series

    Show episode   24:05

  • 04.Application // Jesus Heals a Boy with a Demon // Matthew 17:14-20

    Summary and discussion questions from the talk:

    Show episode   04:53

  • 03.Hope is Here // 2 Jesus Heals a Boy with a Demon - Tobi Ford-Western // Matthew 17:14-20

    In the passage this week, we read the story of Jesus healing a boy with a demon. Firstly, we see the contrast between the transfiguration in the previous verses, with the chaos of fallen humanity...

    Show episode   37:11

  • 02.Application // The Transfiguration // Matthew 17:1-9

    Summary and discussion questions from the talk:

    Show episode   06:01

  • 01.Hope is Here // 1 The Transfiguration - Joel Virgo // Matthew 17:1-9

    This Sunday we began our new spring term series ‘Hope Is Here’. We will be looking at the book of Matthew from where we previously left off as a church, launching into chapter 17.
    Often in our...

    Show episode   40:46