Sermon for Sunday, March 3, 2024

Confronting Hidden Agendas

John 2:13-22

John 2:13–22 (NLT): 13 It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration, so Jesus went to Jerusalem. 14 In the Temple area he saw merchants selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifices; he also saw dealers at tables exchanging foreign money. 15 Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the money changers’ coins over the floor, and turned over their tables. 16 Then, going over to the people who sold doves, he told them, “Get these things out of here. Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!”

17 Then his disciples remembered this prophecy from the Scriptures: “Passion for God’s house will consume me.”

18 But the Jewish leaders demanded, “What are you doing? If God gave you authority to do this, show us a miraculous sign to prove it.”

19 “All right,” Jesus replied. “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”

20 “What!” they exclaimed. “It has taken forty-six years to build this Temple, and you can rebuild it in three days?” 21 But when Jesus said “this temple,” he meant his own body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered he had said this, and they believed both the Scriptures and what Jesus had said.

Exodus 20:1–17 (NRSV): 20 Then God spoke all these words: 2 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; 3 you shall have no other gods before me.

4 You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, 6 but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.

7 You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.

8 Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work. 10 But the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it.

12 Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.

13 You shall not murder.

14 You shall not commit adultery.

15 You shall not steal.

16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

17 You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

Psalm 19 (NRSV): Psalm 19

To the leader. A Psalm of David.

    1The heavens are telling the glory of God;

    and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.

    2Day to day pours forth speech,

    and night to night declares knowledge.

    3There is no speech, nor are there words;

    their voice is not heard;

    4yet their voice goes out through all the earth,

    and their words to the end of the world.

    In the heavens he has set a tent for the sun,

    5which comes out like a bridegroom from his wedding canopy,

    and like a strong man runs its course with joy.

    6Its rising is from the end of the heavens,

    and its circuit to the end of them;

    and nothing is hid from its heat.

    7The law of the LORD is perfect,

    reviving the soul;

    the decrees of the LORD are sure,

    making wise the simple;

    8the precepts of the LORD are right,

    rejoicing the heart;

    the commandment of the LORD is clear,

    enlightening the eyes;

    9the fear of the LORD is pure,

    enduring forever;

    the ordinances of the LORD are true

    and righteous altogether.

    10More to be desired are they than gold,

    even much fine gold;

    sweeter also than honey,

    and drippings of the honeycomb.

    11Moreover by them is your servant warned;

    in keeping them there is great reward.

    12But who can detect their errors?

    Clear me from hidden faults.

    13Keep back your servant also from the insolent;

    do not let them have dominion over me.

    Then I shall be blameless,

    and innocent of great transgression.

    14Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart

    be acceptable to you,

    O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

1 Corinthians 1:18–25 (NLT): 18 The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. 19 As the Scriptures say,

    “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise

      and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.”

20 So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. 21 Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe. 22 It is foolish to the Jews, who ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish to the Greeks, who seek human wisdom. 23 So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense.

24 But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.

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