“What’s your image?”
13 The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. 15 And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. 16 And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” 17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”18 So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 22 When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken. 23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. 24 But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people 25 and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.
“You are what you wear.” The marketing world will tell you this truth and convince you to believe in their brands for you to buy the image so you can feel happy, comfortable, and confident.
“Advertising now promises to give us what religion used to deliver: meaning, purpose, significance, and identity.” Mike Erre
The sad and bad news we see is that just like the Jewish people of Jesus’ day those who claim to believe and live for God have turned the Father’s house into the house of trade.
As a result, the principles and practices of market places influence and shape the people of God more than the person and practice of Jesus who tells us to “Destroy your objects of worship.”
Mike Erre says, “Our American fascination with numbers, ranking, and size borders on idolatry and a sell-out to the needs of our own ego.”
Idolatry exists in your heart.
1) What’s an idol?
A good thing turned into a god thing.
Your heart makes idols from anything and anyone even God himself.
Loving the idea of God more than God himself.
“The idolatry that exists in a man’s heart always wants to lead him away from his Savior and back to self-reliance, no matter how pitiful that self-reliance is or how many times it has betrayed him.” Matt Chandler
24 But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people 25 and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.
2) What do idols do to you?
Idols enchant, enslave, and entrap.
Idols are good things you need and want. They separate you from the real you because Jesus is the creator of real you. These good things – health, wealth, worth, relationships, control, intimacy, knowledge, family, friends demand your attention and affection that they become your treasures that you invest much if not most of your time and talent to attain, maintain, and retain.
People raise hell when they don’t get what they want and when they lose what they have.
Your emotions show your idols.
What did the Jews trade at the temple? They traded oxen, sheep, and pigeons for comfort: a removal of guilt. They traded money for convenience: a purchase of righteousness. They traded religion for image: worship of their hopes and dreams in the kingdom of God.
What are your idols? What do you get excited about? What robs you of your joy, happiness, and confidence?
Jesus destroys your idols on the cross and creates real you by resurrection.
19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 22 When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.
The good news is that Jesus is the temple in which the idea of God is shown as a person of God.
The good news is that Jesus loves you and shows you God as your Father.
The good news is that Jesus is your Lord and Savior who died for your idols on the cross and rescued you from the agony of hell called “kingdom of me, myself, and I.”
The good news is that Jesus freed you from your slavery to sin and calls you to follow him as a slave of righteousness.
The good news is that Jesus gives you the Holy Spirit who empowers you to see through the enchantment of sin, self, and Satan and equips you to grow in righteousness, in true self in community, and in the working out of your salvation everyday through repentance and faith in Jesus.
How does Jesus create the real you?
By showing you what dependence on the Father and the Spirit look like.
Miracle at wedding in Cana.
Humiliation, suffering, patient endurance, serving, prayer, preaching, calling people, listening, teaching, and dying.
You find your real self when you meet Jesus.
You find your real image when you receive Father’s love.
You find your real you when you respond to the Holy Spirit to wear the robe of righteousness.
Be cleansed of your shame, guilt, and fears.
Be reconciled to your Father.
Leave your ill-conceived ideas, entrenched evil emotions, and habits of hatred at the cross of Christ.
Don’t settle for the exchange of pigeons, sheep and oxen: the giving of your treasures of different shapes and sizes to feel better and good about yourself.
Don’t settle for the exchange of money: the outsourcing of service, suffering, and inconvenience of community.
Don’t settle for the worship of physical temple: the building and protecting your works righteousness.
What are your idols Jesus is calling you to destroy at the cross?
Who are your neighbors Jesus is calling you to love, serve, and protect?