Sunday School Material 4-6-14: Jesus Cleanses the Temple

(Isaiah 56:6-7; Jeremiah 7:9-11; Mark 11:15-19; 4/6/14)

Introduction:A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that God wants His house focused on prayer, not robbery. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to work on making God’s house a house or prayer and not robbery.

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Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that God wants His house focused on prayer, not robbery. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to work on making God’s house a house or prayer and not robbery.

 

Body:

Read Isaiah 56:6-7

I. Worldwide Focus. In our Sunday School material There is mention of how foreigners can bind themselves to the Lord. Such binding includes serving, keeping the Sabbath holy, and obeying God’s covenant.

This binding leads to the people receiving joy and having their sacrifices accepted at the altar. We will talk about the Temple and church connection in the last section of our lesson.

Applications -

- God’s expectations. Notice in vss. 6-7 that God expected something out of those He accepted. In our Sunday School material, God expected the people to be bound to His name, to minister or serve, to keep the Sabbath holy, to obey the terms of the covenant, and to give.

In like manner, God expects something out of His people today. “Yes,” we are saved by faith in Jesus’ payment for our sin.

However, as disciples of Christ, we are expected to love God with all that we have and to love our neighbors, as we love ourselves. Let’s work on living up to God’s expectations.

- God’s inclusive plan. Notice in vs. 7 that in the Old Testament, God had a plan that was larger than the Jews. It was not an after thought that God allowed Gentiles to be saved through Christ.

Let’s live as if we are appreciative of God including us in His plans. This kind of living should be known for joy and obedience to God’s will. 

Read Jeremiah 7:9-11

II. Corrupt Den. There is mention of how the people are desecrating the Lord’s house. The nature of desecration includes people living sinful lives and then coming to the house declaring they are safe.

The Lord has been watching! We will talk about the Temple and church connection in the last section of our lesson.

Applications -

- In church … but church not in us. Notice in vss. 9-11 that even those who claim to belong to God can sin. Being in the Temple of the text didn’t mean that the Temple was in them.

In like manner, people can be in church buildings today, but it doesn’t mean that they have church or God ruling their lives.

Let’s work on living like people who have God ruling their lives, as opposed to living like people who simply go to a church house on a regular basis. The more Word we get in us, the more obedient we should live.

- God’s watching us. Notice in vs. 11 that the Lord has been watching what was going on among His people and in His house. When a person drives a car, there is a such thing as a blind spot.

In most surveillance systems, there is a blind spot. But there are no blind spots with God. God sees and has been watching us for a long time.

Let’s live as if God is watching us. This kind of living should be known for obedience. Think about God seeing both our paycheck and what we give in church. Think about God sitting next to us, as we watch television, instead of giving our best in service.

Read Mark 11:15-19

III. Cleansed Temple. In our Sunday School material Jesus casts people out of the Temple court who were desecrating the Temple area. Jesus talks about God’s will for the Temple to be a place or prayer for all nations. Jesus and His disciples leave the city, in the evening.

Applications -

- A life worth imitating. Notice in vss. 15-17 that the sins of Jeremiah’s day were repeating themselves in Jesus’ day. It is important for our generation of believers to understand that we are setting an example for the next generation.

Our young people are watching us and to some extent are likely to imitate us. Let’s live a life worthy of being imitated. This kind of life should be known for loving God and others, as we love ourselves.

- The church as a house of prayer. Notice in vs. 17 (as well as Isa. 56:6-7; Jer. 7:9-11) that instead of the Lord’s house being a house of joy and prayer, it was known as a den of thieves or robbers.

First, we should do all that we can to help the church be what God is calling it to be. God wants the church to be a place of joyful people and a place of prayer.

We can help by being people of joy and prayer. We can help by urging and encouraging others to be joyful and prayerful. Of course, we should work on praying together.

Second, we should do what we can to keep the church from being a den of thieves. A great step in the right direction is to make sure each of us are not robbing God of His tithes and offerings. Let’s work on helping our churches be what God is calling them to be.

- Pharisees. Notice in vs. 18 of our Sunday School material that the Pharisees wanted to kill Jesus because of fear and jealousy. It is sad, but there are too many Pharisees who still live in our churches today.

They are known for being jealousy of those whom God is using. They fear those things that they cannot control. We would do well to be aware of them and make sure they don’t recruit us into their evil plans.

Furthermore, when we see them doing evil things, there should be some church discipline applied. God’s plans for His church are more important than the Pharisees’ plans for the church. Let’s work on avoiding the negative influence of Pharisees.

Conclusion: Let’s work on making God’s house a house or prayer and not robbery. God has much for those who obey His will.

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