[SW273] 03/24/2017 message notes by
Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2017
“Jesus, the Judge”
So many of Jesus Christ’s “hard sayings” are left out, in the church today! But His judgment and His cleansing are mercy!
I love how the Holy Spirit gave this gospel to John. He begins with Jesus as God, the Son of the Father. Then he shows us that the Father gave His Son — the Lamb of God, His sacrifice — on our behalf. Then he shows us the new wine with which Jesus commands us to be filled!
Now, we must see this part of Jesus — the One who calls us to repent. It is the kind of judgment that He makes NOW. A judgment is coming in which there is no more opportunity to repent.
His judgment of what is going on in the Temple court at Passover is mercy. His judgment is mercy! He shows us our sin, and then gives us the Way out of sin — Him!
In Verse 14, Jesus found cheaters in the Temple. Many traveled from such distances for this required feast that they were unable to bring their own animals. Their money had to be exchanged for Temple money, and then the worshiper of God bought an animal for sacrifice. But the money changers rigged the scales in their favor, so they could keep back some of the money for themselves. And the money changers cheated them, not just of money, but of the entire experience of the holiness of God. It was no longer a house of prayer, but a place of merchandise.
Jesus was angry, with a righteous anger! Zeal for His Father’s house consumed Him (Psalm 69:9, John 2:17)! Matthew 21:13 says He called the place a robbers’ den — not only were the people of God being robbed, but the robbers made the Temple of God their den, the place where they planned their next robbery!
I could say much about today’s church at this point, but the Lord wants me to speak to you personally. What is in your temple that should not be there? What kind of sin is in you? Are you cheating Jesus Christ by not giving Him all of you, but keeping a part for yourself? He wants all of you, and commands you to give all of yourself to Him.
Have you sincerely said some words at an altar, but live an unchanged life? Do you still love the things of the world, placing them above Him? Then you are fooling yourself. When you repent and believe (and sadly, repentance is not even mentioned in some churches, as part of the “salvation prayer”), you change. You begin to want to walk like Jesus. You find you battle your sin nature, like the man in Romans 7, and you ask Him to cleanse you, filling you with His new wine, His Holy Spirit, the best saved until last, as I spoke last week!
He will drive all of that out of you and make you a dwelling place for the Father and Him (John 14:23)! Sin separates you from God. He wants you to know Him in a holy, intimate way.
Many say, “It’s not religion, it’s a relationship.” But the hearers often don’t know what that means. It is to dine with Him and Him with you (Revelation 3:20). It is to be at the dinner table with the Father and the Son, to hear their conversation, to do and say what they do and say, and for many to come to Him as a result!
Judgment is coming, but Jesus has come! It is God’s mercy to you! If you will repent and turn to Him NOW — and He does say NOW — then you will not face His judgment at the end of things. Do you not know that Jesus Christ will be your Judge? Look at John 5:22, 25-29. He is Judge, appointed by the Father, and all will come. Every knee, of both evil and good, will bow and every tongue will confess (Philippians 2:10). Then the evil will go to hell, says Jesus (Mark 9:47-58), and the good (those who believe He is who He says He is, who do God’s will, the ones in whom He dwells), to life forever with Him in heaven.
Some say, “Preach healing and prosperity!” Jesus says, “First things first!” Did He preach healing? No, He preached repentance. Did He heal? Absolutely! Does He heal now? I am a testimony of His healing of the incurable disease, MS.
But do you know when I sought Him, it was not for healing? I didn’t even know that was possible. I just wanted to know Him. I had a hunger, and I pray He would put a hunger in you — a hunger to know Him in this holy, intimate way, to sit at the table with God the Father and Him. It is glorious, and from there, He uses us to do His works that He has prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10), for how will we know what to do unless we are sitting with Him and hearing and seeing?
Do you not know your body is to be a temple for the Holy Spirit, that you are not your own, but you were bought with a price. (1Corinthians 6:19-20). The Father gave His Son as a Lamb unblemished, so you could be the temple of the living God! Do not rob God! Do not cheat Him! Repent and ask Him to take His whip of cords and clean you out!
When you are cleansed, and the Father and He come in, when you are filled with the Holy Spirit and your heart is purified (Acts 15:9), then you will be able to do what you are here for — you will be a God container, and people will come to Jesus Christ because of you.
Much of the church will say, “Don’t call people to repentance. That’s judging!” No, it is mercy! If Jesus didn’t care, He’d let you go your own way. But He is in me, and He says, “You have things in your temple that do not belong there, and you have been holding them back from Me! Stop it!” As Him to cleanse you!
Do it now! We do not know the Day of Judgment, but we know it is coming. The Bible points to it and speaks of it. Jesus says He will be the Judge. His mercy is here now! Seek Him while He may be found (Isaiah 55:6) — this is a limited time offer! Amen.