Days 286 + 287 “Moral Blindness” and “Kingdom Nourishment” John 2:13 – 4:54
October 14, 2021, 11:50 PM

Days 286 + 287 “Moral Blindness” and “Kingdom Nourishment” John 2:13 – 4:54

Bang! Crash! Smash! That’s the start of the second chapter of John. Jesus is angry, mad, even furious. Do we remember this about him after we are done reading our Bible? Do we remember the passion of Jesus as it is lived out in these stories of cleansing the temple? We want to look at the word I used—cleansing. Jesus didn’t ‘clear out’ the temple; he was cleansing it. That indicates that there was an impurity or uncleaness that he felt he needed to address, and yes, some of that was aimed straight at the people who were selling things to the temple visitors.

So remember—to visit the Temple, you needed to bring a sacrifice. If you decided to buy the sacrifice when you got there instead—a pigeon or sheep or cow—you needed to use special Temple Money. Kind of like Monopoly money—in fact, EXACTLY like Monopoly money! The people in the Temple had a monopoly on this market for both money exchange and purchase of the sacrifices, and they regularly took advantage of the people who bought from them. Jesus is taking a stand against price-gouging, exploitation and unholiness. In the gospel of John, this temple cleansing begins the ministry of Jesus letting us know the importance of true worship, untarnished by the world’s economic or political or even religious commerce. Basically, Jesus is setting the stage.

We next read something that I feel like I have missed all the years and times that I have been reading this Holy Bible. In the book of John, Jesus also baptizes people. “[Jesus] spent some time there with them and baptized,” (3:22). I don’t know why this had such an effect on me. Maybe it’s just that it’s unexpected for some reason. But the first three gospels do not mention this. This makes Jesus’s command to his disciples at the end of Matthew much clearer to me:  “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matt 28:19). He isn’t just telling them what to do; he is doing it himself. How have I missed this?

I skipped over the conversation with Nicodemus because I want to talk about it in relation to other Big Conversation Jesus has in this section with the Samaritan woman. If ever we were offered a picture of the ministry of Jesus, this is it. Compare these two:

Nicodemus: has a name             Samaritan woman: nameless
Nicodemus: prominent Jew            Samaritan woman: enemy of the Jews, kind of a ‘mudblood’
Nicodemus: male, acceptable to talk to         Samaritan woman: female, unacceptable to talk to
Nicodemus: visits Jesus at night to escape attention
Samaritan woman: is visited by Jesus at noontime, when she was trying to escape attention
Nicodemus: upper class            Samaritan woman: classless

What we see is the expansiveness of the message of Jesus and the way he broke through commonly accepted norms to spread his message of hope. EVERYONE is worthy to speak to Jesus, to be taught by Jesus, to be invited by Jesus into the kingdom of God. Ahhhh….but if we remember the blog from two days ago, Jesus IS the kingdom of God, so wherever he goes, the kingdom is with him. He invites us, he invites the Nicodemuses and the Samaritan women, the

Bang! Crash! Smash! That’s the sound of the crazy kingdom breaking through into our world still today as Jesus models for us how to break down the barriers that create separations, disagreements and judgment, barriers of gender, economic status, education level. Early on in his ministry, Jesus demonstrates an equality of invitation that we can model in our churches and in our lives.

Well, my friends, it is late now and I did not do justice to the whole of these readings, but I touched on some important points. Hopefully this little bit helped. I know it always helps me.

Be blessed and be a blessing to others,


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