Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing

January 21, 2018


John 2:13-25


Let us pray.  J says, “For just this hour, follow me.  Listen to my word.  Think about your life as my disciple.  Pray, sing, & follow me.”  Amen.


Priest @ the Vatican


Before he can leave, a group of Cardinals ask: What right do you have to behave like this?

  • The priest answers: We don’t need a Pope or candles or anything else; someday soon you will see.


Now this story is not an exact parallel w/ our Gospel.  No other story can do justice to what J did; the event is that unique.


The Temple was the heart of Judaism – worship & music, politics & society, national celebration & mourning.

  • There were more animals (dead & alive) there than anywhere

  • Above all, it was the place where Yahweh lived; the focal point of the nation


An unknown prophet from Galilee turns everything upside down!

  • Have we lost the shock value of this scene?


The story is in all 4 Gospels

  • Here at the beginning; otherwise, at the end of J’s ministry

  • Regardless of when it happened, we know why the Jewish authorities had it out for J


Today, we need to answer:

  • Why J did what he did

  • What was wrong w/ the Temple

  • When asked for a sign, why did J answer like he did



  • It is Passover, & J is the Passover lamb; J is giving new meaning to Passover (liberation, freedom, rescue from slavery, salvation)

  • Buying & trading were necessary – or were they?


The Temple?

  • J thinks it is corrupt & under God’s judgment

  • It’s focus had been lost, from God’s presence to a marketplace


The sign?

  • J’s answer cryptically refers to his death & resurrection


J is the true temple; he is the Word made flesh, the place where the glory of God has chosen to make his dwelling.  The Jews had ancient traditions about the Temple being destroyed & rebuilt.  It had happened before, & many thought it would happen again.  Herod the Great had begun a program of rebuilding the Temple, & now, 46 years later, one of his sons was completing it.  J takes these traditions & applies them to himself.  He is the reality to which the Temple points.  His death & resurrection will be the reality to which the Passover celebration points.


I hope the meaning & lesson of this passage is clear to us:

  • Traditions & ceremony are great – as long as they aren’t the focus; as long as they don’t become the end to the means

  • Which means, the Church must constantly check itself to ensure that we are keeping the main thing the main thing

  • J alone brings us into right relationship w/ the Father

    • Our liberation, freedom, rescue & salvation are found in J – alone



Please reload

Our Recent Posts

September 13, 2020

September 6, 2020

August 30, 2020

Please reload


Please reload

I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!

Please reload


©2017 by Shiloh United Methodist Church. Proudly created with