The Heart of Jerusalem

The Heart of Jerusalem

Passage: Luke 19:45-48

Intro: I asked my sponsor how a person sober for 25 years could “go out”.

Why did this happen?

Answer: Alcoholics drink… and Sinners sin.

If Jerusalem is a person, the temple is the human heart. 

45 When Jesus entered the temple courts, he began to drive out those who were selling. 

46 “It is written,” he said to them, 

“‘My house will be a house of prayer’; but you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’”

47 Every day he was teaching at the temple. But the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the leaders among the people were trying to kill him. 48 Yet they could not find any way to do it, because all the people hung on his words.

Luke 19:45-48

Jesus came to town and what’s the first stop?

And what does he do?

Background: Jerusalem was packed with Jews who had come for Passover, perhaps numbering 300,000 to 400,000 pilgrims.

Appears in all 4 gospels.

Jesus doesn’t go to the court or the palace. 

His ministry not political, but spiritual. 

1. Spiritual first and the rest will follow.

Example: When an addict starts on the path to sobriety, he wants the job, his woman back, his kids, a new car, but a smart sponsor cautions him, 

“All things in time. Don’t get the cart before the horse."

Jesus starts in the temple.

‘My house will be a house of prayer’

Church might be lots of things… these days it’s hard to tell. 

Knowing what you are called to helps know what you’re not. 

Church is NOT: a store, a museum, or a place of personal gain.

“…and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.”

1 Timothy 6:5

2. Godliness is not the path to personal gain.

Example: George Muller’s father who wasn’t even a Christian wanted him to become a pastor because he thought it was a good career for his son.

Check it out in John (some say this happened twice)

If so, it can be said that sin has to be cast out again and again.

…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. And he told those who sold the pigeons, 

“Take these things away; 

do not make my Father's house a house of trade.”

John 2:15-16

He used the whip to drive out the animals and the owners followed. 

“Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21

“You shall have no other gods before me.”

Exodus 20:3

…and he will clear whatever heart invites him in.

“…for our God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:9

3. God is a consuming fire.

Did you know that sometimes we need to be saved from the things we want?

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”

― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Following Jesus isn’t a side hobby. 

Stop asking others, “When did you become a Christian?”

…as if it’s a club that can be joined.

Ask instead, “When did you hit the point where you realized that you were completely lost?”

What does it mean to be completely lost?

Lots of people want to call themselves Christians, but… 

4. Not everyone wants to be saved.

“…drove out all who sold and bought in the temple…” (ALL)

Jesus drives out the greed, the envy, and the desire for MORE.

“Follow your heart.” Is this advice any good?

Is it good advice to leave the heart unchecked, to follow it?

The heart is deceitful above all things

    and beyond cure.

    Who can understand it?

Jeremiah 17:9

Example: Many times a parent will catch a child doing something wrong that doesn’t make sense and ask, “What were you thinking?”

“I don’t know.”

Have you ever done something and wondered, “What was I thinking?”

47 Every day he was teaching at the temple. But the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the leaders among the people were trying to kill him. 48 Yet they could not find any way to do it, because all the people hung on his words.

Luke 19:47-48

This is the picture of the heart of a person. 

Jesus is there every day shining light, but the “leaders” (strongholds) of the person’s heart resist him.

But “the people” (those living there) want Jesus.

5. Everyone needs to be saved.

Back to the analogy of the children of Israel, Jerusalem, and the temple. 

- the Christian people, the individual, and the heart.

Conclusion: There is no FIXING the human heart. That’s why Jesus died and we must too. 

The “flesh” gets crucified, not reformed.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 

The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

2 Corinthians 5:17

There is a constant battle in the heart of you and me.

Jesus himself lives there…. what else are you trying to keep there?

Could that be a reason for a lack of peace?

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