The Hope Canteen Podcast, Episode 41: Jesus and the Money Changers

Jesus and the Moneychangers
Episode 41: Jesus and the Money Changers

Many people hold an image of Jesus as a wise teacher who is kindly and serene. This week’s passage, the story of Jesus and the money changers in John 2:13-22, seems to work against that. In this story, Jesus goes into the temple of God. There, he finds that rather being a place of prayer, it has become a place where people are buying and selling.

He goes into the temple grounds and starts overturning tables filled with coins, shouting at people and driving the animals out. He says, “Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!” This is serious stuff. Join us around the virtual table as we discuss worship, justice, and keeping the main thing the main thing, through the lens of this challenging incident.

Does the Gospel Impact Your Life? (Six Questions for Every Christian to Ask, #1)

Question #1: Does the Gospel Impact your Life?

Peace be with you! I think everyone wants to hear this statement. The desire for peace comes up again and again when I talk with people about what they are really looking for. I too keep looking for peace in my day.

Peace Be With You

This phrase “Peace be with you” comes from a story in the Gospel of John. It takes place just after the crucifixion and burial of Jesus. Imagine a room filled with the twelve disciples and some others. They are scared and confused. Their teacher Jesus has been killed horribly. Some carry the guilt of having run away from him. They had been sure God was going to do something through Jesus, but now even that hope was in tatters. They have locked the doors because they are afraid that they too are about to be arrested. There is weeping and prayers of anguish.

Suddenly, Jesus stands in the midst of them and says Peace be with you. When the disciples get over their shock, they are overjoyed. They can’t contain it. What a transformation in the room! Jesus doesn’t just speak peace to them, but he is that peace, himself, in his person. And then he sends them out into the world, saying, “Just as the Father sent me, so I send you.” He charges them with bringing that same peace to the world.

The Impact of the Gospel Comes through the Person of Jesus

The peace of Jesus is different. It is a deep and transformative peace that made the disciples able to do things that they would never have imagined possible. This is a powerful peace (“Shalom”) of wholeness and harmony.

Do you want this peace? I ask this question because God’s peace impacts and changes us inside. But this peace of Christ is also part of something bigger than us: God’s plan to bring healing and wholeness to the world. This is what the Scriptures call the restoration of all things (Acts 3:21). Another term for this is the Gospel.

The Gospel Transforms

“Gospel” is one of these words that we hear so often that it can lose its force. But the point of the Gospel is that it has profound spiritual power. It has the power to fill your soul and connect you with God.

The Gospel is God speaking to us in a new language: the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. In Jesus, we see God’s love embodied. The Gospel is a message that captivates, calls, challenges, delights, and transforms us.

For the disciple of Christ, the Gospel can’t just be words on a page. It has to be a message that ripples through our lives and changes our hearts. You need to know that you are loved by God more than you can possibly imagine. Does the Gospel impact your life?

This is based on a talk from our 2021 Lenten learning series, Re-boot Your Spiritual Life. You can watch it here:

Building Treasure in Heaven: Love Mercy

Mercy comes directly from the heart and character of God

In our last reflection in this series, we looked at Justice as central to building up Treasure in Heaven. It is part of the triad of virtues — Justice, Mercy, and Faith — that Jesus highlights as ‘the weightier matters of the law’ by which we should be all be ‘weighing’ our actions (Matthew 23:23). Today, we are going to look at Mercy.

You cannot overstate the importance of mercy in both Jesus’ ministry and the Christian life. This is because mercy is central to the character of God. Pope Francis even wrote a book called The Name of God is Mercy. The most important thing about God may be God’s mercy. We will look at God’s mercy through two snapshots from Jesus’ life.

Continue reading “Building Treasure in Heaven: Love Mercy”