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Making Money from 'Faith'

John 2:12-17

The feasts of Israel involved lots of sacrifices and lots of eating. Therefore many animals were traded to supply the market need. Instead of people bringing their own livestock from their homes, up to hundreds of miles away, it was practical and convenient to buy the animals in Jerusalem, even if the price was higher. As the sacrificial animals were traded in the Court of the Gentiles in the temple, they could not be purchased with ordinary Roman money but special Tyrian coinage minted in Israel.

True Disciples Watch and Remember

John 2:18-22

There was no doubt, when Jesus had disturbed the market in the temple He also unsettled the religious power-holders. They demanded to know His authority for doing so, and wanted Him to do a miracle. But Jesus never did miracles to satisfy people’s curiosity. Instead He told them a riddle: “Destroy this temple and I will rebuild it in three days”. But it made no sense to them at all.

Believing Without Entrusting

John 2:23-25

Although Jesus did many miracles, and people believed He was the Messiah, their hearts were not changed. John’s Gospel particularly records seven of those signs in detail, and explains why Jesus is not just the healer-provider of individuals but also the Saviour of the world. John 20:30-31 says, “Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”

From Respect to Rebirth

John 3:1-3

Nicodemus is a key character in John’s Gospel, (appearing in chapters 3, 7 and 19). Although he was a leading Pharisee, and a member of the 72 strong Sanhedrin (the religious ruling council) which agreed to put Jesus to death, this passage shows him to be a seeker of the truth.

How to be Born Again

John 3:4-8

Nicodemus was the leading theologian of his day. He knew the spiritual and moral rules according to Moses, and he had studied the Old Testament. But when Jesus told him that God’s Kingdom was only for those who were born again, Nicodemus had no answer: so he asked a question, “How is it possible to be born again”? Clearly it was ludicrous for a grown man to re-enter his mother’s womb!

Education Without Understanding

John 3:9-12

Nicodemus had come to quiz Jesus on theology, but it soon became clear that he did not understand the answers. This top theologian had no grasp of what it meant to be born again. He understood religious rules but had no concept of grace. His learning was academic but his understanding was not informed by God’s Holy Spirit. Even the simple analogy of God’s sovereignty over the wind (the word for ‘Spirit’ is the same in John 3:8) was impossible for him to comprehend.

Heavenly Credentials

John 3:13-15

Jesus is the only person who knew all about heaven, because He came from heaven! He is the ‘ladder’ between heaven and earth (John 1:51 & Genesis 28:12) – He is unique, being the only man who fully understands both environments.

The Gospel

John 3:16

This verse is the most preached of all gospel texts. It presents the five essential components of God’s good news. Firstly, “God so loved the world”. Unlimited love was His motivation, holding nothing back, even His Son. The ‘world’ means all the people in the world at every point of time; all have sinned - everybody except Jesus has offended God’s holiness. Secondly, Jesus Christ was sacrificed by Father God, although He was infinitely precious.

Salvation Is Offered But Must Be Received

John 3:17-18

Despite all the wickedness in the world, God loves everybody. That is why He sent Jesus. The arrival of Jesus, His life and ministry, was not to condemn people who were wicked, but to enable wicked people to be saved. Although God will not tolerate sin, He has compassion on every sinner and wants everyone to turn from their self-centred ways and be saved (2 Peter 3:9).

The Light Exposes The Truth

John 3:19-21

Jesus is the Light of the World (John 1:9; 8:12; 9:5; 12:46). This powerful picture depicts God the Son as having the ability to shine His searchlight and look into every dark corner, revealing the truth of what is there. He also provides confidence and safety for those who walk together with Him. Light automatically removes darkness. But sinful people hate the light because they do not want to be exposed; they fear the light lest their personal empire should be seen for what it is: godless, corrupt, selfish and worthless.