Faith that moves a Mountain
Topic: Faith that moves a Mountain
Series: KINGDOM VISION 20/20
Conversation Starter: We tend to hear a quote
And run with it, right? This one is no exception.
But what did Jesus mean? Have you ever seen someone move an actual mountain?
Let’s Dig In!
Turn to Matthew 21:18-22. Here we see Jesus hungry, then cursing a fig tree for not having fruit. It immediately shrivels up to the astonishment of the Disciples. So much for second chances, right?
Jesus is getting serious. Why?
Verses 21 & 22 are given some of the most well quoted words from Jesus today. But what did He mean? He was referring to a specific mountain, right?
Which one? <- that is a great question! Because in our text, Jesus said this mountain.
Matthew 21 opens with Jesus enter Jerusalem to the applause of the people, enters the Temple (v12), leaves the Temple (v.17), heads back to the City (Jerusalem) the next day (v.18) and enters the Temple again (v.23). The Temple is Jesus’ focus.
Jerusalem is a city built upon the Judean Mountain range; the Temple itself spanned 35+ acres over a very mountainous portion.
Challenge Question: What Mountain was the Temple built on?
Ok, got it. But why did Jesus have such a problem with the Temple?
As Israel’s Father, He wanted His children to look different than the rest of the world. But, as kids of the world they wanted to look like everyone else.
BTW, so glad this is no longer an issue with us today, right?!
We want a King, like everyone else! (Read about it here: 1 Samuel 8:1-9) Verse 3 is Crazy!
We want a Temple, like everyone else! (Read about this here: 2 Samuel 7:1-17)
The Heart Behind the Idea. David felt bad living in a beautiful house while God resided in a fading tent outside. He wanted to build God a house with the best of intentions. God hears his heart and turns the request around to be a blessing for him (David).
The Intention Behind the Idea. Solomon, in a 20 year period builds the Temple and is warned that if he leads the people away from God, His Presence will not be there. God cannot be contained; He is mobile with His people. Solomon came to view God as living in that box; disconnected. He built about 700 mini temples, too! (Read about it here: 1 Kings 9:1-9;11:1-8)
Did Israel ever grow out of wanting to be like everyone else? No.
- Civil War divided them.
- Northern Tribes lost to Assyria, Southern to Babylon.
- God left the Temple building, never returned to it. (Read about it here: Ezekiel 10)
- Voice of prophets drifted off with time and a period of 400 years with ups and downs fighting to keep their identity. Sacrificial system in place up to and shortly after the time of Jesus.
- One such Prophet was Haggai with a really cool message of HOPE -> Haggai 2:1-9
- Rome comes along and Romanizes them; their Temple becomes pagan and a den of robbers (Matthew 21:13). Religion was all about public popularity, titles, greed and hypocrisy. The wealth became wealthier while the poor were neglected. People worshiped themselves rather than God. The Temple came to symbolize all that was wrong with the world. Instead of looking different as God intended, they became part of the problem. They became all that Jesus stood against.
So, where is God then? If He is not in the Temple, where is He?
About 500 years before Jesus came, a final prophetic voice said this…Malachi 2:17-3:5.
And now, que drum roll…JESUS IS HERE! And the Temple (symbolizes) HATES Him.
How does Jesus feel about the Temple (symbolizes)? Turn to Matthew 24:1-14.
That Temple made by human hands? It’s going away. I’m doing something different. Something new.
Application Time (You knew this was coming)
Jesus is with us always…
Through His Spirit in us…
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Leading us to be the difference God always intended.
The Invitation of Hope the World needs.
By His Spirit in us!
The mountain Jesus was addressing was that which the Temple resided on. What stands between you and God today? Matthew 21:21-22 is His Promise to us; by Faith you CAN MOVE MOUTNIANS!