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Kingdom Access

The story of the prodigal son is interesting. The brother became angry at his brother’s celebrated return. Had he not been in the field at the time, would he have guarded the doorway to the house? Are you joyfully welcoming others into the Kingdom of God or restricting their access?

As a follower of Jesus, shouldn’t you make room for others?

kingdom

Photo credit: slack12 (cc)

John 2:13-14

It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration, so Jesus went to Jerusalem. In the Temple area he saw merchants selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifices; he also saw dealers at tables exchanging foreign money.

Open eyes

As a yearly custom, Jesus celebrated the Passover at Jerusalem. He saw merchants selling and trading goods within the outer Temple area, the Court of the Gentiles. The merchants took up space where foreigners should have had access.

As followers of Jesus, it is important to become aware of what is keeping others to have access to God.

John 2:15-16

Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the money changers’ coins over the floor, and turned over their tables. Then, going over to the people who sold doves, he told them, “Get these things out of here. Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!”

That all might hear

Jesus states why he acted so harshly, “Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!” It was not the physical force but the moral power Jesus employed that emptied the courts (Morris, Gospel According to John).

The Messiah’s desire was for everyone to have access to God”

“I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.” (John 10:16)

John 2:17

Then his disciples remembered this prophecy from the Scriptures: “Passion for God’s house will consume me.”

Messianic revelation

The actions of Jesus remind the disciples of Psalm 69:9 and Scripture is once again fulfilled by Jesus. “The action is not merely that of a Jewish reformer: it is a sign of the advent of the Messiah” (Hoskyns, The Fourth Gospel).

Passion for the lost

Followers of Jesus can inadvertently keep others from access to God by looking down on outsiders. Christians critical of how God-seekers appear and act need to remind themselves of the Holy Spirit’s transforming work. Christ followers should reflect the fruit of the Spirit and accurately display the character of Christ. A life of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control provides others with a living gospel witness.

The challenge

Make way for others to have access to God. Be passionate for others to experience the transforming work of God in their lives.

How can you provide greater access to the message of Jesus? Share your comments below.

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