Small Group Bible Study

The Old Has Gone, the New Has Come
 - Week 

A New Way to Be Near

Discussion Guide
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1. Be Real

In this week’s teaching we encountered Jesus getting angry and putting that anger to good use to cleanse the temple of its exploitation. The temple’s focus had become transactionally focused rather than God-focused. Jesus is presenting the world (and us!) a new way to be near to God.

Do you feel / know that God is near to you?

  • If yes, how has this happened?
  • If no, can you tell us more about what following God has been like for you?

2. Grow Together

Did you know this moment was foretold by Jewish prophets centuries ealier?

Zechariah 14“on that day there will no longer be a merchant in the house of the Lord Almighty.”

Malachi 3“then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; he will purify the levites and refine them like gold and silver.”

What was Jesus coming to do? What is cleansing the temple all about? Jesus was driving out…

  1. Distraction from God, repentance, and prayer
  2. Extortion and exclusion of the pilgrims, travelers, gentiles
  3. When an unbeliever entered the temple and saw the commerce, he would assume the God of Israel was a prop used to extort people’s money.

So… Jesus gets angry

Read this from the Bible together:

John 2:15-17
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.” His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.

How do you feel about angry Jesus? Does that make you uncomfortable or are you fired up with him?

Jesus Replaces the Temple

John 2:18-22
So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” But he was speaking about the temple of his body. When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.

Jesus describes himself as the true and better temple.

Do you find yourself looking for encounters with God while neglecting to draw near to Jesus himself?

3. Next Steps

Is it time to get angry like Jesus?
Do you need to repent of your apathy?

What needs to be driven out?
Are you are letting people and things into your life and your heart that distract or destroy you?

Will you draw near?
You don’t need to find a priest
You don’t need a sacrifice
You don’t need to go to a temple