The Third Sunday in Lent – Oculi March 7, 2021
Text: John 2:13-22 CW – Series B 21:2246
Theme: You Have a Zealous Savior
Do you have a favorite picture or painting of Jesus? I have two that hung on the walls of my childhood home.
At the time when I was a boy, there were two rather famous paintings of Jesus which Mom and Dad had. One is known as the artist Sallman’s “Head of Christ.” It now hangs in the front entryway of our home here in Marshfield. A somewhat faded copy of it hangs in the basement here at Peace. The picture is brownish in color and gives a side view of Jesus with beard and long, wavy hair.
The second picture is known as the artist Chambers’ “Light of the World.” It portrays Jesus in the innocence of youth, a 2 or 3 year-old lad with a halo around his head. It now hangs in our dining room.
Other favorite pictures include the one of Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, the one where He is holding the children on His knee, or the one in which He is carrying a lamb on His shoulders. All are different views of Jesus. Yet, all portray Jesus in a similar way as the kind, sweet, gentle, mild, and peaceful Savior.
Now, change that view of His calm and gentle appearance into this. Put a whip made of ropes into His hands, driving cattle and sheep out the temple gates. See Him forcefully upsetting tables, scattering coins across the floor, shoving bird cages into sellers’ hands and commanding, “Get these things out of here. Don’t turn My Father’s House into a market!” That is a zealous Savior lashing out in righteous anger at evil in, of all places, the entrance to God’s House, the temple, in Jerusalem.
I. Consumed by love for His Father’s House.
What should the entrance to God’s House be like? Have you ever thought of that – ever thought of it in relation to our church?
As people enter church, it ought to seem quiet and peaceful, a kind and friendly place where one comes in reverence, prepared to honor and worship God, giving Him all our attention You are not just stepping into another building. You are entering a sacred place, the place where the great God of heaven and earth, your Creator and Savior, wants to come to meet with His people through Word and Sacrament.
It distresses me in our day when I see churches turned into entertainment halls, with people jumping on trampolines and zip-lining around the room that is to be God’s sanctuary. Can you envision that in the Old Testament temple’s Holy Place and Holy of Holies? Does that mark reverent honor and worship to God?
It also saddens me in our present pandemic situation when people simply won’t go to meet God at church. Oh, I understand, and perhaps some of you watching on-line have this, that there is wariness, a fear for one’s health that has been brought about by this virus. Many have legitimate health concerns. But I also fail to see in God’s Word where human events and concerns are to hold me back from coming to Him in His House. And if people are just staying home, preparing breakfast or eating popcorn and watching church on TV because it’s easier, more comfortable, or fits their convenience better, there’s a problem, a spiritual problem.
Do you know that amidst the dangers that Jesus faced in His day, far greater than what we face, He never missed going to church on the Sabbath. At least one time when He went, the people tried to kill Him. Yet, the Bible tells us that it was His custom on the Sabbath to be there (Lk.4:16). And He is the holy Son of God! Why does He need to be there?
It’s true, in a sense He had to be there fulfilling the Third Commandment for us – Remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy – when we haven’t. But there was so much more to His constant presence than that. He never missed. Why not? Because He is our zealous Savior. It was His Father’s House and He had a burning desire to be there. He was consumed by love for His Father’s House. You could say it ate Him up in a good way.
Recall the only account that we have of Jesus when He was a boy, perhaps celebrating His first Passover in Jerusalem.
Jerusalem, the big city, during the days of the Passover was the place to be. There a twelve-year-old could have the time of his life – dazzling sights in every street, soldiers in military garb on every corner, markets buzzing with peculiar people from exotic places, frolicking in holiday spirit. Jerusalem afforded intriguing attractions.
However, for the twelve-year-old Jesus there was only one compelling attraction tugging on His heartstrings – His Father’s House. There He could be about His Father’s business. So it was that after losing Him for several days, Jesus’ parents found Him in the temple “sitting among the teachers, listening to them, and asking them questions.” It was divine necessity that spurred Him on. He said, “Did you not know that I must be taking care of My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49)
Consumed with love for His Father’s House and business. It filled His thoughts, dictated His behavior, and seasoned His words. It engulfed Him. Nothing would drag Him away from going about His Father’s business with a burning desire – a zealous Savior.
In our text it is now 18 years later, another Passover celebration, and that same all consuming love for the Father’s House radiates from Him as He cleanses the temple of the abuses to it that people let creep into their lives for convenience sake and out of greed.
Does the love of God’s House and the heavenly Father’s business burn like a fire within us – one that cannot be quenched? Sad to say – not always. If that were the case, nothing would ever keep us from God’s House and in doing the things of His kingdom.
Granted, you don’t have to go to church in order to be a Christian. But it is also true if you are a Christian, you will go to church. Why? The Bible responds: Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Hb.10:22f).
It’s the consuming love for the Gospel, to hear and proclaim it to others by word or deed, and the consuming love of worshiping and serving the Savior that burns within the Christian’s heart and throws all other concerns on Him to handle. Nothing will stop it for you know that You Have a Zealous Savior who, as God’s Son, was consumed in the same way by love for His Father’s House.
II. Consumed by love for you.
But it came with a price. Often there is a cost for such burning zeal. Perhaps you, a Christian, have felt the cost too – from others.
The Savior would endure the scorn and ire of His hometown neighbors in Nazareth. They despised their lowly carpenter (Mk.6:2f). His enemies claimed that the reason He could do the works He did was because He was in cahoots with the devil (Jn.8:48f). They laughed when He told them that Jairus’ daughter was only sleeping (Mt.9:24). His own brothers did not believe in
him and thought He was crazy (Mk.3:21). Like the voice of Jesus cried out in the psalm this past week (69:7f), “I bear scorn for Your sake (LORD); shame covers my face. I have become a stranger to my brothers, and an alien to my mother’s sons.”
What a price Jesus paid for His all consuming love. And where did it lead? Finally, they crucified Him. But that is what He came here for – to die for our sin. Only He had the authority and ability to do it for our forgiveness, and His resurrection proved it. He might cleanse the temple of its abuses. But His greatest work was to cleanse the temple of our sinful lives. And He foretold how He would do it here when He said, “Destroy this temple (His body) and in three day I will raise it up again.”
Why did He do it, especially since He knew how much it would cost Him? Because He was consumed by love for you and that burning zeal to carry out the Father’s saving work so that we could be His again – redeemed, restored, forgiven, heirs of heaven.
What a Savior We Have! Along with those other pictures you may have in your house, picture Him this way, too, ever Zealous, consumed by love for His Father’s House; consumed by love for you. God grant us its comfort, joy, peace, and motivating power so that we live our lives for Him and not just ourselves; for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
Zion Lutheran Church of Springfield
(A member congregation of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod)
4717 S Farm Rd 135 (Golden Avenue)
Church phone: 417.887.0886 Pastor’s cell phone: 417.693.3244
You can also find us on Facebook
The Third Sunday in Lent – Oculi (“My Eyes…”) March 7, 2021
“It was written, ‘Zeal for Your house will consume me.’” John 2:17
F o r O u r V i s i t o r s
The family of Zion welcomes you as we worship the Lord today. We encourage children to worship with us. However, if you need to leave with your child, there is a nursery room to the right as you exit the sanctuary. The rest rooms are located in the hallway between the sanctuary and the fellowship hall. Visitors, please sign our guest book to the right, just outside the sanctuary. We’re glad that you are here and pray that through our worship the Lord grants you peace.
U p o n E n t e r i n g G o d’ s H o u s e
“My eyes are always on the LORD, because He frees my feet from the net. Turn toward me and be gracious to me, because I am lonely and afflicted. To You, O LORD, I will lift up my soul. In You have I trusted” (Psalm 25).
W h a t T h i s S u n d a y i s A b o u t
Ours is a Zealous Savior. How would you describe Jesus? The Gospel Lesson today uses the word “zeal,” portraying Him as devoted, passionate, and on fire. Such zeal is displayed in His love for His heavenly Father and in His care for us. He burns with desire to have us as His own. One might even say He doesn’t want to be without us.
For that reason the Scriptures also call Him a jealous God, jealous for His honor and jealous in wanting us to be a part of it. To know the Savior this way is comforting, for it assures that He stops at nothing to help us, even if it calls for drastic measures. Knowing that we have a Savior with such zeal moves us to be zealous for Him.
To that end we pray: Almighty God, look with favor on Your humble servants and stretch out the right hand of Your power to defend us against all our enemies. As You have loved us, may our love for You burn like a fire; for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
– G o d’ s W o r d T o d a y –
The Old Testament Lesson: Exodus 20:1-17
When the Lord gave the Ten Commandments at Sinai, He proclaimed Himself a “jealous God.” He was jealous for His honor, jealous for His holiness, jealous for His people to keep them as His own. So He gave them His Law which set them apart from all other people.
The Epistle Lesson: 1 Corinthians 1:22-25
To some the message of Christ crucified is a “stumbling block”; to others it is “foolishness.” Some demand signs, some greater wisdom to prove it. Nevertheless, the Gospel is the saving power and wisdom of God concerning a Savior who in zeal did everything that He could to save us.
The Gospel Lesson: John 2:13-22
When Jesus saw the temple being abused and turned into a “marketplace” that was preventing people from worshiping God rightly, He cleansed it by driving out those who abused it. His zeal for the things of God drove Him onward, even to His death for us.
O u r P r a c t i c e o f H o l y C o m m u n i o n
Out of deep love for the truth of God’s Word and precious souls, we follow the practice of Close Communion in our congregation. This has been the practice of Christians for centuries and reflects the Bible’s teaching on unity of faith in the reception of the Supper (1 Cor.10:17). It does not judge a person’s heart but anticipates agreement in that which God says. Since we do not wish to put anyone in the position of declaring such agreement with us before study in the Word is possible, we ask that only those who are communicant members of this or another Wisconsin Synod or ELS congregation come to receive the Sacrament.
The Organist: Jane Rips The Preacher: Pastor Edwin Lehmann
Point to Ponder: Would it be proper to put a dunce cap on God? No way! Yet some people do. Paul writes, “We preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles.”
What God has done in crucifying His Son for our sin might sound like foolishness to some, but to those who believe it is the furthest thing from it. In it we see His love, wisdom, and power at work to save. Foolish? Maybe to some, but to all who believe such foolishness of God makes them glad. And for that we praise Him.
Outline of Our Worship
Opening Thoughts on the Service
Opening Hymn: #224
Order of Worship: The Common Service with Holy Communion: page 15-16
Prayer of the Day
The Ministry of the Word
Old Testament Lesson: Exodus 20:1-17 – The Ten Commandments
1 Then God spoke all these words: 2I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from the land of Egypt, where you were slaves.
3You shall have no other gods beside me. 4You shall not make any carved image for yourself or a likeness of anything in heaven above, or on the earth below, or in the waters under the earth. 5Do not bow down to them or be subservient to them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God. I follow up on the guilt of the fathers with their children, their grandchildren, and their great-grandchildren, if they also hate me. 6But I show mercy to thousands who love me and keep my commandments.
7You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not permit anyone who misuses his name to escape unpunished.
8Remember the Sabbath day by setting it apart as holy. 9Six days you are to serve and do all your regular work, 10but the seventh day shall be a sabbath rest to the Lord your God. Do not do any regular work, neither you, nor your sons or daughters, nor your male or female servants, nor your cattle, nor the alien who is residing inside your gates, 11for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and everything that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. In this way the Lord blessed the seventh day and made it holy.
12Honor your father and your mother so that you may spend many days on the land that the Lord your God is giving to you. 13You shall not commit murder. 14You shall not commit adultery. 15You shall not steal. 16You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. 17You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, his male servant, his female servant, his ox, his donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.
1 Corinthians 1:22-25
Epistle Lesson: 1 Corinthians 1:22-25 – God’s Saving Ways Seem Foolish
22Yes, Jews ask for signs, Greeks desire wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified—which is offensive to Jews and foolishness to Greeks, 24but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25We preach Christ crucified, because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
Hymn Response: #401
The Gospel Responses: pg.18
Gospel Lesson: John 2:13-22 – Jesus Cleanses the Temple
13The Jewish Passover was near, so Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and money changers sitting at tables. 15He made a whip of cords and drove everyone out of the temple courts, along with the sheep and oxen. He scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16To those selling doves he said, “Get these things out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a place of business!”
17His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”
18So the Jews responded, “What sign are you going to show us to prove you can do these things?” 19Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up again.”
20The Jews said, “It took forty-six years to build this temple! And you are going to raise it in three days?” 21But Jesus was speaking about the temple of his body. 22When Jesus was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this. Then they believed the Scripture and what Jesus had said.
The Nicene Creed pg.18
Sermon: John 2:13-22 You Have a Zealous Savior
Our Response to the Word
The Offertory: page 20
The Lord’s Prayer
The Lord Blesses Us
Order of Holy Communion Hymnal pages 21-23
(Visitors: Please read the box on page 2 regarding Holy Communion)
Thanksgiving Prayer & Blessing
Hymnal pages 24-25
Closing Hymn: #402
C a l e n d a r & A n n o u n c e m e n t s f o r Z i o n L u t h e r a n C h u r c h
Divine Worship Service
with Holy Communion on line – Facebook
Fellowship & Brief Bible Study
Lent 3: Oculi
Midweek Bible Class
4:30 pm Confirmation
5:45 pm Lenten Supper
Lenten Service 4:
What Wondrous Love…
Before Pontius Pilate
Divine Worship Service
on line – Facebook
Fellowship & Brief
Lent 4: Laetare
(Daylight Savings Returns)
A Brief Bible Study on God’s Word for Today
The Lenten season has historically been a time for Christians to meditate on Jesus’ passion. His suffering and death atoned for our sins. Therefore, Lent is the “serious season” of the church year where we Christians put an extra emphasis on recognizing and confessing our sins. The Sundays in Lent, however, serve as “mini Easters” where the readings and hymns bring joy and comfort to the believer, reflecting on sin and Jesus’ passion during this season. The 3rd Sunday in Lent reminds us of God’s perfect law and his holy demand to fear and love him. Thankfully, Jesus has fulfilled God’s law in our place.
The Epistle Lesson: 1 Corinthians 1:22-25 (answers are found on the back side)
- How is Christ crucified “foolishness” to many people?
- What is the essence of a Christian’s message to the world?
Those We Remember In Our Prayers: Dea Windsor; Clyde Johnson; Dave Ballou; Greg Miller; Lou Schulz; Bill Buchanan; Norine Richardson; Barbara Long; Jodi Milam; Laurie Moon’s husband. William; Pastor Jim Witt, St. Louis; Lois Wiese; Felicia Nichols & family; the Domeier & Parten families from NE; Sharon Johnson recuperating from a broken hip at Glendale Gardens Rehab/Nursing facility off Hwy 65, south of Sunshine St.; Patsy Mickelson, Jane’s mother, suffering after-effects from a fall at home.
Meditations’ next series of devotions that began last Sunday will be found in the narthex. Copies of the daily devotions written by pastor this past week will be found there. Forward in Christ’s latest issue for March has also arrived.
Midweek Lenten Suppers and Services The theme for our Lenten observance this year is What Shall I Do with Jesus? Follow Him in His Wondrous Love…. this week….Before Pontius Pilate. Our midweek services at Zion are held on Thursday evenings at 6:30 pm with a soup supper beforehand. The suppers and services at Peace in Marshfield are held Wednesday evenings at 6 and 7 pm respectively. We hope you can join us at one or the other.
To Mask or Not to Mask To our knowledge the Springfield/Greene County Health Dept.’s mask and distancing requirements are still in effect till April. You will find masks, disposable gloves, and sanitizer in the narthex and the fellowship hall for your use. Please, continue to watch your physical distancing, side to side and front to back. We are not passing the offering plate during the service at this time, but you will find it at the door upon leaving the sanctuary.
4th Midweek Lenten Supper & Service at Zion – Thursday, March 11 – 5:45 & 6:30 pm
The Week in Review
Last Sunday’s Worship Attendance: 18; Sunday Bible Class: 13; Midweek Bible Class: 8; Offering: $1,370. Midweek Lenten Service 3: Worship 8; Offering: $1,935.
Next Sunday’s Lessons:
Fourth Sunday in Lent: Numbers 21:4-9; Ephesians 2:4-10; John 3:14-21 (Series B)
Answers to Today’s Epistle Lesson Brief Study:
- Later in this letter Paul explains that people don’t naturally understand or believe in Jesus, but only by the Holy Spirit can people recognize God’s wisdom in sending Jesus. Without the Holy Spirit, the message of Jesus dying on a cross to save us makes no sense. With the Holy Spirit, we see God’s wisdom and love in providing the perfect Savior.
- “Christ crucified” is the heart of the gospel. The only way sinners can stand before a holy God is if their sins are removed. The only way sins are removed is by Christ being crucified for us.
This week I am praying for……