Fire and Soap – Gospel in Life

Fire and Soap

Tim Keller |  November 18, 1990

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  • Worship
John 2:12-21
RS 11-08

John 2:12–21

When we see Jesus angry in the temple, it might surprise us, but it doesn’t mean he’s flawed. Being a Christian means facing things that might challenge our beliefs and make us uncomfortable. It’s a sign we’re dealing with something truly divine and sacred, and we should be willing to change our views to better understand it.

1. What did Jesus do here?

Jesus was making a point about the importance of pure worship by clearing the temple. The temple had turned into a sort of shopping center, and the religious aspect was getting lost. By stepping in, Jesus was reminding people that worship should be focused solely on God.

2. Why is Jesus doing it?

The Jewish leaders questioned why Jesus thought he could clean the temple. They knew that the Messiah would be passionate about holiness, but they often misunderstood it as being too strict. But holiness, as mentioned in Malachi 3:1-3, means being completely dedicated to God. By cleaning the temple, Jesus was showing that people should approach God with a pure heart.

3. What does Jesus mean to teach us by doing it?

Through his actions and miracles, Jesus shows us what God, humanity, and the world are like. When he called his body the temple, it was a metaphor for how we can get close to God’s holiness. As we try to get closer to God, we might feel more vulnerable as we see our own imperfections. But knowing that we can approach God because of Jesus’ sacrifice should change the way we see ourselves and how we live.

1. Jesus Christ is a refiner

Jesus wants us to be pure, and when we follow him, he helps us become like a temple for God. This process is like being put in a furnace where our love for God is tested and everything that isn’t pure is removed. By trusting Jesus to refine us, our true beauty can shine through, and we become more like him.

2. Jesus Christ must be your owner

Jesus’ actions at the wedding in Cana show that he doesn’t just want to be a guest in our lives, but a guide who helps us become better. Real freedom and divine glory don’t come from trying to negotiate with God, but from surrendering to Him. When we surrender, we stop trying to make God fit into our ideas and start letting Jesus be our Lord.



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