Lord of the Whips – Gospel in Life

Lord of the Whips

Tim Keller |  November 24, 1996

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  • Purpose and Calling
John 2:12-25
RS 73-04


In John 2, John puts the changing of water into wine at the wedding and the cleansing of the temple together. He sticks them together, even though on the surface, they look utterly different.

In the wedding feast, you have Jesus acting quietly, hidden, privately. Here in the cleansing of the temple, you have him public and dramatic. There, he was requested. He was asked in. Here, he goes where no one has asked him to go. He intrudes. He intervenes. At the wedding, he brings joy and laughter. Here, he brings weeping and gnashing of teeth.

If Jesus Christ comes into your life, he will sometimes fill your table with a feast and other times, he will turn your table over and spill everything on the ground. These passages show us the authority of who he is, they show us the purpose of what he does, and then they show us the glory of what he brings.

John 2:12–25

When we look at Jesus’ life, we see key moments like the wedding feast and the temple cleansing that show us His power, purpose, and glory. His power can bring both joy and change. It’s like two sides of the same coin, and understanding this can help us in our faith journey.

1. The power of who Jesus is

Jesus showed His power in two different ways – at a wedding feast in Cana and at the temple. At the wedding, He turned water into wine. At the temple, He drove out those who were making it a marketplace. His power doesn’t make people afraid, but rather inspires awe and obedience. It’s important to accept that God’s wisdom and power are beyond our understanding, and we should love God for who He is, not just for what He can give us.

2. The reason behind Jesus’ actions

When Jesus confronted the people turning the temple into a marketplace, He was showing His concern for how they were missing the point of His death. The temple was meant to be a place to connect with God and remember our need for a Savior. Jesus’ strong reaction shows how important His mission to die for us really is. It’s a reminder for us to think about the importance of His sacrifice, which shows us our true worth and His great glory.

3. The glory that Jesus brings

The Bible often compares knowing God to enjoying a banquet, and Jesus is like the ultimate temple. There’s a deep longing in us to connect with God, but sometimes things can get in the way. We need to focus on prayer and spending time with God, not just on religious activities. It’s important to accept Jesus as He truly is, instead of trying to make Him fit our own ideas.



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