The 2nd Sunday of Lent

Isaiah: Preparing the Way ~ Part 2 Repentance is Relational Mt. 21:13; Isaiah 56 March 17, 2019

I. JESUS in the TEMPLE. (Matt. 21:12-15)
A. Jesus CREATES a RUCKUS. (v.12-13)
B. Two TYPES of PEOPLE. (v.14-15)

As we follow this Lenten journey, seeking to prepare the way for Jesus to come into our hearts, our homes, and our world, we turn to another place in Matthew where Jesus quotes Isaiah. He upsets more than the applecart as He turns the tables over in the temple. And as usual, when Jesus acts, people fall into one of two categories.

1. Kid’s Question: Picture the scene where Jesus is turning over the tables in the temple. What would that have been like? What would you think if that happened when you were there?
2. Who do you see yourself as in this story, the blind and the lame (the needy), or the religious leaders?

II. The CONTEXT for the QUOTE. (Is. 56)
B. For FOREIGNERS, a WELCOME. (v.3a, 6-8)
C. For EUNUCHS, a FAMILY.(v. 3b-5; Mt. 19:11-12; Dt. 23:1)
D. Seriously MISSING the POINT. (v.9-12)

There’s a lot of backstory to the quote from Isaiah. Isaiah is sharing a radical vision for what is coming. The good news is that the outcasts are welcomed in, the formerly excluded are included. This is a radical idea, one that shakes people up. One that if we aren’t careful becomes a piece of Old Testament History instead of the heartbeat of the gospel we share today.

3. What verse of Isaiah 56 stands out to you the most and why?
4. How do “faithfulness” and “revelation” work together?
5. Who are the spiritual “foreigners and eunuchs”, the outcasts, today? What does the gospel say to them? What is the church saying to them?

III. PREPARING the WAY this Lent…
A. The TEMPLE of God TODAY. (Eph. 2:19-22)
B. Building WALLS and closing DOORS. (Mt. 23:13-15)
C. REPENTANCE is always RELATIONAL. (2 Cor. 5:14-15; Mt. 5:23-24)
D. Moving from EXCLUSION to EMBRACE. (I Jn 4:7-11)

If we are to prepare the way for God to come into our lives, then it starts by clearing the obstacles to His progress in our own hearts. God comes to us to come through us, and we, together with all believers, become the doorway of Hope for the world.

6. Are you a “wall builder” or a “door opener”? How do you know that?
7. What are the challenges of loving people like God loves them? What difficulties naturally follow that kind of love?
8. In what areas of life is God calling you to repentance during this Lent? How will you respond?