We think of Jesus as caring and sharing and healing, but in this particular story Jesus gets really upset. He was not happy. How do we process this? What does this say about his view of the church? Pastor Casey Treat from Christian Faith Center joins the conversation as we ponder where Jesus is on day 2 of this Holy Week journey and what it means for us today.
Purposely your life, God’s purpose. Listen at onpurposely.com. In His Steps, a Holy Week journey.
Mark Holland (00:13):
And time again to check in with another pastor as we are journeying In His Steps, this holy week hearing from pastors all week, every day, each pastor taking on a different subject. And today for day number two, following Palm Sunday, we have the day that Jesus cursed the fig tree, drived out those money changes from the temple, did some healing. He received children’s praise. Kind of a lot of things. But we want to get Pastor Casey Treat’s perspective on this. Casey Treat of Christian Face Center. Hi Casey.
Casey Treat (00:46):
Great to be with you, Mark. Thanks for having me.
Mark Holland (00:48):
Good to see you once again. Hey, let’s get caught up a little bit with you since we did Tuesdays with the Treats. A little feature we did here. On KCIS,
Casey Treat (00:56):
Maybe we should do that again. Right.
Mark Holland (00:58):
You and your daughter did that. That was a lot of fun. Christian Faith Center, how many locations do you have?
Casey Treat (01:04):
Two campuses. One in Federal way, the other in Mill Creek and yeah, the 43rd year of Christian Faith Center. Wow. I know. I look so young. Right? Our friends can’t see on the radio, but yeah, I still feel young and been been at it though for 43 years. And Wendy and I, thanking the Lord. Yeah. Still going strong now the kids are rising up and taking over.
Mark Holland (01:30):
So how many kids do you have?
Casey Treat (01:31):
Three. The youngest is US Army, so he, he’s living in a different realm, but our daughter’s our worship leader, and Caleb are oldest, is our senior pastor, our at least executive pastor. So yeah, they’re doing great. And do
Mark Holland (01:51):
You still do tv, ministry? Tv? Do you have a TV show?
Casey Treat (01:54):
You know, everything’s online, so we do a lot of online things and yeah, we’re involved with various television ministries around the world, but basically it’s all going out streaming.
Mark Holland (02:06):
Now the Federal Way and…
Casey Treat (02:08):
In Mill Creek.
Mark Holland (02:08):
And in Mill Creek. Yeah. Okay. The two locations. Yeah. Okay. Well let’s tackle this a little bit here. We’ve sent these notes out ahead of time to pastors to expound on these ideas. I’m just kind of the person, kind of the Curious George, the parishioner, average parishioner. Pastor Casey is the authority here today, right. Telling us his ideas about day number two as we go in Jesus’ steps. What would you say first kind of couple takeaways from this day?
Casey Treat (02:33):
Well, going to Matthew chapter 21, some amazing, I would consider significant things happened right after Palm Sunday. The children praising the Lord; Hosanna kind of awesome moments in our Christian life, and church life. And then he moves right into this very different but very emotional setting where he’s at church, or in their day in the temple, and he gets upset. We think of Jesus as caring and sharing and healing and loving. But in this particular story, he gets a little upset. Yeah. Maybe very upset.
Mark Holland (03:21):
Probably the most upset we see him.
Casey Treat (03:22):
I think so.
Mark Holland (03:23):
Yeah. In the scripture.
Casey Treat (03:24):
He was not happy with how religious people had taken over temple life or church life. And I think that in our world, in the Christian world, we think of church as good and maybe important, but optional. And maybe this story shows how passionate, committed, how focused Jesus was on the house of the Lord. Back in the day, of course it was the temple. Nowadays we call it the church, but it is the house of the Lord. And being there and being involved and what we do there is important. And I think Jesus shows that in Matthew 21, verse 12, overthrowing the tables and throwing the money changers money around. So, if you can imagine, people from all over the then known world coming in had various types of currencies. So, the priests, the Levites, they’re thinking, Hey, we can make a percentage off of all of this. Plus they’re selling the animals that were used for sacrifice and had made rules where you couldn’t bring your own, you had to buy from them. So, it just becomes this big scam of how can we profit off of everything? And the Lord was not happy.
Mark Holland (04:47):
Yeah, not happy with that. And this is a scene that’s obviously dramatized in so many life of Christ stories you see too, where it really seems to touch a nerve with average people who go, yeah, Jesus, go get ’em. And it’s kind of, what do you think about that?
Casey Treat (05:03):
Yeah, well, he goes on to say, my house is a house of prayer. So, if we’re going to follow his passion and be upset about whatever religious thing we’re upset about, let’s be equally passionate about being in the house of God and praying, worshiping, connecting with the Lord. It is true. So many people can be upset about things they don’t like in church, but they’re not there doing the other things which Jesus did tell us to do. So, yeah, let’s be as passionate about our worship, our involvement, our serving, our giving, our prayer in God’s house as we are about the things we don’t like. Yeah.
Mark Holland (05:49):
What do you think this says about Jesus’ view of, or does it say anything about his view of money and trying to get you rich from your religion or whatever? Does it have anything to say about that?
Casey Treat (06:02):
Obviously it was the manipulation part, charging people for sacrifice. And the Levites had set up quite a system of selling the sheep or pigeons or whatever it was that were to be sacrificed. So, it becomes a manipulation. And that’s the part I think Jesus is upset about. When we start abusing people and using people’s desire to connect with God as a way to profit. I mean, yeah, that’s bad. Jesus had many people who gave to him. We read throughout the scripture where they were giving and supporting Jesus and he was giving to the poor, and he had enough money where Judas was able to steal it, and the other guys didn’t even notice. So they had money, but you don’t use it to manipulate people and control people. And we see it today, and it wasn’t good then and is still not good now.
Mark Holland (06:59):
Another part of this day, two in Jesus’ steps is this the scene with the fig tree. Can you tell us a little bit what happened with the fig tree? And that seems like kind of a strange story.
Casey Treat (07:11):
Yeah. Well, especially in the northwest, I mean, does the Lord have a problem with trees? I mean, come on, we’re tree huggers up here. So tree huggers, let’s be nice to the trees. But Jesus sees this tree that’s supposed to have fruit, but it didn’t have fruit. So, maybe that’s an issue right there. We’re supposed to be productive Christian people helping, making a difference, being light in the darkness, being fruitful in our lives, and there’s no fruit there. So, he uses it as an opportunity to teach the disciples, and he speaks to the tree and he said, no one’s going to eat fruit from you ever again. So the next day they come back, they’re on their way back to the temple, Peter sees the tree and he says, Lord, look, the tree that you cursed has withered away. So, amazing faith story. And Mark chapter eleven’s version, when Peter said, the tree that you cursed is withered away. Jesus said, have faith in God. So to me, the message is, faith is an action that we can do to change circumstances in our life. I think all of us have heard the word faith used as kind of a noun. It’s something that we, I have faith. I have my mom’s faith. I grew up in a household of faith, and sometimes we are referred to as people of faith. But Jesus taught that faith was this active lifestyle. Sometimes it spoke to things, sometimes it just moved in actions that portrayed the faith. And we don’t just have faith. We live by faith, and we pray the prayer of faith, and we believe the word of faith. This is action, this life that we have as Christians. And I think when we start having the attitude that I, oh yeah, I have faith, very deep faith. And especially at Easter time, I remember my faith… well, okay, let’s get it, get in our words. Let’s get it in our actions. Let’s get it in our life. It’s four times in the Bible that just shall live by faith. So he speaks to the tree and the tree withers away. And then he says, Hey, and if you speak to the mountains in your life, speak to the problems. Don’t doubt in your heart, but believe what you say’ll come to pass. You’ll have whatever you say. So again, it’s this action of trusting God and walking with God, that’s the kind of Christian I want to be. I just don’t have faith. I live by faith. I, I’m practicing it, and using it, and praying for my friends and helping them overcome the challenges of life, and moving those mountains out of their way. So yeah, that’s pretty exciting. And it’s exciting to think about that as part of Easter, right? Resurrection Sunday is coming and the greatest day of Christianity is near. And we are moving mountains. We love to talk about our mountains, don’t we, Mark? I want to call my friends and tell ’em ’em what happened to me at worst.
Mark Holland (10:26):
As I get older, I don’t know about you, but we’re probably around the same age. You get together with people and that’s kind of the main topic of his discussion is what’s ailing you these days? That’s right. This owie, you got.
Casey Treat (10:37):
My back pain and my headaches and all that. So, Jesus said, Hey, let’s speak to these problems. Don’t talk about them. Let’s talk to them. And let’s believe that God’s working on our behalf. And I think that action, that active Christianity will really make a difference in our world. Going back to how you feel about God’s house and what you do in God’s house. Okay, I don’t want to be a Pharisee, but I also don’t want to be absent. I want to be there in God’s house, in prayer, in worship, and showing the action, the life that I have in my relationship with God. And then in everyday life, I’m facing challenges and problems. And man, we have more than enough of them in our day. But I suppose my dad and mom said the same thing 40 years ago. We have so many more problems than our parents had. I guess every generation feels that way. But let’s face him with faith. I always say to our church folks, Hey, we don’t go to church, we don’t worship God, we don’t trust God, two days a year, Christmas and Easter, right? This is how we live. This is what we do. And not even every week when we’re at church, we believe, but every day we believe and we speak our faith, and we live our faith and we show our faith. So yeah, Easter’s fun. Great time to celebrate, get resurrection, get back if you’ve been away, reconnect. If you’ve not been connecting, get into God’s house and experience his presence. What a special time of year as we move toward resurrection Sunday. The ultimate example of Christianity. Even if we die, we get up. We don’t die, we rise again. And to me, that really is our story. We overcome the cancer that attacks us. We overcome the relational dilemmas and crises that we all feel. We just keep rising. And the Old Testament, Though, I fall seven times, I’m going to get up again. And that’s the story of Jesus and the story of Christianity. We are not victims just hanging on till Jesus comes. We are victorious. We are rising above and overcoming; moving mountains rising above those mountains in our world. And what better time to remember that than at Easter time?
Mark Holland (13:24):
And you’ve been listening to the Purposely Equipped series called In His Steps, a Holy Week journey today featuring Pastor Casey Treat of Christian Faith Center, with locations in Mill Creek and Federal Way. For more details about the church, visit them online at christianfaith.us. Please leave us a review of this message so more people can discover this podcast and find more episodes of Purposely Equipped at onpurposely.com.