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A Spiritual Lesson In Toon Language: Lesson 8

Topic: God’s Defense of the Covenant With Man (Jesus Clears The Temple)

Series: Garfield and Friends

Episode: "The First Annual Garfield Watchers’ Test"

Lesson PDF link: 8.pdf


I use the Garfield & Friends Short "The First Annual Garfield Watchers’ Test". This shows an interesting case in point of bad merchandising practices hurting the flow of things. As Jesus had to clear the temple so people could worship, Garfield had to clear the auditorium that he was in as well because of the interruptions and annoyances.

Scriptures used include Lev. 19: 35-36; Deut. 25: 13-16; Mark 11: 15-19; and Romans 14: 1-12.

Have you ever been cheated out of something? Have you ever perhaps bought something that wasn’t exactly good quality compared to the price?

I am going to show a cartoon about too much hype and not enough value.

Cartoon: "The First Annual Garfield Watchers’ Test":

Garfield and Friends: "The First Annual Garfield Watchers’ Test": Direct link for video/webm

Would you be upset too? Why or Why not?

In this cartoon Garfield is trying to run his show in an orderly fashion. What he didn’t expect was endless Shlock’O commercials trying to hype their products.

These products were either lousy or are good but over-hyped and way too expensive.

Bible Study: Lev. 19: 35-36, Deut. 25: 13-16, Mark 11: 15-19

Part A: Jesus cleared the temple because it wasn’t being used properly. Instead of being used as a house of prayer, it was being used to rob people blind and not let the people worship properly. This is why Jesus said “Is it not written: My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations. But you have made it a den of robbers.”

In the cartoon, Garfield got pretty mad eventually about the overpriced and over-hyped, and sometimes shoddy merchandise on the program. None of Garfield’s animated (cartoon) audience probably enjoyed the constant interruptions. They were there to take what was to be a fun little test.

Part B: What happened at the end of this cartoon?

At the end of this cartoon, the misguided Shlock’O gift-wrapping machine wraps up Garfield as a present for Christmas for over nine months. If a first time traveler went to the money changers for merchandise or changing over of coins to the proper kind, and he couldn’t worship like he wanted, this traveler might be turned off of worshipping altogether for a while because of the bad experience. Garfield had had it because he was interrupted and mistreated, never to make another show called the Garfield Watchers’ Test because of a misguided company’s greed.

Can you blame Garfield? Jesus?

This is why Jesus cleared the temple. Jesus didn’t want people to stop worshipping because of a bad witnessing job by greedy people.

The situation might have even been tolerable if the money changers were fair, the environment quieter and of course probably cleaner, but it wasn’t, and a very poor example on the welcoming wagon’s part (so to speak). No one wants to be cheated. No one wants to be interrupted when doing something terribly important like worshipping God.

Jesus cleared the temple to defend God’s covenant with man. Jesus believes that everyone should have a fair shot at worshipping Him.

In Romans 14: 1-12:

Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written: “ ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.’ ” So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.

Therefore, we need to recognize the importance of fair play and fair treatment of others, so that everyone who sees it will know who Jesus is. He is the great I AM!