Devotional Thought of the Day:
17His disciples remembered that the scripture says, “My devotion to your house, O God, burns in me like a fire.”
18 The Jewish authorities replied with a question, “What miracle can you perform to show us that you have the right to do this?”
19 Jesus answered, “Tear down this Temple, and in three days I will build it again.”
20 “Are you going to build it again in three days?” they asked him. “It has taken forty-six years to build this Temple!”
21 But the temple Jesus was speaking about was his body. 22So when he was raised from death, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the scripture and what Jesus had said. John 2:17-22 TEV
19 Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and who was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourselves but to God; 20 he bought you for a price. So use your bodies for God’s glory. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (TEV)
Most people would see the words in verse 17 as belonging to the context of what had gone before, where Jesus clears out the temple, so that people could pray in peace.
Given what is quoted above, perhaps it is also a transitional verse, a transitional moment, that point where people go from a devotion to the presence of God in the temple, to the presence of God in their midst, as Jesus is there with them!
The temple of God, the moment God no longer hides behind the curtain, hovering over the ark of the covenant, unsatisfied by the sacrifices that were poured out to appease Him. Now God is there, Jesus is with them, listening to them, responding to them, even as they are gathering to pray….
He is there.
For God’s house, the place where he abides has a purpose. Whether it is the temple, the body of Christ on the cross, the bread and wine, or the heart and soul of a believer, the place is a gathering place, a place where God’s people are gathered to being the presence of the God who makes them His people.
There are churches today that still distract people from God’s promise, even as the sellers and bankers did in the temple. The examples are numerous, and we are great about looking out at other churches, and noting how they water down the gospel, or make the show more important than the message.
Such things scandalize us, as they turn the house of God into a den of thieves. We may not going in and raise a riot, but we do so with our words, and with our gossip.
Will we get as scandalized as we do the same thing with the temple of the Holy Spirit, the places where the Spirit abides, in us? In these temples. Do we deny the Spirit the time to hear us, or hear those around us in need? Or do we treat our bodies the same way as the Jewish leaders treated the temple, filling it with business, and noise and distractions?
Can we let Jesus have the same zeal for our lives that He showed for the temple?
God has promised us to do so, to love us that much that He will still dwell with us, cleansing us, making us holy, even as He has made us His.
Lord Jesus, have mercy on us and cleanse our hearts, minds, and souls. AMEN!