Good morning my friends! What do you think of this picture? You may be asking where this place is? Do you want to go there? Does it look appealing to you? I am assuming not but I know all of us are different and some of us might find this place worthy of exploring.
Me? I love exploring and when it comes to ruins, I am in! No, I don’t think it is a pretty picture, but I am a thinker (perhaps that is why I am not so good at being sociable.) I like to study places, know their history, think of who would have lived there? what life would have been like? what was the beauty of its surroundings? Why was it left behind or allowed to die? can it be given life again? what can I learn from it?
My kids will tell you, especially my daughter, that we have hiked to places just to find this kind of ruins. Arizona is full of “ghost towns”. I got a book from one of my friends about such. You might also be asking why in the world am talking about ruins when our reading is about one of the few times we see Jesus being angry and acting angry toward what is being done to the temple of God.
Do you know that when Jesus died for us on that cross, He gave us full access to the Throne of God the Father and we don’t have to follow rituals, go to a physical temple as the Israelites were commanded prior to the visitation of our Lord? We don’t have to go to inner rooms, wear certain clothing, provide sacrifices etc. No, Jesus gave us through Him, full access to the Throne of God.
Remember when Jesus died, Matthew 27:51 says that the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom? Remember also what Jesus said to the Samaritan woman when she was asking about where the real or true worshipping should be done?
John 4: 21-24 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in Spirit and truth.
1st Peter 2:5 “You also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Paul makes this point also very clear through many verses in the new testament. 1st Corinthians 6:19-20 says: “ Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
Here is another scripture by Paul in 1st Corinthians 3:16-17: “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.
In our scripture today, Jesus not only was referring to the physical temple but of the temple of His body as we see in John 2:19-21. After Jesus commanded the money traders to leave the temple, the Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” But the temple he had spoken of was his body.
Let’s think Spiritual for a moment: Since we have established that we are temples of God, What have you done with God’s worshipping altar? think for a moment what kind of adornments have been added to it? does it have a light? Is it dim? bright? does it serve to help others see the road? Is His word ever-present? guiding you, others? sometimes? often?
Do you offer to Him of your first fruits? Give Him your priorities, your first thoughts? Prayers? Are the needs of others placed on that altar? are you working on improving it every day? Its foundation and pillars have to be Jesus, otherwise it will not stand.
have you planted seeds around its gardens? fruit trees? fruits? Is it feeding others? Is there a sweet aroma coming from it? If instead, it looks like the picture of ruins seen above, where others have taken over placing their own signs, It’s walls are falling and it is loosing its beauty. Perhaps it is all the way down and taken over by weeds. It is not destroyed yet.
Jesus can resurrect it. Grab on to Him and His word and start building such altar of beauty for that is who you are. He is Zealous for you for when the creator knows what He has built and finds it used for purposes other that what makes it glow, radiate, He gets angry, He gets sad. He wants the dirt out! Did you notice how he continued to teach the people. that is what feeds that temple and keeps it alive. The Word of God!
Jesus was Zealous for God’s house. He was upset at what was being done with it. People were taking advantage of the poor and were using the temple for their own purposes. mistakenly thinking that selling a sacrificial animal was pleasing to God. He overturned the money changer’s tables and drove them all out.
He said to them: “It is written: AND MY HOUSE SHALL BE A HOUSE OF PRAYER. but you have made it a robbers den. As He let those out, He continued to teach the people and the people were hanging on to every word He was saying.
John says in Chapter 2:16 “Take this things away; stop making My Father’s house a place of business”Perhaps you too have used your temple for such purposes. I believe most of us have at one time or another. Perhaps you are only taking advantage of what you think is beneficial and of profit to you. It is time to rebuild His temple and use it for Worship.
Worship is not just to go to church and sing and praise on Sunday mornings. This is good and pleasing to God for it also helps to build onto others and become part of that community of believers but worship in the temple of God is everything we do from the time we wake up to the time we go to sleep.
Be the temple of God! Render Him Glory and honor and worship Him! For He is good and in Him you will find abundant life. Be good to your body and give it good fuel, exercise it, physically and spiritually. Be a living sacrifice as Romans 12:1-2 says: Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.