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November 9, 2018 Featured

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Gospel: Jn 2:13-22
As the Passover of the Jews was at hand, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple court he found merchants selling oxen, sheep and doves, and money-changers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple court, together with the oxen and sheep. He knocked over the tables of the money-changers, scattering the coins, and ordered the people selling doves, “Take all this away, and stop making a marketplace of my Father’s house!” His disciples recalled the words of Scripture: Zeal for your house devours me like fire. The Jews then questioned Jesus, “Where are the miraculous signs which give you the right to do this?” And Jesus said, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then replied, “The building of this temple has already taken forty-six

years, and will you raise it up in three days?” Actually, Jesus was referring to the temple of his body. Only when he had risen from the dead did his disciples remember these words; then they believed both the Scripture and the words Jesus had spoken.

Do we know what matters in life and what doesn’t? Are we caught and obsessed by the world’s focus on wealth and security? Jesus threw out the money-changers because their ever-expanding market was eclipsing the real meaning of the temple. The temple had started to look like just any old Jerusalem flea market. The people forgot that God’s house was most definitely not just any old place and worst a business area. Jesus wanted to shake people up so they could remember what mattered most in worshiping God. Jesus’ fellow Jews had the wrong focus. They saw the temple as their own accomplishment in which they could do whatever they wanted because it was, after all, their temple. Jesus reminded them that it was God’s place, or was supposed to be, and if they didn’t perceive the presence of the living God there, then there was nothing distinctive about the temple at all. What Jesus did literally shook things up and so the leaders asked Jesus to produce some credentials to authorize the bold and brazen thing he had just done. Jesus said “Destroy this Temple and I’ll raise it back up in three days.” A bold claim, of course. John was not referring to the temple as building but to a deeper reality, that the “temple” in question was Jesus’ own body. Jesus, the embodiment of God’s presence was standing right in front of these people but they were far more impressed with brick-and-mortar than they were with flesh-and- blood presence of someone who made God closer to their lives by focusing not on making business there but reminding them that the Father’s house is ultimately not about making money but worshiping God as the ultimate source of blessing and grace.

© Copyright Bible Diary 2018

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