13 The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple he
found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. 15 Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 He told those who were selling
the doves, “Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!” 17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” 18 The Jews then said to him, “What sign can you show us for doing this?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will
you raise it up in three days?” 21 But he was speaking of the temple of his
body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they
believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.
Do You Take Care of the Temple?
It seems a timely message talking about the way Jesus cleared out the temple. The importance here is not that Jesus fashioned a rope to drive animals out or that he flipped over tables. The important idea here is that Jesus was passionate about the care of the temple. How does that translate here for us today?
1) Care of the Temple (The Body)
The scripture above hints to the idea that our bodies are our temples. When Jesus
says destroy this temple, he is referring to his body. Scripture has always
taught us that we need to care for our bodies as the temple of the living God
because when we receive Christ we receive the presence of the Holy Spirit who
indwells in us.
2) Care of the Body (The Body of Christ)
Scripture has revealed that through the sacrifice of Christ we are united as brothers and sisters by his blood. This creates what we understand to be the body of Christ. We are also told in scripture this blood created a covenant that we share in with one another and one of the requirements of that covenant
is that we care for the body of believers. The body of believers worldwide is
also referred to as the church. The church is not four walls but rather a group
of people united by Christ’s covenant with us.
3) Care for the Temple (The brick and mortar where we worship.)
I am not sure it could be any plainer that we are to treat
the house of God as a sacred and Holy Place. When we bring in the light each
Sunday morning we are asking for the presence of God to meet us in our worship.
It does not seem fitting that we would prepare a worship space that has fallen
apart because of the way it has been treated. Those animals would have made a
nasty mess and those men were making money off the house of God. No wonder
Jesus says that they were making a mockery of His father’s house. I do not know
about you but if I went into my father’s house and made a nasty mess, I would
feel terrible because it would communicate to my father that I did not respect
him or his space. We must treat this house of God, Pomona UMC, in such a way
that reflects the honor and glory that are do God, our creator, redeemer
through the sacrifice of his Son, and the one who continues to redeem us.
It is clear that Jesus believed in stewardship in our
personal walk, in our walk as a body of believers, and in the way we treat the
house of God. Examine your heart and your actions. How are you treating the
temples in which you find yourself worshiping? Have you had the attitude of
honor and glory for the space in which we worship? What is your attitude toward
the Body of Christ in the family of believers?
Jesus was clear in the way he addressed each of these. Let us make sure we are living in the
example of Christ, whose body, the temple was broken so that you and I might be
able to worship in the freedom purchased with his blood.