July 26 – Jesus and the Temple

Matthew 21:12-17

And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them. (Matthew 21:14 ESV)

Throughout their history the Jews had worshipped through song and sacrifice. King Solomon oversaw the construction of the first temple, where as Herod the Great was the steward of the last Jewish Temple. It had been intended as a place for the people to connect with God in profound ways. It had become something else entirely.

When Jesus arrived at the Temple it was chock full of money changers, merchants, and other swindlers. He would not tolerate it. So he threw them out in a moment of truly justified righteous indignation. The Temple had become something other than a place for repentance and prayer, but Jesus restored it to its intended use.

As he sat and taught his followers amidst the purged Temple grounds people began to bring the sick and the lame and he healed them. It was a complete turnabout for the Temple. The religious focal point of Judaism, it was no longer defunct, it was no longer a money trap meant to make the powerful wealthy, it was truly a place of connecting with God.

The Temple no longer stands. It was destroyed in 70 A.D. by the Romans. However, the time had already passed for the usefulness of a material temple by then. Jesus had changed that.

Today we can connect with God anywhere we like. We are no longer limited to only visiting a holy place. In fact, Christianity has no holy places, only the holiness of God, the Son, and the Spirit. When Jesus cleansed the Temple he demonstrated that it is his work and person by which we connect with God. It is by his death. By his love. And by his strength.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s