Home » »Unlabelled » Jesus Clears the Temple #JourneyLent
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
In John 2:13-22, around the time of Passover, Jesus goes to the synagogue in Jerusalem and finds people selling livestock in a sacred temple. Jesus is furious by the profane behavior taking place in his Father’s House and he drives out the sheep and cattle and overturns the money changers’ tables. He said “Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!”
Surely those who witnessed Jesus’ purge of the temple were angry with his behavior and it was one of the moments that led to his crucifixion. The Jewish leaders questioned his authority and demanded that he provide a sign that he was armed with divine power to do such a thing. Jesus responded to them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”
Later after Jesus was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered him saying these prophetic words and realized that he was speaking of the “temple of his body.”
This story must be very important in Jesus’ journey to the cross, as it was included in each of the four Gospels. Each gospel writer is asking us to take notice of this significant happening. In the Gospel of John, this passage is at the beginning of his book when he is telling us about Jesus’ ministry. It may be that John started with this confrontation to make us examine what really matters.
Could it be that John wanted us to see Jesus as a reformer taking this defining moment to teach us that the synagogue was not to be a place to conduct business or other worldly interactions, but a house of God open for all people to gather for worship?
I can’t help but think how proud I am of First Baptist Church of Austin for taking important steps recently to welcome ALL people into our church. Isn’t that what Jesus would want?…a place for ALL people to worship and thrive in community, a place where ALL people could feed their souls and walk with God, a place where ALL people feel empowered to use their unique spiritual gifts to help others in service and further the mission of our church? Shouldn’t a church be a place where ALL people feel welcome, wanted, and valued? First Austin is that church and that is why I love it dearly.
Along this Lenten journey, we must remember to ask ourselves what really does matter?