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Friday, December 2nd, 2022

I Will Raise It Again

Scripture John 2:13-25

In the temple courts, he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple, courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money, changers and overturned their tables. 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."

John 2:14-15, 18-19

 Some of my favorite shows to watch are home renovation shows. I like watching how the builders put on their hardhats and goggles and take up their hammers and just start demolishing the inside of old, neglected homes. I imagine it must be cathartic. However, what I love best is to see the final outcome of the renovation project. I relish, seeing a sad, old, ugly house transformed into beautiful, inviting home. The demolition seems harsh, even violent, but the final outcome reveals that it was all worth it.

At first glance, Jesus, his behavior in the temple seems out of control, violent, and even crazy. Why does he just burst into the temple with a whip and start driving people and animals out, turning over tables and shouting at them? I think this might be like the situation in the old house. The old religion, the old way of doing things, is not working. Instead of drawing the hearts of people closer to God, it has been creating the opposite effect. The situation has deteriorated so much that the temple – the holy dwelling place of the presence of God – is cluttered with people who are driven by greed and consumerism, defiling the holy temple, actually, believing it is acceptable, because the law does not forbid it. The old house has to go. In Its Pl.,, God create something new. When the Jewish leaders ask Jesus angrily what right he has to do this, he gives them a clue. He says, "destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days." Jesus is, of course, referring to himself. He is the new temple, the very presence of God among his people. He is referring to his death and resurrection. Jesus is sharing a new Hope. Finally, God has come to make his home with his people. Now it will no longer be about rules and regulations that people can manipulate to accommodate or justify their sins, but it will be about living in relationship with Jesus, the son of God. This new way of worshiping will work, because Jesus himself will enable us.

Sometimes the old needs to be destroyed for the wonderful new to come.

​Blessing

Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.

2 Corinthians 13:11

 

Questions for Discussion and Reflection​

1.  What are some of the strongholds that Jesus needs to demolish in your life?

2.  What is the new thing that God wants to do in you, in your church, or in your community?