Today’s Thought: Are we good caretakers?
Then he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling things there; and he said, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer’; but you have made it a den of robbers.” Every day he was teaching in the temple. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people kept looking for a way to kill him. (Luke 19:45-47)
I can tell you several bits of information about this scripture. I can tell you it was the day after Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a colt. That this particular scene took place during Passover, so there were thousands of pilgrims descending on the temple plaza. (Which, by the way, was the size of 29 football fields.) I can tell you how Jesus quoted from the prophecies of Isaiah and Jeremiah, and how that challenged the powerful.
But the most important thing I can tell you about these words from Luke is how they were merely a precursor to the profound change Jesus would usher in as the Messiah. In Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth he, like Jesus that day, reminds them to take good care of the holy temple of God. But now, because of the sacrifice Jesus would make within a week of his arrival, the temple is no longer standing in Jerusalem. Now, it’s within each of us.
Paul writes, Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. (3:16-17).
So… What’s going on in the Temple, that holy place of God where the Spirit dwells? Do thoughts about money take up 29 football fields? Does hatred, or bitterness, or self-destruction? Is there space for Jesus to teach or will he be forced to flip a few tables first? Is there room for you to learn? You are God’s holy temple. Are you caring for it?
Monday’s Meditation: Those in whom the Spirit comes to live are God’s new Temple. They are, individually and corporately, places where heaven and earth meet. ― N.T. Wright