The Temple – 10-04-22

“Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” John 2:19 NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! And we pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the Gospel of John chapter 2 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV). 

Water Turned to Wine

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.”

Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.”

His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.

Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it. When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. 10 And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!”

11 This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and [a]manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.

12 After this He went down to Capernaum, He, His mother, His brothers, and His disciples; and they did not stay there many days.

Jesus Cleanses the Temple

13 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers [b]doing business. 15 When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. 16 And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” 17 Then His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house [c]has eaten Me up.”

18 So the Jews answered and said to Him, “What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?”

19 Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”

20 Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”

21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22 Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this [d]to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said.

The Discerner of Hearts

23 Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did. 24 But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, 25 and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.

Footnotes
a.John 2:11 revealed
b.
John 2:14 Lit. sitting
c.
John 2:17 NU, M will eat
d.
John 2:22 NU, M omit to them

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

Philippians 1:6- 

“being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ”

STUDY/DEVOTIONAL:

As far as anyone can tell, none of the gospels are written in chronological order. Mark is immediately everywhere and in his hurry breaks things down to pre-ministry, popular ministry and Passion Week. Matthew expands upon that format and groups together similar spoken lessons of Jesus. Luke expands upon Mark as well but groups according to types of miracles. John seems to be flowing in what is happening in the spirit regardless of what Jesus says or does. He is not focused on the earthly Jesus – but the part that happens in the spirit, long before it is manifested on earth.
We studied Matthew in January, Mark in April, and Luke in July – and having read all of them it is strange to pop open chapter 2 of John and see the cleansing of the temple so early in a gospel. It is however normal to see Jesus’s first miracle (water turned to wine) so early in the gospel.
John did not have chapters and verses when it was first written, and it feels like the first miracle is part of the calling of the disciples. John says He collects His disciples and then we go to this wedding and in the end of the wedding:

11 This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.”

And His disciples believed. So Jesus calls them together and builds their faith.
Again, I say – it makes since to have this at the beginning of the gospel. Maybe it should have come first before all that Jesus being at creation and doing the creating, stuff. And all of the Light stuff that is so abstract to so many.

But if we are speaking of who He is in spirit as He manifests on earth – and we speak of why and who comes to prepare the way – it is very logical to speak of cleansing the temple right at the beginning.

John the Baptist, baptized in water for the remission of sins. He was cleaning the people, and later in the Bible (although we have already studied it) we learn we ARE the temple – and are to live clean and treat it with respect.

13 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business.”

I always say, when you read the word Temple in the Bible, pause and remember ALL the places the meaning of that word is. Starting in the Garden of Eden, when God walked with Adam. To the Lord being welcome in their homes for prayers and feast and blood on the door posts for the Angel of Death to Passover. To the tabernacles of Moses and Aaron, where the priest could come into His presence. To the Temple of Solomon, and then the temple after the Babylonian exile. Next Jesus as the temple. Then you and I became the temple – can God can walk with us inside ourselves like He walked with Adam in the garden. To the future temple of Ezekiel with the living waters and all nations coming to worship Him there.
Many like to think the temple stops with us – but there is the Ezekiel temple and we are a small part of a larger work God is doing.
It is important to understand and reverence the temple – yes, even ourselves. But adorn it and reverence it to keep it pure and holy! We forget that when we let ourselves get into the flesh about something we are permitting a mudslide of impurity into the holy of holies. And when we take grace for granted knowing we will be forgiven – we forget that the Holy Spirit, Jesus and God have feelings and we are hurting them. And if you want to know how they feel about us defiling ourselves?

15 When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. 16 And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” 

In Romans when Paul is speaking about keeping ourselves pure and holy – he is also correcting the Romans on their sexual promiscuity. So we often only think of sexual sins defiling the temple. But sometimes we are offering service for the people of God, in ourselves (the temple), and have no idea that what we do is defiling. You see good ideas are not always God ideas.
It seemed like a good idea to let people buy a sacrifice there, because some people would not be able to bring one if they lived far away. But not all good ideas are God ideas.

17 Then His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.”

Zeal for you and I, His temple, eats Him up to. Jesus has a hunger for us, a zeal and jealousy, a burning desire for us – and needs us to be clean and holy in order to commune with us. And longs for us to return the burning love.

18 So the Jews answered and said to Him, “What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?”

What signs, asks the Jews who are literally standing there and seeing the healings and miracles of Jesus. Seeing is not believing. It reminds me of our modern day prophesy chasers – always looking for the next word the next thing. And if they cannot get what they want, they move on to the next prophet.
It reminds me of my son who is always looking for a sign that Jesus is real and sign after sign he is still self serving.
We do not need another sign – we need an experience with grace and that only happens when we give up and surrender. But that is NOT what Jesus says – He was here to save us all, not just those few in front of Him. You and I, we can tell our small audiences that the secret is to surrender – get humble and repent, daily. But Jesus needed the Pharisees to yell out “Crucify Him!” As He stood there blameless. Otherwise He wouldn’t have been able to sacrifice Himself for us.
And as a good as God is, Jesus did offer them a sign. If you ever wondered if there was forgiveness and repentance available to those Pharisees? The answer is that they had the sign – all they needed to do was the same thing we need to do: Get humble and repent – seek forgiveness.

19 Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
20 Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”
21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body.”

Jesus’s body as the temple is an often overlooked symbol. I often think of the temple as the place heaven and earth overlap and God and man can commune together. But maybe John understands it in a more clear light – the temple is not a place where two places overlap. Instead it is a who – where two other whos can overlap and become one. The other whos are God and Man. Which, when you think about it, is profound – as Jesus is the intercessor, the bridge, and the way.

22 Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said.”

John concludes another section of writing with taking note of the belief of the disciples – and the calling to remembrance of these things.

23 Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did. 24 But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, 25 and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.”

John realized Jesus could discern the hearts of man. It is funny how mankind still lies to themselves about how well Jesus knows our hearts. We also lie to ourselves about our own condition, though, and believe our lie. So I guess if we are not honest with ourselves about the hot mess that we are, why would we be honest about the hot mess with Jesus? I have often prayed with people prayers of deliverance, which always much begin with humble repentance. And as I pray and walk them through the steps, almost every single one says “Lord you know my sins” as their prayer response to my prompt “confess each sin and ask forgiveness”.  We stand there crying out to God – “Deliver me from my foes!” We are desperate for a breakthrough and stand there looking at it, just out of reach and all we need to do is be honest with ourselves and God about our sins, confess them, repent of them, ask forgiveness of them and be free. But we cannot. We cannot be truthful and we cannot let go of them.
Jesus knew their hearts and left them in that state. Hopefully they had another opportunity.

40 years, or one generation, after these words were spoken by The Word, the temple which Jesus cleared out was destroyed by Rome. Modern Israel is ready to rebuild that temple, and if a day is like 1000 years to God, we are in the third day, having completed two and so, it is time for it to be raised again. And the heifers for sacrifice have arrived. The hearts of His children are turning back to Him! Hallelujah! Pay attention to the word temple (and all variations) while reading the Bible!

***

Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.

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