When temples are destroyed…

But the Jewish leaders demanded, “What are you doing? If God gave you authority to do this, show us a miraculous sign to prove it.”                                                                                                               “All right,” Jesus replied. “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”             “What!” they exclaimed. “It has taken forty-six years to build this Temple, and you can rebuild it in three days?” (John 2v18-21)

We pick up this story moments after Jesus has overturned the tables of the dealers in the temple. Incensed at how God’s temple has become a place of injustice to the poor who are forced to pay exorbitant prices to make their sacrifices, Jesus lambasts the traders then the Jewish leaders. In response, the leaders challenge Jesus to prove he is from God. After all, if he is, surely he can provide the accompanying miracle?

While it seems that Jesus side-steps the leaders’ demands, he actually does offer them insight into the forthcoming  miracle – the greatest of all – that ought prove to them that he is who he says he is. The leaders reaction to Jesus’ claim that if the temple is destroyed, he will rebuild it in three days, shows the shortfall in thinking and understanding between them. The leaders thinking is simplistic as they believe Jesus is talking about the building. In actual fact, Jesus references his own body as a temple that will be destroyed to make amends for sin, then resurrected three days later as a miracle to prove God’s authority is upon him to speak and act.

I like to imagine Jesus standing with arms open wide (crucifix-like) as he tells them to ‘destroy this temple’ then kindly responds to their rebuff and lack of insight as they grasp at the wrong end of the stick and miss the greater thing that God is doing. This week, why not join me in asking God to open our eyes to see beyond the limits of our present human understanding towards the greater things that God is doing. Be blessed!

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