Day 353 | Sunday, 7 March 2021
The assigned Scripture readings for this the 3rd Sunday in Lent are Exodus 20:1-7; Psalm 19; 1 Corinthians 1:18-25 and John 2:13-22.
Let’s look at John 2:13-22 from the Message.
13 When the Passover Feast, celebrated each spring by the Jews, was about to take place, Jesus traveled up to Jerusalem.
14 He found the Temple teeming with people selling cattle and sheep and doves. The loan sharks were also there in full strength.
15 Jesus put together a whip out of strips of leather and chased them out of the Temple, stampeding the sheep and cattle, upending the tables of the loan sharks, spilling coins left and right.
16 He told the dove merchants, "Get your things out of here! Stop turning my Father's house into a shopping mall!"
17 That's when his disciples remembered the Scripture, "Zeal for your house consumes me."
18 But the Jews were upset. They asked, "What credentials can you present to justify this?"
19 Jesus answered, "Tear down this Temple and in three days I'll put it back together."
20 They were indignant: "It took forty-six years to build this Temple, and you're going to rebuild it in three days?"
21 But Jesus was talking about his body as the Temple.
22 Later, after he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered he had said this. They then put two and two together and believed both what was written in Scripture and what Jesus had said.
“The temple cleansing, found at the end of Jesus’ ministry in the other Gospels, continues the introduction of Jesus as the purifying presence of God and God’s future salvation, introduces Jesus’ conflict with the Jewish leaders (vv 18-20), and foreshadows both cross and resurrection. Israel’s prophets anticipated the renewal of the temple to permit true worship in God’s presence. Jesus does not merely renew the temple; he is the temple (that is, the presence) of God. 2:13 ‘Passover’ and other Jewish feasts in John present occasions for Jesus to reveal his identity and mission in images from the feasts. 2:16-17 Jesus opposes the abuse of the temple and the injustice associated with it, alluding to Zechariah 14:21. The disciples connect his zeal for God to Ps 69:9, hinting at the danger of death. 2:18-22 the Jewish leaders’ request for a sign to justify Jesus’ prophetic action leads Jesus to speak symbolically of the temple’s destruction and rebuilding as a prediction of his own fate. He is misunderstood by the Jewish leaders and understood by his disciples only after the resurrection (v 22) the ultimate sign of Jesus’ authority and identity.” CEB The Wesley Study Bible pp 1334 -1335.
“Loving God, patient Friend, walk with us this Lent and help us see our desire to be known, praised, admired for what it is. Help us see how we have bought into believing that our worth comes from what we do and how we are noticed. Remind us that faithfulness is often hidden, humble and simple. Give us a generous dose of self-confidence mixed with humility.
And when we get confused and out of balance, bring us home to our true selves and set our eyes upon Jesus, our companion and guide. Amen.”
Today: Think about the signs you observe as being signs of the presence of God.