In this passage, there are a lot of things going on that can be studied out. There’s the righteous anger of Jesus as He cleared out the merchants and moneychangers. There’s the prophecy “Zeal for Your house will consume me.” There’s the prophecy about the temple of His body that will be raised in 3 days. There are the Jews asking for a sign as to His authority for doing these things in the temple. And there’s the fact that Jesus’ own disciples, who lived with Him for so long, didn’t really believe what He has said until after He was raised from the dead. I encourage you to study out these things and see what the Lord would have you learn from each one.
I use a variety of different study methods for each passage, and one of them showed me something different that I had not seen before. I look for words, phrases or expressions that are repeated throughout the passage, no matter the context, and highlight those. This works to draw me to a recurring theme in the passage.
In this passage, the recurring theme that I see is the temple, the place of worship for God’s people. The phrases “temple” and “Father’s house” are used 7 times in 10 verses. That should grab our attention and let us know something important is being communicated here. Follow along with me on this:
- In the time of Adam, there was no temple. Worship and fellowship with God was done face to face.
- In the time of Abraham, because sin was now in the world, men of God would build altars for worship.
- In the time of Moses, God gave commandment that the Tabernacle and the Ark were to be built for worship.
- In the time of David and Solomon, the first temple was built for worship. It was designed to be the dwelling place of God on the earth.
- In the time of Jesus, Herod’s temple had been built as the place of worship.
- In the first century, after Jesus had ascended, churches were planted everywhere and people’s homes became the meeting place for the people of God.
- Today, we have churches for worship on every corner, in every city.
- In the new heaven and the new earth, there will be no temple, because without sin, we will be able to worship and fellowship with God face to face.
With the giving of the Holy Spirit, each believer is indwelt and sealed with the Holy Spirit. Now, we can worship God “in Spirit and in Truth” no matter where we are. We, as God’s people, have become priests to God, each of us serving God in our own personal temple: our bodies.
This should change things for all of us!!! This should be a powerful call for holy living in each one of us.
No longer are we sinning in our cars or in our homes or in private.
Instead, we are desecrating the Holy Temple of God, our body, when we sin!
The application here is simple to write and hard to live. We are to treat our bodies as if God Himself dwells inside of us.
Oh wait… He does!!!
Let us never forget that fact as we go about our daily lives. It should cause us to love Him, worship Him, and fellowship with Him all day long.
It should change us from the inside out.