The Body of Christ, The Bride of Christ, A Temple? Those terms can all sound confusing. Well, which are we? Using earthly and natural analogies to capture supernatural and Kingdom realities will always have its limits. In short…
Each of us is a Unique part of the Body of Christ. Consider these Scriptures:
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NLT) Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.
1 Corinthians 3:16 (NLT) Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?
Today we are going to see how Jesus cleansing of the temple frees us to be what God has designed us to be. Frees us to be uniquely ourselves in His image.
Matthew 21:12-13 (NLT) Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out all the people buying and selling animals for sacrifice. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves. 13 He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves!
Jesus Enjoyed Giving Access To The Father
The Court of The Gentiles. God has always been a missionary God. He is no “respecter of persons”. He loves the world and always has. His intent was that the Nation of Isreal would trumpet the Goodness and Mercy of God from the Temple in Jerusalem. That it’s sacrifices, rituals, and traditions would call to all who seek God. So, this court was part of the temple, a place the “stranger” could come and experience Judaism. The foreigner could come and find hope, and a home.
Rome, Money, and Birds. The Roman coin had to be exchanged for the Tyrian Shekel. The money changers made bank on the exchange rate, and you could be sure that members or leaders of the Sanhedrin profited from this exchange. They also excessively profited from the purchase of animals for sacrifices. And all of this profiteering happened at the Temple in the courtyard of the Gentiles. So, the Gentiles came to draw near to God. But first, they had to get past the greed and corruption of racist people. The story of God was corrupted by the Jews in this courtyard.
What in us is Blocking the Image of Christ Shining From Us? What are the “Money Changers” within us? Things that distract from the presence of God. Things that hinder others from having access to God. Things that “charge” people high exchange rates, in order to draw near to God.
Our Sins, Our Attitudes, Our Pride, and Unforgiveness. How much of ourselves are blocking the way to God? The world is looking for hope. Would there be a glimmer of it if they caught sight of you? Your life. Your marriage. Your generosity. Your passion and hunger for God…when you are ready to really enjoy Jesus, you let Him drive out the Money Changers.
Jesus Enjoyed Restoring People
Matthew 21:13-14 (NLT) He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer,’ … 14 The blind and the lame came to him in the Temple, and he healed them.
Jesus Loved Bring Miracles Back to the House of God. When Prayer returned, miracles returned. It’s amazing what can happen when that which prevents is removed. Remove the distractions and the student will focus. Remove the weeds and the garden will flourish. Remove the gossip and the group will thrive. Remove the thieves and prayer will multiply.
I’m thinking Jesus was having some fun now. The blind would be guided to the court of the Gentiles, and they would walk out by their own sight. The lame would be carried to Jesus. He would pray, or because He was so prayer-filled anyway, the lame would walk out in their own strength. He was having fun destroying Satan’s handiwork. He was having fun watching the powers that be stand by unable to stop Him.
What in us Could Heal Others? Have you ever considered how your prayers can heal others? Have you ever thought that maybe your wounds could heal others? How about your failures, weaknesses, and shame? How about your victories, blessings, and joys?
The more you pray… The more your life is going to come into the context of God’s story, gifts, and blessings. The more you are going to see those gifts as something you can give away.
What within you can heal, if only the thieves were swept from the Temple?
Jesus Enjoyed Real Worship
Matthew 21:15-16 (NLT) The leading priests and the teachers of religious law saw these wonderful miracles and heard even the children in the Temple shouting, “Praise God for the Son of David.”But the leaders were indignant. 16 They asked Jesus, “Do you hear what these children are saying?” “Yes,” Jesus replied. “Haven’t you ever read the Scriptures? For they say, ‘You have taught children and infants to give you praise.’”
Can You Imagine Being There, Seeing Jesus Work? The joy of watching someone’s life being made whole is incredible. Can you hear the laughter and the praise fill the temple? The shouts and thanks to God. The joy of children running about? They probably stared in wonder at the leg that was withered and now restored. You can see them making faces at the formerly blind to test their vision. Then to hear their estimation of Jesus proclaimed from that childlike state. This is worship meant for the King of Kings, honest and authentic wonder at the reality of Jesus.
Could Your Faith Inspire Others? It is our praise that should fill the temple. It is our joy, laughter, and wonder and the goodness of God and the presence of Jesus.
“Your body is a temple.” What happens when Jesus invades the temple? Good timesaver to be had! Jesus enjoys going to Church. Jesus loves preparing your temple for the presence and power of God.