Cleaning up the temple.
May 2, 2013
There’s a story in the book of John, second chapter, that takes place very early in Jesus’ ministry. The Master has just turned the water into wine, convincing his disciples that he’s the one to follow. They all head to Jerusalem where Jesus finds the temple filled with salesmen, livestock, and bankers. He runs them all out, thoroughly disrupting and displeasing them. When asked what this was a sign of, Jesus responded obliquely – as was often the case. He said, “destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” Unbeknownst to them, he was referring to his body, not the building in which they stood.
Is there a correlation between the action of removing the riff raff from the temple and his reference to his body? Let me answer by telling another Bible story.
When Jesus arrived at Jairus’ house to heal his daughter – whom he’d been told was now dead – he was greeted by a great crowd wailing and weeping her demise. (see Mark 5:38) When he suggested she’s only sleeping, they laughed him to scorn. He put them all out – and healed the little girl.
Again, is there a correlation between the dismissal of the noise makers and the restoration of Jairus’ daughter? Okay, one more biblical reference!
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus admonished his followers to “take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.” (see Matt 6:25) In essence, he was telling them, “don’t get preoccupied with all the details and drama of human existence – they only distract you from what’s really going on and who you really are.” His solution was this: “Instead, seek God’s righteousness and His kingdom, and everything you need will be lovingly and completely provided.” (ibid v. 33)
So, yes! There is a correlation! St. Paul said, “know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost…therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
Now, to be clear, since Jesus said, “take no thought…what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink…” and “not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man…” (Matt 15:11) Doesn’t it follow that glorifying God in your body is not about diet but thought? Not about food but attitude?
Removing the merchandising wailers from consciousness – gossip, whining, blame, fear, preoccupation with self, etc. – will so improve the condition of the body, the temple, that you can get on with your business of worshiping God which is, indeed, the best way to glorify Him.
Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link. If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.