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Friday, October 30, 2015
Today’s Reading | John 2:13–22
The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. He told those who were selling the doves, “Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!” His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” The Jews then said to him, “What sign can you show us for doing this?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?” But he was speaking of the temple of his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken. (NRSV)
“Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.”
The disciples had seen so many wonderful things, miraculous things, in their travels with Jesus that it makes perfect sense to them that this statement is to be taken literally. If you’ve seen a guy raise the dead, calm the storm, and feed multitudes with a few loaves and a couple of fish (and he’s done it twice, in case you missed it the first time), why would it be such a stretch to think that he could do some expedited construction on the temple? They believed in him, completely, and his determination to come to Jerusalem no doubt confirmed to them that the time was now, that the kingdom of God was at hand, that all the debasement of the land was going to be reversed through a liberal application of God’s power.
What a shock it must have been. They were expecting a totally different outcome, and what they got was the same series of events that occurred to anyone who challenged the supremacy of Rome and its proxies. They were so sure. He was supposed to be different. All the prophecies were wrong.
Then, three days later, they got the message that he was different and that his words were true, that it was their interpretation of his prophecy that was incorrect, that it was their interpretation of his words that led them into shock and despair. “After he was raised from the dead, they remembered.”
And this is a huge part of the story of our journey toward God—simplistic interpretations leading to darkness, followed by awakenings to God’s truth that put everything into a new light. We think we’re so smart, until God shows us that we have misunderstood everything.
Lord, thank you for reminders that my understanding of your word is always evolving. Keep opening my eyes, so that I will not remain stuck in how things have been but keep moving toward how things will be. Amen.
Written by Rob Koon,Coordinator of Fine Arts
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