During Lent we are encouraged to take time to reflect on our spiritual lives, turning inward and examining our relationship with Jesus. As we prepare for Easter to remember Jesus’ great sacrifice for us, we can focus on His sacrifice by trying to sacrifice things in our lives in order to attempt to identify with Christ. Perhaps there are things in our lives that are ungodly or are obstacles to our relationship with Jesus which need to be given up. Maybe Jesus would like us take on work for Him by becoming more involved in caring for His people in our community.
The reading from John’s gospel can direct us in these endeavors. Jesus goes to the temple and discovers that a court in the temple has been setup as a market place where pilgrims can purchase the animals they would offer as sacrifices. His response is righteous indignation that his Father’s house which is a house of prayer is being used as a market place and as a “den of robbers”. This market not only distracted many from worship but the merchants were guilty of greed and corruption and therefore Jesus cleanses the temple.
The religious leaders do not question his “purging” of the temple but rather where his authority comes from to do this and ask for a sign showing that he has authority. Jesus’ response in verse 19 “Destroy this temple,” Jesus answered, “and in three days I will build it again!” Jesus however is speaking to the future when He will be crucified (His body being a temple) and rise again. There will be no need for a temple because God, the Holy Spirit will dwell within believers and their bodies will become Temples of the Holy Spirit.
For us today this scripture asks us the following questions.
- If our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit what things need to be cleansed in our temples?
- Are we allowing worldly activities to distract our worship of God?
- Are we responding to the injustices of marginalised people with righteous indignation and assisting them?
May God Bless us and strengthen us as we continue our journey with Him.