Chapter 16: In His Temple

February 6, 2007

The Jewish leaders of the time simultaneously devalued the holy intent of the temple service, while presenting it’s halls as highly sacred. As the paragraphs describing this perversion floatedby, my mind kept wondering how we might have done a similar disservice to God’s temple.

“They were scarcely aware how far they had wandered from the original purpose of the service instituted by God Himself.” DA152

Are we aware of our wandering away from God’s plan forworship? I am keenly aware that at such a question, many church minds might leap to their favorite behavioral reform issue. But this post is not about rock music, but I’ll take the bait. My favorite reform issue is behavioral too; but it has more to do with the change regarding the behavior of Jesus than our own. This quote begins to resolve the picture.

“As He beholds the scene, indignation, authority, and power are expressed in His countenance. The attention of the people is attracted to Him. The eyes of those engaged in their unholy traffic are riveted upon His face. They cannot withdraw their gaze. They feel that this man read their inmost thoughts, and discoveries their hidden motives. Some attempt to conceal their faces, as if their evil deeds were written upon their countenances, to be scanned by those searching eyes.

The confusion is hushed. The sound of traffic and bargaining has ceased. The silence becomes painful. A sense of awe overpowers the assembly. It is as if they were arraigned before the tribunal of God to answer for their deeds.” DA154

Sin smashes upon the Spirit of Jesus and is broken. Here the mood is turned inside out, shame that has so long been pushed down boils over. This is what happens when Jesus enters His temple. Where is the temple of God these days? Is it not the heart? Are the eyes of Jesus less searching? (See Ps. 139:23).

The funny reality is thatthe Pharisees believed they were on God’s team; and today, every issue has manywho sincerely believe they are doing the work that Jesus did in the cleansing of the temple. How can we know who is crusading for human reform and who is the mouthof Christ for cleansing?

It was Jesus who cleansed the temple then, and by Himself. Can he handle the job today? Also I find it significant that the Temple is His. When we make it ours, it’s easy to jump into cleaning mode and there are many who would approve of our tidy ideals. But if the temple is a heart level reality, can we really do well to cleanse it? Knowing of the effective glance of Jesus when a temple becomes His, isn’t it worth signing over to Him the deed to our thoughts, emotions, and money loving spirits?

Do we really fear that if we let Jesus take care of the cleaning He won’t be able to handle it by Himself? Or worse yet, that we won’t want Him to. 

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One Response to “Chapter 16: In His Temple”

  1. Carla said

    What hit me was something that I think fits in line with the idea of cleansing the heart temple.

    On p.m 163 it says, “When the last spark of hope seemed to be dead, Christ had healed them. The burden was so heavy, one said; but I have found a helper.”

    What a profound truth, that Jesus is the helper to heal us from the sickness of sin. I look at some of my students that have graduated and the paths they have taken. Some ill-fated ones far from God but yet when these same students look for help, they come to me because I hope they see that I have something that they want, a Helper! I know I can’t do my job alone! It is only through God’s grace and mercy. Like my coworkers and I talked about in worship this morning, I want to bring my students with me to the gates of heaven.

    There are those that would question my associations with some young people. Why help her? She is drug addicted, alcohol, and completely lost. Why? Because I will be shirking my duty to bring a person to God that could have her burden removed because of His love for her. I hate the sin but I love the person. We both need HIM! We need help! I want to allow God to fulfill his mission in me. I want to have my heart cleansed “from the defilement of sin,–from the earthly desires, the selfish lusts, the evil habits, that corrupt the soul. DA 161” I know that “No man can of himself cast out the evil throng that have taken possession of the heart. Only Christ can cleanse the soul temple. DA 161” I want that cleansing.

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