Have you ever seen a movie where everyone is sitting around a poker table playing cards? Each person is dealt their hand and they check their cards. Some eyebrows raise with excitement, some heads drop in disappointment, some people fold their cards, and still others make the pot bigger by raising the stakes. Then there’s only two people left, the last two cards are flipped .. one player says “All in!” and pushes everything he has to the middle, making this a huge pile of money. The other player looks at the pile of money, goes to push the rest of his money to the middle but adds, “I see your ‘all in’ and I raise you my expensive watch.” The other player answers the gesture by throwing in the keys to his car. It’s time for the players to reveal their hands. The player with the watch shows his cards and everyone gasps, knowing there is no way he can be beat. But all of a sudden the player who threw in his car keys reveals his hand, which just happens to be slightly better. The other player’s jaw drops and he's speechless. The winner reaches his hands into the middle and says “nice doing business with you,” when the losing player looks up for a split second and sees what seems to be an extra card in the winner’s sleeve. He grabs the winner’s arm, pulls up his sleeve only to find an extra, hidden card: the one card that he would have needed to win! The two meet eyes, the loser’s grip gets tighter, his eyebrows curl in, his blood pressure begins to rise and he is instantly filled to the brim with anger because he had just been cheated and taken advantage of. Immediately a fight breaks out and everyone walks away a loser!
I wonder if that’s how Jesus felt in John Chapter 2 when He walks into the temple, which was a place for people to come and pray, and sees it being treated like a market place. Jesus sees something besides praying. He sees people exchanging money. He sees greed. Jesus sees things that shouldn't be happening in the temple and he becomes very angry. I wonder if he feels the same way about us when we treat our bodies (also temples where the Holy Spirit dwells) differently then we should. Like when we fill our minds with lustful thoughts through porn, or when we consume/abuse drugs and alcohol, or when we find ourselves in bed with someone who isn't our husband or wife, or with our significant other who is not yet our spouse. Let’s be reminded, when we find ourselves in a place of vulnerability, where we have opened ourselves up and are on the verge of making sinful decisions, how Jesus feels about something so sacred and special being treated differently than it’s supposed to! Let us remember to use our bodies to bring Him praise.
Prayer: Jesus, I’m sorry for the sins I have committed. I’m sorry for the mistakes I continue to make. I’m sorry for making you angry. But Jesus, thank you so much for being willing to forgive me. Thank you for being willing to allow me to repent and turn away from those actions. Fill me with wisdom and strength to overcome temptation, to overcome the desire to make the decisions that dishonor you and dishonor the temple of my body. We pray these thing in Jesus’ name, amen.
these I will bring to my holy mountain
and give them joy in my house of prayer.
Their burnt offerings and sacrifices
will be accepted on my altar;
for my house will be called
a house of prayer for all nations.
When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”
The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”
Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”
They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” But the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.