Daily Archives: November 9, 2020
Psalm 46:1-3 (NRSV)
God’s Defense of His City and People
1 God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
3 though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble with its tumult.
John 2:13-22 (NRSV)
Jesus Cleanses the Temple
13 The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. 15 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. 16 He told those who were selling the doves, “Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!” 17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” 18 The Jews then said to him, “What sign can you show us for doing this?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21 But he was speaking of the temple of his body. 22 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.
“What sign can you show us for doing this?” (John 2:18).
If you’ve ever seen a superhero movie, you know that at some point, that hero will have to prove himself. Someone in trouble is going to ask him, “What can you do for us?” Or the villain will say, “Show me what you’ve got.” That’s what makes characters like Spiderman, Batman, and Superman interesting to us. They look like ordinary people, but we love seeing them use their superpowers to get the bad guys!
Of course, the Jewish religious leaders in today’s Scripture passage are not villains. But they do want a sign from Jesus to justify his treatment of the money changers. In fact, throughout John’s Gospel these leaders demand signs. But there really isn’t a sign Jesus can do to prove that he has authority over the Temple. That’s because he is the real Temple, the dwelling place of the glory of God! He tries to explain that to them but only proves it later on by rising from the dead.
People are still looking for signs today. Some are lost and searching for God, and some are questioning or perhaps even hostile to faith. The only real sign we can give them is Jesus – just as Jesus himself did back then. And this is something we all can do. Remember: you are a temple of the Lord; he is alive in you through the power of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16). So you just might be the very sign that someone is looking for.
Don’t underestimate how much God can use you to bring people to him. If you are trying your best to stay close to the Lord every day, people are going to notice it. They’ll notice that there is not just something different about you, but someone.
Lord, fill me with the desire to know you and to walk in holiness. I want to be a sign of your presence in this world. Amen.