Summary: God's collective address, the church, and God's individual address, a believer. A discussion about how the things Jesus did in the temple courts are the things He wants to do in us today.
Everybody seems to be on a diet these days. Scientists are making amazing discoveries every day about nutrition and diet. If you’re struggling to lose weight these recent scientific findings may help you. Scientists have discovered:
(1) If nobody sees you eat food, it has no calories!
(2) If you drink a diet soda while you eat a candy bar, they cancel each other out. (If the soda weighs more than the candy bar, you actually LOSE calories.)
(3) Desserts remove stress. Remember “stressed” is just “desserts” spelled backwards.
(4) Foods consumed for medicinal reasons have no calories; this includes chocolate and ice cream when eaten as a source of energy.
(5) Cookies contain calories, but cookie pieces do not—the breakage causes calorie leakage.
Now, I want some of you to test those rules and let me know how they work!
There are many reasons people go on diets: They want to look better, or they want to be healthier. Those are good. But today we’re going to discover that there’s a better why we should take care of our bodies. The take-away truth I want you to carry out with you today is this: Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. When that truth grabs your heart, you will never again be the same. Let’s see what Jesus did and what He said about this.
Matthew 21:10-17. “When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, ‘Who is this?’ the crowds answered, ‘This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.’ Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the benches of those selling doves. ‘It is written,’ he said to them, ‘‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’’ but you are making it a ‘‘den of robbers.’’ The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple area, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David,’ they were indignant. ‘Do you hear what these children are saying?’ they asked him. ‘Yes,’ replied Jesus, ‘have you never read, ‘‘from the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise?’’ And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.”
My family got me an iPad for my birthday and I’ve enjoyed playing with it. I don’t think it will ever replace my MacBook Pro, but it’s great for other things. One of the great apps, also on the iPhone, is Google maps. You can enter any address into the search field and not only will it pinpoint the location on a map, in many cases, it will show a photograph of the house. This feature is called Google Street View. Since 2007 Google has covered the globe with thousands of employees in cars with a 360-degree camera mounted on a pole on top of the car. They have taken over a billion photos of houses, businesses, and neighborhoods. They created a controversy over privacy because sometimes the pictures captured people as well. Since then Google has been blurring faces and vehicle tags.
I entered the address of the home I grew up in Florala, Alabama, and there it was: a color picture of my house and the other houses around it. My initial thought was, “Wow, it’s a lot smaller than I remembered!” But I got to show my family my childhood home. Pretty neat.
Let’s imagine for a moment that we’re going to look at God’s house. What address would we put into the search field? Where does God live today? Well, of course, we know God is omnipresent. That means He is everywhere. But the Bible teaches that throughout history, the Shekinah glory of God’s presence has resided in several houses, or temples. Let’s do a quick tour of the different houses God has occupied.
First, there was the Jewish Tabernacle Moses constructed when the Jews were making their way from Egypt to the Promised Land. The Shekinah glory of God was present there in the Holy of Holies. We call it a tabernacle, which is another word for tent, but the actual Hebrew word means “residence.” This was God’s house from about 1437 B.C. until 957 B.C.
The next house was Solomon’s Temple built in 957 B.C. The Ark of the Covenant that had been in the tabernacle was transferred to a more stable building. This temple was God’s address until the Babylonians ransacked Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple in 586 B.C.
God’s next address was the same location, but a different house. The Jews returned to Jerusalem and rebuilt the temple in 516 B.C. This second temple was rather drab compared to Solomon’s edifice, but about 45 years before Jesus was born, Herod the Great undertook an extreme makeover of the temple. It took them almost 50 years to upgrade the temple to the majestic appearance it had during the time of Jesus. Herod created a huge flat area where people could gather called the Temple courtyards. It was large enough for thousands of people to gather. This is where Jesus taught and where He drove out the moneychangers. Only priests could enter the temple area. Jesus wasn’t a Jewish priest, so He never entered the actual temple. But that wasn’t a problem because Jesus WAS the perfect temple of God!