Today’s Reading: John 2:13-25
“So the Jews said to him, ‘What sign do you show us for doing these things?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’” – John 2:18-19
We have all had the experience of being told something and thinking we clearly understood what we were being told. Only to find out later we had completely misunderstood what the person had meant.
This is what is happening to the Jews who are questioning Jesus’ authority for His actions of driving out the people who had made God’s house a place of business rather than a place of worship.
The Jews clearly thought Jesus was talking about the physical building of the temple. A building that had taken forty-six years to build. Though they thought they understood Jesus clearly, they didn’t.
Jesus was talking about the temple of His body. The Lord’s reply resembles another time He was asked to give them a sign that He was the Messiah. Jesus had told them that no other sign will be given this evil generation “except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matthew 12).
Jesus was a stumbling block for the religious leaders of the Jews because they rejected His message of atonement. They refused to believe Him even though He had performed many miracles that even included raising people from the dead! For many people today, Jesus is still a stumbling block.
But thanks be to God that the words Jesus spoke were true. Taking our sins He willingly went to the cross in our stead and suffered God’s wrath for us. Then, by the glory of God the Father, Jesus was raised from the dead on the third day. The temple of His body had been completely restored!
Who can truly understand God’s unconditional love, mercy, and grace shown for us in the suffering, death, and resurrection of His dearly beloved Son? It is through God-given faith for Jesus’ sake alone that we are now reconciled to God, our sins are forgiven, and we will live eternally in God’s kingdom.
Prayer: No binding sign we ask, No wonder from above. Lord help us place our trust alone In Your unswerving love. (O Christ, You Walked the Road, LSB 424:3)
This devotion was written by Rev. Michael Musick, pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Luzerne, IA