Wednesday, June 5, 2019

John 3-4~ Day 36~ We are the temple now.

"Believe me woman, an hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor  in Jerusalem....But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in Spirit and in truth.  Yes, the Father wants such people to worship him." (4:21 & 23)

These verses stood out to me because, like I mentioned the other day, I am studying Daniel, which brings one to think about "end times".  One thing I get from these words of Jesus is, there won't be a third physical temple as far as he is concerned!...."Wait, what?!",  you may be exclaiming.  Let me explain.

First of all, the 2nd physical temple was destroyed in 70 AD, so right there Jesus was right in saying, "an hour is coming"...that hour came 40 years after he spoke those words. There has been no temple worship since.  (Jewish worship took place in the temple which was located in Jerusalem).  But, now that Jesus has arrived, that's OK!  No physical temple is OK since now, worshippers "will worship in Spirit and in truth".

Jesus also said, "and is here now", referring to himself.  So, what does that mean?  I read a good commentary that used Old Testament scripture to help explain. Going back to Exodus 25:8, God tells Moses, "Let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst."  So, the Israelites first built a tent and then the temple so that they could have God dwell with them...."The glory of the Lord appeared" (Lev. 9;23, Num 14:10 and 2 Cor 5:14).

I'm thinking...how cool that we just read John 1:14, where he writes, "the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.  We observed his glory, glory as the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth."  Did you know that "dwelt" in Hebrew means "pitch a tent"- I'm sure the Hebrews of the time, reading John's account, got the double meaning!

Now that Jesus has come in physical form, there is no reason for the physical temple anymore.  In his ministry on earth, he was the temple (John 2:19) that the physical one in Jerusalem foreshadowed; he dwelt among them. Now after his resurrection, "we are the temple of the living God" (2 Cor. 6:16b).  Paul, also reminds us in 1 Cor. 6:19, that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. Now the Lord dwells in us! (See, also Eph. 2:19-22)

In regards to a 3rd temple needed for the Lord to dwell in again.....I read something interesting on the debate.
"Whether or not this will ever happen is hard to say, but if it does it will have no eschatological or theological significance whatsoever, other than to rise up a stench in the nostrils of God.  The only temple in which God is now and forever will be pleased to dwell is Jesus Christ and the Church, his spiritual body." (Kingdom Come, pg. 20)

Interesting thoughts, don't ya think?

2 comments:

Rapster J said...

Yes, that's very interesting! When we were in Israel, we toured a place that was making all the vessels, vestments, accessories, etc. so they will be ready for the temple to be rebuilt, on the temple mount. They believe (Jews, here) that the Messiah will come when the new temple is built. I mean, they have everything, even who the Levites are who could be priests. It seemed so misplaced effort to me at the time, but they are sure hopeful.

Walking with The Way said...

I saw the same place on my tour of Israel! Yes, they are making the items to the exact specifications found in the Law, at least what they can interpret to be accurate. They are even using gold!
But, I agree, very misplaced effort. That should be no surprise though, since they missed the arrival of their Messiah. It's like those girls who went to fill their lamps because they ran out of oil waiting for the bride groom (Matt 25:10). They got their oil filled, ran back to wait, but he already came!!