Third Sunday in Lent, Sunday, March 15, 2009
by Helen Roberts-Evans
When Jesus went to Jerusalem to observe Passover, he found the temple being used as a place for monetary gain. Animals were being sold for sacrifice, and moneychangers were sitting at tables. Jesus drove out the animals and turned over the moneychangers' tables. He told those who sold doves, "Get these out of here. How dare you turn my Father's house into a market!" (John 2:16)
The Jews asked Jesus to prove his authority to do this. Jesus replied, "Destroy this temple and I will raise it again in three days." (John 2:19)
The temple in Jerusalem is a sacred place to worship God. Jesus rebuked those who defiled it with worldly matters. Jesus then used this event as an opportunity to refer to his body as a temple, speaking of his upcoming death and resurrection. Jesus taught that God's Spirit is not limited to temples made by man and that in fact, he and the Father are one. (John 10:30)
The Apostle Paul reminds me as a believer in the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, of an important fact: "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own, you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body." (I Corinthians 6:19)
As God in human form, Jesus had the strength and courage to live boldly. As a believer, I can also live boldly and have the courage to follow the teachings of Jesus. Just as Jesus drove out the animals and moneychangers from the manmade temple, I want to drive out immoral and unkind thoughts and behavior from my bodily temple.
During Lent I am meditating daily on how I am honoring God with my body. Am I allowing myself to be guided by God's Holy Spirit? Am I bearing the spiritual fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, kindness, and self-control? (Galatians 5:22-23) Each day I want to have the courage to be available for God's use.
Lent is the season in which Christians remember the suffering of Jesus and look forward to celebrating his resurrection. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16) I can have peace and joy knowing that God's Holy Spirit is with me now and for eternity.
Helen Roberts-Evans is a Sunday school teacher and class leader at Sherman United Methodist Church in the Northern Illinois Conference. She has also held the offices of secretary and chairperson for her church's pastor-parish relations committee, secretary for her church's United Methodist Women's unit, and chairperson for the church council. A former Montessori preschool teacher and child-care center director, Helen is currently serving in West Africa with the Liberian Annual Conference in the Department of General Education and Ministry.
Date posted: Mar 15, 2009