God Is Here With Me, Now
March 7, 2021 Series: Follow Him - A Lenten Invitation
Topic: Follow Him - A Lenten Invitation Passage: John 2:13–2:22
John 2 presents two starkly different portraits of Jesus: the Lord of the wine at the wedding feast and Jesus and the Lord of the whips as he clears the temple. These portraits raise the question, can Jesus be trusted when he is clearing things out of our lives that confront our fear of loss? In John 2:13-17, Jesus clears out the temple of money changers and animal salesmen because their choice of location both excluded the Gentiles from prayer and distracted the Jews from worship. Jesus’s zeal is for all people to worship God alone.
In Lent, what is the one distraction or sin that you sense Jesus wanting to address? As you invite him to address this, remember Jesus didn’t fly off the handle in the temple. Instead, under complete control, he took the time to slowly make a whip of cords. In fact, the Gospel is that we know that we can trust the whip in Jesus’ hand because it has first been upon his back (Jn 19:1). And Jesus always clears out something destructive in order to replace it with himself.
When asked for a sign, Jesus tells them that when they destroy the temple of his body, he will raise it up in three days. This is a life-changing statement. Jesus is saying that he is the new temple that mediates and manifests the presence of God to all people in all places. In his body was the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of the world that was raised up to give us new life and constant access to the Father through him. 189 times in the New Testament we hear about what is true about our new life and identity because we are now “in Christ.” Paul even prays in Ephesians 3:19, “that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Jesus took the whip so we could have the wine. Trust the whip in his hand. He clears out things in our lives in order to give us more of himself.
Taking It Home:
Start to embrace God’s presence with you because of Christ. Pray this simple prayer throughout your week: “God is with me here, now.”
If you want to deepen both your knowledge and experience of living into your identity in Christ and inviting Jesus into more places, check out the devotion-style book by James Bryan Smith called Hidden in Christ.
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