Your Body—The Temple of God

Teaching from Mark recently, we came to the part where Jesus “cleansed” the Temple greatly upset with what Temple worship had become by his day. Upon leaving, some of his followers remarked about how big and sturdy and solid the buildings looked.

The Temple of pretty much every religion at the time was the place to go where God met the people. God was supposed to dwell in the building. But many Jews in Jesus’ day did not believe that the Temple they had was the real Temple—that of Solomon—where God did actually dwell. The light was on, but nobody was home.

Jesus told them that soon all those buildings would be completely destroyed and that pagan rites would be held on the site of the Holy of Holies.

And 40 years later, it came to pass just as he said. Jews fled for their lives before the onslaught of Roman armies as leaders grew impatient with the continual restlessness and rebellion of the Jews. And the Temple was completely destroyed and Romans worshipped their Gods on the site.

But Jesus had already moved the Temple out of the building. Much of what he did, for example forgiving sins, was supposed to be accomplished by Temple rites. But he did it in the open in Galilee.

Later, Paul told his people “don’t you know that your body is the Temple of God. Take care of it. Don’t pollute it.”

Therefore, Paul hated sexual passion. One passage fundamentalists like to drag out to justify prejudice against homosexuals actually refers to passion. Paul didn’t like heterosexual or homosexual passion. He only grudgingly personally permitted people to marry if they couldn’t contain their passions. Even there I suspect that he trusted the wives to control the passion of the men.

But your body…that is where heaven and earth meet. Take care of it. And slow down, sit or lie quietly, and meet God. Let the Spirit infuse you.

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