““All right,” Jesus replied. “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” “What!” they exclaimed. “It has taken forty-six years to build this Temple, and You can rebuild in three days?” But when Jesus said “this temple” He meant His own body.”
After Jesus rose from the dead the disciples remembered His words from today’s passage. They too may have, at the time Jesus spoke these words, thought Jesus was mad for making such a bold declaration about destroying the temple and building it again. Of course they had witnessed some of Jesus’ miracles already, so no doubt they knew His power. But to destroy the temple that took so long to build and re-build it in three days? Surely that was a bit much right?! Yet three days after Jesus’ death, in His resurrection, they put the puzzle pieces together and realised that Jesus was not talking about a physical building, but of His own body.
This truth’s implication becomes personal for us, when we too realise that we are the temples and vessels of the Holy Spirit, of God Himself. We host the very presence of Jesus, the One who was raised and ‘re-built’ after three days. He lives in us. We are a temple for His presence. Isn’t that such a huge privilege and honour? Paul encourages the church in Corinth to remember this fact by saying ‘don’t you realise that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honour God with your body.’
Jesus knew that His own physical body was a holy vessel for the presence of God and we too share in that same privilege. We no longer are bound by four walls, but rather carry the presence of God with us wherever we go! May we honour God with our bodies and be fully aware of the divine privilege and responsibility of being temple of God, now and always.
“But His mother told the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.” Standing nearby were six stone water jars, used for Jewish ceremonial washing. . . Jesus told the servants, “Fill the jars with water.”. . ”
John 2:5-6a, 7a
The wonderful miracle of Jesus turning water into wine is often noted to be Jesus’ first miracle on the earth as a human. Of course the fact that Jesus turned water into wine, and not just any wine, but into a fine wine, is in and of itself an amazing miracle. Yet it is the manner that Jesus did it, that intrigues commentators and readers a like.
Jesus’ mother Mary, a wedding guest or perhaps even one of the organisers of the wedding feast, noticed that the wine had run out and authoritatively told the servants of the wedding feast to ‘do whatever He (Jesus) tells you’. If Mary was just a mere guest at the wedding, then she probably wouldn’t have been able to tell the servants what to do. Perhaps she was so concerned the wine had run out and knew who her Son was, that she took matters into her own hands. Whatever the reasons, Mary knew there was a problem and she knew her Son, Jesus had the solution.
So Jesus, encouraged by His mother, told the servants to fill the stone jars with water. What is worth noting, is the fact that these jars were used for ceremonial cleaning, a fact that John purposefully tells his readers. The stone jars that were used for ‘ceremonial cleaning’ would soon become vessels for Jesus’ first miracle and a miracle that led many of the disciples to put their trust in Him. The significance of the stone jars being used, symbolises that Jesus didn’t work in the ‘religious’ way people expected. He broke church customs and religious practices to reach greater needs and show people who He really was.
Sometimes Jesus doesn’t always work in the ways we expect Him to, but our hope in Jesus’ miracles in our lives, should be approached in the same manner as Mary did, ‘do whatever He tells you’. Trust Jesus, trust His miracles and watch Him work powerfully in your life.