Heroes of the Bible

Building the Temple—Jesus

By putting the words of Moses, David, and Isaiah into practice, Jesus taught us how to become wise people who build their house on the rock. (Matthew 7:24). When “rain” comes down, “streams” rise, and “winds” blow and beat against that “house”, it will not fall—whether it’s the house of our life, the house of our family, the house of our nation, the house of our civilization, or the house of the LORD where we will dwell forever. (Matthew 7:25; Psalm 23:6).

Early in his public ministry, Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Passover. “In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money.” (John 2:13-14).

“So [Jesus] made a whip from cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves, he said, ‘Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market’” (John 2:15-16).

Not surprisingly, people questioned Jesus’s authority to make such a ruckus. They asked him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?” (John 2:18).

“Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.’ They replied, ‘It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?’ But the temple he had spoken of was his body.” (John 2:19-20).

As usual, people ridiculed Jesus by distorting his teachings.

When Jesus said we must be born again, Nicodemus ridiculed Jesus for suggesting he could enter his mother’s womb and be born again physically. In reality, Jesus was telling Nicodemus to be born again spiritually. (John 3:3-6).

When Jesus said he is “the living bread that came down from heaven” and “[w]hoever eats this bread will live forever”, people ridiculed him as if he was telling them to be cannibals. In reality, Jesus was telling them to consume his teachings. (John 6:51-52).

Similarly, when Jesus talked about re-building the temple after it was destroyed, people ridiculed him by talking about a physical temple.

In reality, Jesus was talking about the resurrection of his body.

In reality, Jesus was talking about the resurrection of a body of “true worshipers [who] will worship the Father in Spirit and in [T]ruth.” (John 4:23).

In reality, Jesus was telling them to worship in Spirit and in Truth—to be born again spiritually by consuming his teachings.

The Prophet Ezekiel envisioned such a resurrection of Israel and the Temple.

The Spirit of the LORD revealed to him that the “dry bones” of Israel would be re-assembled and resurrected. The Sovereign LORD told the dry bones of Israel:

“‘I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.’” (Ezekiel 37:4-6).

“‘I will put my Spirit in you and you will live . . .. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I the LORD have done it, declares the LORD.’” (Ezekiel 37:11-14).

The resurrection of Jesus was the sign of his authority to build a spiritual temple that implements the teachings of Isaiah, David and Moses.

As Isaiah taught Israel, to build a spiritual temple we must hope in the LORD.

Jesus is a perfect example of hoping in the LORD—even when it meant being a suffering servant who endured insults, torture and crucifixion.

And Jesus is a perfect example of the LORD resurrecting his suffering servant by putting breath back into him, restoring his life, and renewing his strength so that he soars on wings like an eagle.

As David taught Israel, to build a spiritual temple we must be a person of peace—a person of shalom.

Jesus is a perfect example of a person of peace—a person of shalom.

In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught us to turn the other cheek, to love our enemies, and to pray for those who persecute us. (Matthew 5:30,44).

During his public ministry, Jesus rebuked those who wanted to bring down fire from heaven to destroy those with a different religion, nation or ancestry. (Luke 9:51-56).

Even more than that, Jesus urged us to help ALL people, even if we have been taught to hate their religion, nationality, or ancestry. (Matthew 5:38-48; Luke 10:25-37).

While hanging on the cross, Jesus forgave those who were insulting him, torturing him, and murdering him. (Luke 23:34).

As  Moses taught Israel, to build a spiritual temple we must give all that we can to build the temple.

Jesus is a perfect example of giving all he possibly could. He gave his life.

As Moses taught Israel, to build a spiritual temple we must do everything exactly as the LORD commands us.

In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught us to do everything exactly as the LORD commands, fulfilling the ideals of the Law of Moses and the Prophets. (Matthew 5:17-20).

By putting the words of Moses, David and Isaiah into practice, Jesus taught us how to become wise people who build their house on the rock. (Matthew 7:24).

When “rain” comes down, “streams” rise, and “winds” blow and beat against that “house”, it will not fall—whether it’s the house of our life, the house of our family, the house of our nation, the house of our civilization, or the house of the LORD where we will dwell forever. (Matthew 7:25; Psalm 23:6).

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To learn more about building the Temple, please read my blogs, “Building the Temple—Moses”, “Building the Temple—David”, “Building the Temple—Isaiah”, and “Building the Temple—Herod the Great”.