Bible Readings and Devotion for April 20, 2020
Here are the references for the readings. Please look these up in your print Bible, your smartphone app Bible, or your online Bible:
Devotion for April 20, 2020
By Pastor David Tinker
When we look more deeply into the New Testament teachings we find some intensely amazing things in the life and teachings of Jesus. Today’s reading from John chapter 2 is another place in John’s Gospel when Jesus teaches about his role in transforming the Temple of Jerusalem.
In essence he is stating that in his body, his person, he is replacing the Temple. In my faith and learning this has been one of the most fascinating truths. I wrote about this some in the devotion for April 6 – click this link to view. In today’s reading Jesus states, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” Vs. 19b. He speaks in a way which bring some confusion at first. The people listening were thinking he was talking about the actual stone structure where they were. This building had been under construction, by that point, for 46 years. The idea of tearing it down and then rebuilding it in just a few days made no sense to them.
That is where St. John’s commentary on this scene comes into teach us. The Apostle and Evangelist John notes, “But he was speaking of the temple of his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.” He was speaking of the temple of his body. The dwelling place of God is Jesus. God’s presence in the world is Jesus. As we relate with Jesus we are connecting with God.
This is taught about in Colossians 1:19-20, where we read, “For in (Jesus) all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.” God’s full self is given to us in Jesus. As we relate with Jesus, we relate with God himself. Just as the Jews connected with God at the Temple building in Jerusalem, those who are united with Jesus relate with God as they relate with Jesus.
Here is another point about the message in this passage. When we look back at John chapter 2, we see that Jesus is also announcing that he is going to die, and then be raised again. It is God’s power, Jesus’ power, which raises up Jesus from the dead. This finally began to make sense for the Apostles after Jesus died on the cross and was raised from the dead. They could look back on all that he had said and done, and they were able to see who is truly was, and that his actions were good and right for the world. They could see that his promise on that day did come true.
By the grace of God we get the joyful opportunity to be in a relationship with Jesus in the here and now, and for our eternity with the Lord. The center of all that we do is Jesus, God the Son. We are drawn to God and understand God by the Holy Spirit. We know God the Father as we know Jesus his one and only begotten Son. We get to know God. On this day let us give thanks for this most powerful truth.
God of grace, you have given us minds to know you, hearts to love you, and voices to sing your praise. Fill us with your Spirit, that we may celebrate your glory and worship you in spirit and truth, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
Prayer from Evangelical Lutheran Worship. Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.