Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." (John 2:19 NRSV)
Jesus said, "Destroy this temple, and in three days, I will raise it up." As is often the case in John's gospel, Jesus' reply is not understood. They think Jesus is speaking of the Temple, while he is actually speaking of himself. In shock and disbelief they inform Jesus that it had taken forty-six years to build the Temple. It was not possible to rebuild the Temple in just three days.
Following Jesus' death and resurrection, the disciples remembered this incident. Afterward they remembered his words and understood them in a new way--as words of faith. Jesus was not talking about the physical building--the Temple. He was speaking of his own death and resurrection. Bury his body and within three days it will be resurrected. You cannot keep his body down--particularly if you understand his body to be the church. For Christians this is the Temple--not a building made with human hands, but a communion of kindred hearts. Wherever people are worshiping Christ and serving him, there is the temple of the living God.
Lord Jesus, thank you for being my temple of hope. Amen.
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