Sunday, March 8, 2015

Jesus Is the New "Place" of Worship

I like what I read in John Piper’s Let the Nation be Glad!, he writes, “I think the reason [little explicit teaching in the New Testament about corporate worship] is found in the way Jesus treated worship in his life and teaching… consider a few other things he said. For example, his attitude toward the temple, the main place of Jewish worship, was not at all what the Jewish leaders thought it should be.

When he wove a whip and drove out the moneychangers, he said he did so not for the sake of proper sacrifices but for the sake of prayer – in fact, prayer for all the nations. “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations” (Mark 11:17). In other words, he focused attention away from the outward acts of Jewish sacrifices to the personal act of communion with God for all peoples.

Then he said two other things about the temple that pointed to a radically altered view of worship. He said, “Something greater than the temple is here,” referring to himself (Matthew 12:6), and, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 12:6). This attitude toward the temple got not only him killed (Mark 14:58; 15:29) but also Stephen (Acts 6:14). That’s how important it was.

Jesus identified himself as the true temple. “Something is greater than the temple is here.” In himself he would fulfil everything the temple stood for, especially the “place” where believers meet God. He diverted attention away from worship as a localised activity with outward forms and pointed toward a personal, spiritual experience with himself at the centre. Worship does not have to have a building, a priesthood, and a sacrificial system. It has to have the risen Jesus.

Yes, Jesus is the true temple.
Jesus is the centre.
Worship the Risen Jesus.

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