"Send out Your light and Your truth, that they may lead me, and bring me to Your holy hill and to Your dwelling." Psalm 43:3

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Wm. Temple, on 'The Cleansing of the Temple'

Reflections on John 2:13-22, from William Temple's Readings in St. John's Gospel.
"The first visit to Jerusalem since the ministry began.  His coming means a purge.  So it is always, not less with the shrine of our hearts than with the Jewish Temple.  The place which should be ordered with the reverence appropriate to the dwelling-place of God is cluttered up with worldly ambitions, anxieties about our possessions, designs to get the better of our neighbours ... 
It is a tremendous scene.  The Lord dominates the multitude by the righteousness of His energy and the energy of His righteousness!   And at once there is that division among those who witness the scene, which St. John records as being the almost invariable result of the words and actions of the Lord ...
The Lord had exercised authority, but also He had made a claim which demanded vindication.  He had called the Temple my Father's house ... What are His credentials?  What evidence can He give that He really holds the divine commission which He has apparently executed?  Vain enquiry!  When God speaks to either the heart or the conscience He does not first prove His right to do so.  The divine command is its own evidence, and the heart or conscience that is not utterly numbed by complacent sin recognizes its inherent authority.
Yet He offers a sign; it is a sign which only those whose hearts are already His will be able to accept (xx, 29); but that is essential to His whole purpose, which positively forbids the winning by irresistible proof of unwilling adherents to His cause." 

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