March 17, 2010

The Lord and His Temple

Micah 4:1-8

In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established …
Micah 4:1


In eleven days we will celebrate Palm Sunday. In Matthew’s account of Palm Sunday, the first thing Jesus did upon entering Jerusalem was to go to the temple to drive out money changers who had turned the court of the Gentiles into a market. Clearing out those who were buying and selling there made room for what happened next: “The blind and the lame came to [Jesus] at the temple, and he healed them” (Matthew 21:14).

That passage may not seem to have much to do with Micah 4, but there is one interesting connection. Through Micah, God promised that his temple would be reestablished on the mountain of the Lord: all the nations would be drawn to it, and there God would “gather the lame … [and] make the lame a remnant.”

In the Old Testament, anyone who was blind or lame could not come near the sanctuary of God’s presence (see Leviticus 21:16-23). But in the New Testament, the glory of God is present not in a building but in a person. Jesus heals the lame because he is the new temple of God’s glory (see John 2:20-21), and all are invited to find healing in him.

Micah’s prophecy finds its fulfillment in Jesus, the Lamb whom John would later see “standing on Mount Zion” (Revelation 14:1). Each of us has some kind of disability or weakness, but all will find healing in the Lamb.

Dear Lord, because we could never come to you, you have come to us. Thank you for sending Jesus, our King, who gathers us and freely gives us your healing love. Amen.

About the author — Peter Hoytema

Peter Hoytema has been a pastor for nearly 30 years and has served congregations in Ontario and New Jersey. He is currently the pastor of a congregation in Strathroy, Ontario. He is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary and San Francisco Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Grace, are the parents of four adult children.

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