I wonder what your reaction is when told you have to do group work in your work place, school or university? For many, it is a sigh of despair! But in these first few passages of Ezra,we see the Jewish people returned from Exile working together, despite the opposition and struggles they faced, to restore Solomon’s Temple to its former glory. Similarly, in the first chapter of John, we see Jesus gathering together a team of disciples. He didn’t necessarily need help, and he certainly could have found people with better qualifications and backgrounds than the motley crew he chose, but Jesus was training a team to carry on his work after his resurrection and ascension.
The thing is, the Christian life is one which we do as a team. We’ve just read in 1 Corinthians that we are all part of one body and all have different gifts to contribute to the work of the church, just as each of the Israelites had different skills to contribute to the rebuilding of the temple. Oftentimes, when we feel overwhelmed, we forget the community of believers which is surrounding us, and attempt to go it alone, but it’s at these times that we should seek out the support of our church community, be vulnerable around each other, and ask for help.
In John 2, we read about Jesus clearing the temple. Jesus’ heart was broken at seeing his Father’s house defiled in this way. We’ve also just read in 1 Corinthians that, as the Holy Spirit lives in us, we are God’s temples – the Father’s house, and therefore we should live in a way which is worthy of this high calling. Have a think if there is anything that Jesus wants you to clear out of your own life, to make yourself a worthy temple of the Holy Spirit.
As you read this week, here are a few questions you could ask yourself:
- In your daily life as a Christian, what does it look like for you to be a team-player?
- Rebuilding the temple was a lengthy and difficult process. Where is God calling you to
persevere in the face of opposition?
- As you read through these accounts of Jesus, what do you learn about him? What
- We are all temples of God’s Spirit. Ask God to reveal to you where you need to change,
remove or rebuild in youR own life.