Readings: Mar 11, 2012 3rd Sunday of Lent
March 11, 2012 3rd Sunday of Lent
Exodus 20:1-3, 7-8, 12-17
God spoke all these words: I am God, your God,
who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of a life of slavery.
No other gods, only me.
No using the name of God, your God, in curses or silly banter; God
won’t put up with the irreverent use of his name.
Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Work six days and do
everything you need to do. But the seventh day is a Sabbath to God, your God.
Honor your father and mother so that you’ll live a long time in the
land that God, your God, is giving you.
No lies about your neighbor.
No lusting after your neighbor’s house—or wife or servant or maid
or ox or donkey. Don’t set your heart on anything that is your neighbor’s.
© 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson
1 Corinthians 1:22-25
While Jews clamor for miraculous demonstrations and Greeks go in
for philosophical wisdom, we go right on proclaiming Christ, the
Crucified. Jews treat this like an anti-miracle—and Greeks pass it off
as absurd. But to us who are personally called by God himself—both Jews
and Greeks—Christ is God’s ultimate miracle and wisdom all wrapped up in
one. Human wisdom is so tinny, so impotent, next to the seeming
absurdity of God. Human strength can’t begin to compete with God’s
“weakness.” © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson
Tear Down This Temple . . .
When the Passover Feast, celebrated each spring by the Jews, was
about to take place, Jesus traveled up to Jerusalem. He found the Temple
teeming with people selling cattle and sheep and doves. The loan sharks
were also there in full strength.
Jesus put together a whip out of strips of leather and chased
them out of the Temple, stampeding the sheep and cattle, upending the
tables of the loan sharks, spilling coins left and right. He told the
dove merchants, “Get your things out of here! Stop turning my Father’s
house into a shopping mall!” That’s when his disciples remembered the
Scripture, “Zeal for your house consumes me.”
But the Jews were upset. They asked, “What credentials can you
present to justify this?” Jesus answered, “Tear down this Temple and in
three days I’ll put it back together.”
They were indignant: “It took forty-six years to build this
Temple, and you’re going to rebuild it in three days?” But Jesus was
talking about his body as the Temple. Later, after he was raised from
the dead, his disciples remembered he had said this. They then put two
and two together and believed both what was written in Scripture and
what Jesus had said.
During the time he was in Jerusalem, those days of the Passover
Feast, many people noticed the signs he was displaying and, seeing they
pointed straight to God, entrusted their lives to him. But Jesus didn’t
entrust his life to them. He knew them inside and out, knew how
untrustworthy they were. He didn’t need any help in seeing right through
them. © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson