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 murder.

No adultery.

No stealing.

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



John 2:13-25

          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


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