We missed a day of reading yesterday. The children only wanted to do Bible time if there was dessert, and I didn’t want to give a lecture and fight for it, so we skipped both and went to bed.
Today during the day, we reminded ourselves that we made a commitment for Lent. We decided as a family that instead of giving up on something (namely tablets), we would read the Bible to focus our hearts on God. But now our hearts are focusing more on ice cream than on God’s word. That is not what Lent is supposed to be. So we recommitted to reading the Bible and focusing our hearts on God.
We read our passage.
The boys remember this story from children’s worship. (Actually all the stories this week were already talked about in children’s worship, so they are all very familiar.) The boys are happy to read about violent (dramatic) action for a change. They remember Jesus flipping tables and driving out all the animals. They also remember what Jesus said – “Get out! Don’t turn my Father’s house into a market!” They know the temple is where people went to worship God, and now it was a place filled with noisy and stinky animals on top of all the people there.
Not that animals didn’t belong in the temple. You needed an animal to sacrifice at the temple. So for convenience people were selling animals and changing money for those traveling from far away. However, all of this was clouding up the heart of worship. The act of worship was becoming a business.
When the people at the temple were questioning Jesus’s outburst, he states his mission. The temple will be destroyed and Jesus will rebuild it in three days! What is Jesus talking about? He is talking about himself. He is the temple! We don’t need to keep sacrificing animals and go only to the temple in Jerusalem. Jesus is the ultimate sacrifice for us, and now we can freely worship God not as a chore, but with loving hearts!
As we were talking about animals, Evan asks if we are like pets to God. I teased Evan saying that “if we were pets, God might neglect us and kill us like you did to your pets.” (I recently got the boys sea-monkeys as pets, and after 2 weeks, they have all died due to lack of care.)
I asked him if he would ever be willing to die for his pet sea-monkeys.
Of course no!
But God did.
So are we pets to him? No, we are his children! God loves us so much, and he made us his children. I tell the boys that mom and dad would never die for a pet, but we are willing to die for them! How great God’s love is!!
(Very slightly shorter version – John 2:13-23)