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Remodeling the People of God—Limestone to Living Stones

Home remodeling shows get high ratings today. This Old House, the hit PBS series of thirty years ago, has given rise to TV shows like Extreme Makeover, Rehab Addict, House Hunters, Flip or Flop?, and more. If you are intrigued by the options there is a whole channel waiting for you called HGTV: that is, Home and Garden Television.


Perhaps you didn’t realize it, but  Jesus was far ahead of Bob Villa and This Old House. Every Gospel account records Jesus talking about the remodel of the people of God. It’s extreme. “Destroy this temple” Jesus said in John 1:19, “and in three days I will raise it up.”


The temple in Jerusalem was just remodeled by rehab addict, Herod the Great, who was considered one of the greatest architects of the ancient world. From the three-tiered fortress of Masada to the port city of Caesarea, built in honor of the Roman Caesars, Herod the Great left his mark of grandeur all over the Holy Land.    Archeologists are still uncovering it today. In Jesus day, those monumental rehab projects were brand new! The people of Israel didn’t have to watch HGTV, it was going on all around them. The meager second temple built by the returning exiles in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah got a complete makeover and substantial expansion by him. He even employed 1,000 priests of Israel to advise and assist in the project so that the Jewish leaders were enamored with the results as well. It was breathtaking. 


One of Jesus twelve disciples was enamored with it too and said, “Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what  wonderful buildings” (Mark 13:1). But Jesus didn’t ogle over the polished limestone or ornate carvings. It only prompted him to talk more about his rehab   project. In John 1:20, one of those same disciples tells us that Jesus was talking about his own body. Jesus was the temple to be torn down. He was the temple that would be raised again in three days. The crucifixion and resurrection is “Flip” that Jesus had in mind. The Jerusalem temple had become a “Flop.” From now on, only those built on Jesus would be considered to be God’s temple. He is the cornerstone the builders rejected, as Jesus quoted from the Psalms (Psalm 118:22, Mark 12:10).


We too are built on Jesus as the chief cornerstone. Peter (the disciple whom Jesus nicknamed “rock”) tells us that we like living stones are being built up too: “to be a spiritual offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God in Christ Jesus”  (1 Peter 2:5).


In other words you and I are part of God’s home makeover. Now are we a “flip” or a “flop”? This month we’ll focus on what Jesus is doing to ensure that we will be the right kind of home for him. Make sure to tune in this May! See you in worship.


In Jesus name, Pastor Mike




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