“I tell you that something greater than the temple is here.” -Matthew 12: 6
“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple?” -1 Corinthians 3: 16
In the Epilogue (“A Staggering Idea”) of Who is This Man?, John Ortberg states that in the Middle Ages maps were “attempts to reflect on the meaning of the world” and not meant to be used for travel. Additionally, a common feature of medieval maps was placing Jerusalem at the center of the earth, reflecting ancient Israel’s belief that Jerusalem- particularly the Temple- was the holiest place on earth, at the heart of everything. Indeed, “the Temple was the place where heaven and earth meet (N. T. Wright).”
When Jesus came, heaven finally invaded earth. Pastor Ortberg notes that when heaven invades earth, sins get forgiven, outcasts are taken in, and nobodies become somebodies. Because Jesus woke something up and started something new, now heaven can invade earth through us as we witness Christ’s love to others.
Nathaniel once asked if anything good could come out of Nazareth, the home town of Jesus. We ask if anything good can come out of our ministry downsizing or vocation loss. Pastor Ortberg concludes with this answer:
“You have to go through tomorrow anyway. Try it with Jesus. Come and see.”
Today’s question: How has heaven invaded earth during your desert, transition time? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Two lost sons”; the Annotated Bibliography of Who is This Man? will post on Monday.