Reading: Luke 21: 5-9
The disciples are looking at the beauty and wealth of the temple. People go to the great cathedrals of the world and marvel at the stone work and stained glass. Visitors to museums stand in amazement before the painting of the Last Supper or some other religious portrait. We go to our churches and think, “What a great place this is”!
Jesus says to just hold on a minute. He says that one day the temple will be no more. One day those cathedrals will be gone too. One day that artwork will fade. One day… Jesus goes on to warn them that one day false prophets will come, trying to charm us into believing other stories. Jesus warns us not to be deceived. If all our faith is is in the things – the buildings, the artwork, the campus – then we will be lost when our faith is shaken or tested. Instead, our faith must be in Jesus.
There can be danger here too. If we read all the stories of Jesus and appreciate all He said and are amazed at what He did, but do not go any deeper than knowing the stories, then we have simply created another empty building. The words must travel the short distance from our heads to our hearts. The words must take on understanding and application. It is at this level the they begin to transform our lives. When we allow Jesus to come alive in our hearts, we begin to be transformed and to live out our faith instead of simply knowing our faith.
If our faith is built upon a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, then we do not need a building to visit Jesus in. Jesus is not a building. He lives in us. If Jesus lives in us, we will not be deceived by false prophets or drawn in by the lies of the world. He will guide us from within our hearts. Lord Jesus, reign in me today! Jesus, be alive in my heart!