Traditions play an important role in life. Religious traditions passed on by parents influence what you believe, especially early on in life. During the first century, Pharisees displayed a holy reverence for Solomon’s Temple. This passion for a physical place to worship the Lord soon became a stumbling block, limiting God’s power in their lives. Subsequently, during one encounter with religious leaders Jesus refers to something greater than the temple.
I tell you that something greater than the temple is here, Matthew 12:6.
Today’s Roman Catholic Church shares some of the practices of Judaism. Modern priests play a similar role as great high priests in the Old Testament. However, instead of sacrificing animals to forgive sins, confessionals are used to hear and forgive the sins of their congregation. While there is a movement to encourage members to read and study the Bible on their own, traditions of the past have stunted spiritual growth. Thus, the concept of a place greater than the temple is still foreign to many.
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
The apostle Paul understood what Jesus meant by something greater than the temple. Shortly after Jesus’ crucifixion, an earthquake destroyed the temple that the Jews held in high esteem. This event opened the door for a transformation to occur, from the temple into your own heart, Romans 10:9-10. Thus, using a priest as a mediator between God and man was no longer necessary. Instead, followers of God need to view their bodies as a living temple of the Holy Spirit. When modern believers make this connection, the human heart becomes greater than the temple.
by Jay Mankus