In Which Temple does God Dwell?

Pentecost 24 Thursday

Luke 19:7

“And when they saw it, they all grumbled that he stopped by a sinner, saying, “He has gone in to be the guest of a sinful man.”

Yet when the Lord sanctifies this temple [the heart of Zacchaeus] and dwells in it, the world must grumble and be cross about the fact that the Lord stops by a sinner instead of visiting the great multitude, the scribes and Pharisees, the works saints. The latter rebel against God and his Christ precisely because their righteousness and holiness should be despised by means of a sinner. This causes them to speak these words: “Who do you think you are? You want to teach us a lesson? You say that our ceremonies and ecclesial pomp are nothing? Away with you, you heretic–you do not like our ornate churches? Did not Christ himself say, “My house is a house of prayer” (Luke 19:46)?” This is how it goes. We must expect this. This is how it must go. Yet my Christ does not care about this; he lets them argue, rage, and grumble about it until they stop. Meanwhile, he nevertheless dwells in his holy temples [the hearts of believers] and knows that his critics neither know nor understand anything. What can our opponents say in reply to what Christ says, that the outward pomp of temples and churches has now come to an end, so that now is the time to pray, not “at Jerusalem” or “on this mountain,” but “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:21, 23)? Yet Christ harshly rebuked the Jews who did not want to believe Christ and who, therefore, were still turned toward the law and subject to it; he told them that they desecrated God’s temple by their peddling while it was ordained and fit for prayer. Yet the people who believe in Christ are all good, not subject to any law, especially as far as ecclesial pomp is concerned. This is why the temple or church is now not dedicated among them to prayer. For they will not say: “Here it is;” “There it is.” In fact, false prophets will arise who say, “See, here is Christ; you find him in the temple built by hands.” Do not believe it, because God “does not dwell in temples built by hands,” as Stephen and St. Paul say, Acts 7:48; 17;24; 1 Corinthians 3:16.

St. Louis ed., 11:2423-2424.

This entry was posted in Daily Devotions From the Writings of Martin Luther. Bookmark the permalink.