One Greater than the Temple

Open Your Bible

John 1:1-3, John 1:14, Luke 2:25-32, Matthew 12:3-8, John 2:14-22, Matthew 26:57-66, Matthew 27:39-40, Mark 15:33-39

Where do you feel closest to God? Some might answer while hiking in the woods or sitting at the beach listening to the waves crash against the shore. Others might say they feel closest to God while attending their local church service, worshiping the Lord alongside their brothers and sisters. A number of believers might describe sitting at their kitchen table in the first minutes of their morning, sipping coffee and reading Scripture. Some might describe feeling nearest to God at the dinner table, laughing and eating amongst the family they love. 

For God’s people during Jesus’s time on earth, the answer would have been obvious—they would experience God’s presence at the temple. This is where they had worshiped and sacrificed to the Lord since the days of old, when Solomon reigned over a united and prosperous Israel. But Jesus boldly declared to God’s people that He Himself was the temple they were looking for—one not made by human hands but the Word made flesh dwelling among them (John 1:14). The implications of this message are extraordinary! Our experience of God’s presence is no longer restricted to a physical location but now is a forever reality through the person of Jesus. 

Jesus not only declared Himself to be the temple in which we encounter God’s presence but said that He was the One who would be destroyed and raised back up in three days (John 2:19). Truly, Jesus was destroyed—betrayed, arrested, accused, beaten, ridiculed, and crucified (Matthew 15:33-39). Christ’s body was broken for our transgressions, and He overcame death and the grave to offer anyone who would believe in Him eternal life. As magnificent and holy as the temple of the Lord was in Jerusalem, Jesus is the One greater than the temple (Matthew 12:6). The temple offered a place of momentary atonement and nearness to God. Jesus offers eternal salvation and continual intimacy with God. 

It’s this incomprehensible sacrifice and incomparable triumph that makes dwelling with God in every moment of our lives—and for all eternity—possible. Jesus has reconciled us to God. We have been brought into right relationship with God, not by our works but by God’s extravagant grace. Jesus shows us who God is and what it means to truly abide in Him. And Jesus promised us the gift of the Holy Spirit—the Spirit of God alive in us, our ever present Helper and Comforter. 

Certainly, there are moments as followers of Jesus in which we feel closer to God than others. In truth though, because of Jesus, God is always with us. Our prayer need not be, “God, draw near to me.” Through Jesus, He already has. Instead, our continual prayer can be, “Lord, help me draw near to you and to grow in my awareness of your presence.” 

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46 thoughts on "One Greater than the Temple"

  1. Casey Stewart says:

    ❤️

  2. Naomi Dowling says:

    Help me grow into and feel your presence more Lord ❤️

  3. Karen Breaux says:

  4. Adrienne says:

    More info on Sharon… she has surgery on Thursday (2pm, CST) to “replace” her skull. Extra prayers for that, please? Thank you

  5. Pauline Sahetapy says:

    Thank you for the reminder that we don’t have to ask God to draw near to us – He has already done that. We should indeed be drawing near to Him. Thank you God, for constantly pursuing us. Help us to draw near to you, feel your presence in every circumstance and that we may experience your Peace. In Jesus Name!

  6. Adrienne says:

    MERCY and RHONDA J… I am here, but thought He wanted me to be quiet and be more present with Him, and so I have not been posting. Thank you for checking on me.

    And regarding Fred and Sharon… Fred has had his second chemo infusion and is doing ok with it. I don’t know if he is seeing patients again yet. Sharon’s meds have been adjusted more to her home levels… and so she is stronger, more alert and more articulate. Her speech is still problematic. They were wanting to have her moved to a skilled nursing facility, but she is still calling the hospital “home” at this time. Please keep lifting them up. Thank you.

  7. Taylor Graves says:

    I love the little prayer at the end of the devotional today! “Lord, help me draw near to You.” I pray this every day and I’m grateful that God has answered me and has given me the opportunity to join a church community near me and start volunteering there. I am so thankful that because of Jesus and His sacrifice I am able to grow nearer to God and can feel His presence everywhere in my life now. I am praying for all of you and hope you had a wonderful Tuesday!! ❤️

  8. Donna Wolcott says:

    I find Jesus often in nature, sitting quietly, walking, listening to the sounds around me. The wind whispering, birds singing, water babbling. It brings such peace. When I struggle with sleep (way too much), I imagine Jesus being with me in a nature scene I create in my mind. We don’t need to talk, just be in His presence. May you find His ️ in the moments of your day.
    Lifting .

  9. Jennifer Anapol says:

    I feel closest to God when I am worshipping at church or outside. Right now I am sitting in my backyard hearing the birds chirping, looking at the trees waking up from winter and feeling the sun on my skin.

  10. Mercy says:

    “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Today I woke up seeing snow on the ground, the cold is back, and some anxiety and fear filling in my mind. I would appreciate your prayers over a pressing matter that has caused me to feel forsaken.

    @FOSTER MAMA: what a wise answer your goddaughter gave. Prayers for the new baby and upcoming arrangements to go smoothly.
    @SEARCHING: life is too short :( prayers for the wife and child and all others connecting during sudden grief. So sorry.
    @MICHELLE PATIRE: congrats on your song release!
    @TAYLOR: prayers for your friend’s marriage and your knee recovery.
    @MIA FAITH: continual strength and grace for all in your family.
    @ADRIENNE: praying all is well.
    @AMANDA NOBLE: are you with us? Prayers over your family, your peace.

    Be blessed dear sisters.

  11. Gwineth52 says:

    Me again Dear Shes. Sleeping much better. Though not consistently. Combination of night time non & pre-scribed “elixir” seems to work. Plus Psalm 116:7, “Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you”. God have mercy. Christ have mercy. Spirit have mercy.
    Hugs to everyone for their care & concern for my insomnia!

  12. Lindsey says:

    Today’s reading reminded me of two songs about the presence of God, and I hope they encourage anyone who needs to hear them:
    Be With Me – Bryan & Katie Torwalt
    Another in the Fire – Hillsong United

  13. Cindy Hanna says:

    Continuous intimacy with God! What a gift! I made commitment a couple of years ago to be conscious of small things going on in my life and stopping in the moment to praise God. For example: washing my invalid MIL’s hair during her final days on earth, A funny joke shared with grands, coffee with dear friends even the oft repeated losing and finding of my glasses etc. It has been a discipline that has reaped big rewards of laughter, encouragement and feeling connected to God for me! Amen to all the prayers for help drawing nearer to our Lord God

  14. Gwineth52 says:

    Hello Shes!
    Popping in, honoring the ever present Lord. Not actively participating in this community read, but not removed from the spirit. Taking a class on early church history held @ nearby cathedral & taught by an associate priest @ church I attend. Joining the class in person. Not on line. About 20 of us! The “presence of God” through the body of Christ (“disciples” gathered) seeking & praising Him! Had always wondered about how the Eleven came out of hiding; became the twelve, emboldened by the Holy Spirit; to foster & develop a belief system & body of teachings sustained & nurtured over 2000 years! That only happens through constant conversation & commitment to a heavenly cause. The risen Christ remains IN us! Abides in us. Teaching. Guiding. Providing. In unison, yet intimacy!
    Much Love. More later.

  15. MARTHA HIX says:

    “Lord, help me draw near to you and to grow in my awareness of your presence.”

    Yes Lord!
    Thank you for prayers for safe travel tomorrow.
    I wasn’t feeling well yesterday and thank you for your prayers for my stomach issues. Praises to God for comfort and your interceding I’m feeling better!
    I’m so grateful for this community and praying for your requests as well. ❤️

  16. Traci Gendron says:

    Lord help me to draw near to you!!

  17. Mari V says:

    YES!! In agreement with the last sentence of today’s devotion, “Lord, help me draw near to you and to grow in my awareness of your presence.“. And by the way, I feel the closest to God in my little spot, just me and Jesus, whether it be on the couch with my blanket, bible and coffee and a little light or now that it’s spring and closer to summer on a chair looking outside as the sun rises. Happy Tuesday sweet She’s!!

  18. Kim Mullins says:

    ” I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” Jesus wants our love and obedience. Sometimes we think we can please him by doing things. When all he really wants is our love.

  19. Cheryl Blow says:

    The final line of the devotional is my prayer! He is always with us. We just need to be more aware of His presence! Even in the mundane tasks of the day, He walks with us. Or as Theresa said, in C the whining and crying, He is there! So grateful for Jesus making the way for our reconciliation with God! If not for The cross, we would still have to go to the temple to feel His presence! Thank you Lord!

  20. Kris says:

    I feel closest to God when I’m out walking. I don’t take my phone with me and I don’t walk fast. I just walk, and listen, and tell God things, and watch the birds and squirrels, and sometimes walk by the water. I hear God best when I’m quiet and slow. And it’s lovely. I once went kayaking on a slow river thru the middle of nowhere, and it was really quiet except for the buzzing and chirping of the insects along the river’s edge. And I thought, this is what it was like when Jesus was alive. No radios playing, no cars rushing by. Just quiet. It was so peaceful, so beautiful. I really think we need more quiet in our lives. Times when we turn everything off and just let God’s creation envelope us. Jesus lived in quietness. He wasn’t in a hurry. He didn’t have to have music playing all the time. He didn’t have to watch the morning news. He wasn’t attached to His phone. We need to learn something from His lifestyle.

  21. Claire B says:

    ♥️

  22. GramsieSue says:

    Thanks for prayers. Steve did well with the infusion yesterday. Praying this helps his body to heal.
    Hugs and prayers for all of you today. ❤️

  23. ERB says:

    Praying for all your requests…and am knowing and believing that God answers every single one!!! ❤️

    Notes from today..

    John 2:19-22
    *another awesome reminder of how important having spiritual eyes, ears and understanding is!!! If we aren’t tapped and tuned into the Spirit we miss out on SO MUCH!!! Let us be tapped and tuned in!!! And help us Lord to see and hear with Your eyes & ears, help us choose to dwell beyond ourselves and only in You!! Amen.

    Mathew 12:6 I tell you that something greater than the temple is here.
    *such a GOOD and NEEDED reminder!!! Thank You Lord!!!

    Luke 2:25-32
    *I love this story/testimony!! Such faith and in-tuneness with the Spirit!! Simeon had eyes to see and ears to hear, he KNEW and saw and BELIEVED!!!! Reminds me of Joseph and how he had SUCH faith and belief that he asked that his bones be carried into the promised land WHEN God delivered the people!! There was NEVER any doubt in his mind that God would do as He said He would!!! SO BEAUTIFUL and inspiring!!! May I have and walk out this type of faith, sight, hearing and obedience. Amen!

    John 1:14
    *we truly are SO Blessed!!! Thank You God for this gift!!!

    John 1:1-3
    *Amen!! Love thinking about this and the depth behind it!! SO GOOD!!!

  24. Rhonda J. says:

    GREAT devotion today!

    gotta get going this morning to Pain Group at church! Your comments were wonderful and insightful! Thank you She’s!

    @Adrienne- hope all is well, missing your morning comments! You have been MIA for awhile!

  25. Foster Mama says:

    ❤️ MIA FAITH

    Please pray for our current Baby…about to attend a meeting about him that will determine the trajectory for the next brief chapter of his time with us (and will likely impact our schedule/ lives also significantly).

  26. Foster Mama says:

    I Googled @ MICHELLE PATIRE (Congrats Sister! What an accomplishment!)
    ….and was surprised that it lead me back to SRT through her comments.

  27. Mia Faith says:

    Father, help me draw near…continually getting closer to You…and reflecting your love onto those I come in contact with.

  28. Laura Dianne says:

    Like so many of you, I love this prayer: “Lord, help me draw near to you and to grow in my awareness of your presence.” God’s presence is everything, isn’t it? I am an introvert, and so often I want to be alone, especially when those around me are annoying me. But I never want to be separated from God’s presence. It is my life, my very breath. I loved what you shared, SHARON JERSEY GIRL, about Francis Chan (love him!) and the glory of God. Through this study, God has really been opening my eyes to this. Glorifying God, seeing His glory, feeling His glory, basking in His glory, these are things my heart must desire above all else. If we can do this, we are not thinking about ourselves (which I do A LOT) but we are focusing on Him!

    Praying for our single gals this morning and your desire to find a spouse to live life with. My daughter who just had a baby was you four years ago. She went through a lot of heartbreak over lost relationships, and may have given up a few times that it would ever happen. But God saw, in His mercy and perfect timing, to bring the right man at the right time, into her life. My word for the last 2 years has been ANTICIPATE. I want to trust God, but I also want to actively wait for what He is doing “behind the scenes” so to speak. I keep hoping that I can pick a new word, but so far, I am still anticipating. Because God has brought good things to my life, answers to prayer. But some of my most broken relationships are still broken. And so I still anticipate – active waiting and trusting in God.

  29. Foster Mama says:

    I haven’t done the reading today yet but first:

    We had such a lovely weekend with our goddaughter (praise Jesus and thanks for your prayers). The highlight for me was that she “explained” so well to my mother on a video call about what happened when the disciples boat was being tossed about as Jesus slept; afterwards, I asked her “If Jesus could do that to the wind and waves, what do you imagine he could do if we are nervous and our hearts are going pitter-patter too fast?!” and we laughed when she said He would tell the heart to stop beating (I fell over at that point) but then she said He could slow it / calm it. This little girl typically says “I don’t know” OR ” I don’t remember” to the vast majority of questions but this weekend (finally convinced that nothing would happen if her answer was “wrong”) she took some chances. Please God continue Your work in her.

    Also:

    @ LAURA DIANNE – such beautiful sharing about trusting God; congratulations on your new grandchild!

    @ HEIDI – Yes, I’ve had comments “disappear” also…thank you SO much for re-typing it as it was great

    @ MARTHA HIX – I pray that your drive to Waco will hold beautiful surprises of the fun and/or serenity of being the driver, on the open road, soaking in the sights, listening to music / audiobook… whatever suits your fancy!!

    @ MARIA B – I agree that it must have been a huge, impactful event when the veil tore, earth darkened and shook, etc…It would be great to find writing about how the religious of the day reacted. I imagine that there must be writings from the first century fathers. (What we DO know is that, despite all these things, at least some leaders saw fit to pay off the soldiers to say that the disciples had stolen Christ’s body to make it looked like He had risen from the dead…The hardened heart, blinded eyes still very much active.)

  30. Sharon, Jersey Girl says:

    I am forever grateful for the gift of God’s love – sent to us through His Son, Jesus and through His Holy Spirit. I love the reminders that “Jesus offers eternal salvation and continual intimacy with God” and “the Spirit of God alive in us, our ever present Helper and Comforter.” God never leaves us or forsakes us and when we do stray away from Him, He is always there – right where we left Him, waiting for us to once again draw near to Him. He is unmovable, steadfast, sure – my constant.It doesn’t matter how many times I stray – He always welcomes me back! …my daily prayer – “Lord, help me draw near to you and to grow in my awareness of your presence.”

    Have a blessed Tuesday dear sisters – love and prayers for you all! ❤️

  31. Taylor says:

    I loved today’s devotion so much, I feel like I copied down half of it in my journal. Thank you, thank you Jesus for your incredible sacrifice so we could spend eternity with you! What great love the Father has for us that He didn’t leave us in our mess but rescued us from our striving and gave us HIS righteousness.

    Also thank you ladies so much for your prayers. I feel them as my heart feels more at peace today about ending my relationship. Also thankfully working with physical therapists, I had one take a look at my knee and she put some Kinesiotape on it and I feel some relief.

    Today I ask for prayers for my best friend who lost her mom to cancer in 2020 and is having marriage problems after only being married for a little over a year. It looks like her and her husband may pursue separation and I spent yesterday evening with her and she is heartbroken and really struggling. I would appreciate your prayers for her <3

    Lifting up the prayer requests and praying for a lovely Tuesday for all!

  32. Theresa says:

    Reading today’s devotional, I was reminded of something that happened yesterday. I was driving home from about 30 minutes away with our two youngest in the backseat of my car. It had been a busy evening and it was past dinner time, pushing towards bedtime and there was traffic. To make things even more stressful, I wasn’t sure where I was going and made a couple of wrong turns, having to circle back. My two little guys were tired, hungry, and sick of being in the car. They were both whining and crying (my middle son, Arlo, does this exceptionally loudly…it’s a gift really) and I was absolutely losing my mind. In a moment of total desperation I silently cried out “God, give me peace!” And immediately, the car quieted down and I felt the presence of God fill that space in my car. I went from feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and like I might explode, to feeling calm, relaxed, and dare I say even joyful?! My two little guys in the backseat went from whining and crying to quietly playing and talking.

    What a lesson that was to me! How often do I try to muscle through difficult moments in my own strength when I have a God waiting to be in the thick of it with me? He’s already there but sometimes, I push him away rather than invite him to come.

    Happy Tuesday, ladies!

  33. Julia C says:

    SEARCHING – Praying for wisdom in decision-making for elderly relative and their care.
    HEIDI – Happy to see you!
    TAYLOR – Praying for healing, relief from pain, and strength to carry out your responsibilities. May you find rest and peace in Him. It will take time to process a past relationship, but He is with you and He will guide you.
    LAURA DIANNE – Congratulations, grandma!
    MARTHA HIX – Praying for safe travels and a good time with your family.
    TAYLOR GRAVES – Praying that your family member may find his way back to God.
    VICTORIA E – Praying for your GI issues and for a good night of sleep.
    SEARCHING – Praying for the wife and child of your family member who passed away from heart attack a few days ago.
    MIA FAITH – Praying for your hearts and safe travels ❤️
    DANIELLE B – Continued prayers for your dad
    CARRIE H – Praying for good judgment and mercy in making a decision regarding your dog.
    LAURA L – Praying for your special needs grandson.
    ALEIDA P – Continued prayers for Victor.
    GRAMSIESUE – Prayers for Steve and for you.

  34. Julia C says:

    “Something greater than the temple is here.”
    – Through Him, we were created. (John 1:3)
    – By Him, we are saved. (Mark 15:34)
    – In Him, we have access to God. (Mark 15:38)
    – For Him, we live. (1 Corinthians 10:31).
    – His, we are. (John 1:12).

    Dear Father,

    Yours be the glory!
    Help me draw near to you.
    Help me to grow in my awareness of Your presence.
    Let Your life-changing grace motivate me to bear Your image.
    All for Your glory, which is our good.

    AMEN.

  35. Michelle Patire says:

    @Searching ♥️
    @Rhonda J ♥️
    @Mercy ♥️
    Thank you for your words of encouragement and prayers concerning my brother.

    @Taylor Graves ♥️ I relate to what you shared about your lost family member. Despite their words, I pray they truly witness the change in you in following Christ. I was thinking about the centurion who watched Jesus die in Mark 15:33-39… Jesus didn’t even need to explain Himself. The centurion witnessed Him dying and noticed something extraordinary about His character in even His dying on a cross! He carried Himself different. Of course, we are not Jesus, but we have His Spirit. I know you are a fragrance to this person whom you love and pray for! As we all are, to those we silently (or loudly lol) witness to…
    “For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.” – 2 Corinthians 2:15 NKJV ♥️

    @Laura Dianne- congratulations on the new grandchild!!! May your daughter find pockets of sweet rest so she can care for her newborn. God bless your family!! ♥️

    @Heidi- good to see you back! ♥️

    Hey, I shared this on my social media yesterday, but for those who don’t have it, one of my songs was finally released yesterday on an album my town’s music community released. It’s called “My Family” by Michelle Patire. You can find it on all streaming platforms – YouTube, Apple, Spotify… Sharing it as it has been a prayer of mine. Literally the song itself since 2022 and its release into the community. Thankful ♥️ just sharing if any of you feel led to listen who haven’t already!

  36. Sharon, Jersey Girl says:

    Good Morning! I haven’t got to today’s reading yet but just wanted to comment on yesterday’s. Earlier in the morning when at the gym I was listening to Francis Chan. He was speaking of Moses – Exodus 32-34, one spot in particular where Moses says to God, “show me your glory”. (Exodus 33:18)Just before mentioning this Francis asked, “if God were a genie, what 3 things would you ask Him for?” The first and only thing that came to my mind was that God would save all those I love. Francis then followed up by saying that Moses wanted to see God’s glory, that was his one, strong desire and “I bet that wasn’t on your list of 3 things.” …here I thought I was doing pretty good asking for my love ones to be saved, when really it should be my strong desire for God to show me His glory!

    @Taylor Graves – praying for your family member to have a restored relationship with the Lord, and that whatever pushed him away – he would have healing from.

    @Martha Hix – praying for your safe travels tomorrow and that God will give you peace of heart and mind and take away all your anxieties…I know exactly how you feel as I don’t like driving and at times get anxious, especially if I have to drive at night. I too usually depend on my husband to drive me but this past week he couldn’t and I had to drive late at night to my daughters (who has a newborn). I prayed the whole way! …God saw me safely there.

    @Laura Diane – praise God for the safe arrival of your 1st grand baby girl! And for health & safety for both mama & baby!…my daughter gave birth to our first grand 2 weeks ago, she too had a very long (40 + hrs) and hard labor! But both are doing well – praise God!

    @Taylor – continued prayers as you seek God’s will for your future mate, and peace and patience in the waiting as you continue to live for Him.

    @Heidi – I love what you said yesterday, so true! Thank you, I’m writing that down!…
    “He is never asking us to commit to His ways because we owe him – but rather because he loves us so much He wants to see our success in living out the purpose He planted into us from the beginning to live our lives for the good of mankind and the glory of Him.”

  37. Aimee D-R says:

    Father God, help me draw near to Your presence every day. Holy Spirit let me feel Your power, presence, guidance. Lord Jesus give me peace. Amen

  38. Char Hight says:

    Feeling or recognizing God’s presence is so powerful. I feel closest to His presence at different times. The most beautiful moments are when I am alone reading His word. The amount of peace that I have is indescribable. ❤️ Seek and you will find.

  39. Kristine Loughman says:

    I love that there is no right or wrong way to feel God’s presence. In nature! With loved ones! In community or alone! God meets us where we are. I have experienced flashes of God’s presence while out in a walk and while laughing with my kids in vacation. It’s beautiful how God can use all moments to show himself if we are only watching for it. Amen!

  40. Searching says:

    Joining my sisters this morning as we pray, with hearts in one accord, “Lord, help me draw near to you and to grow in my awareness of your presence.”

    Praying for
    TAYLOR GRAVES – you and family member
    MARTHA HIX – safe travels
    TAYLOR – speedy recovery
    VICTORIA E – GI issues and rest
    MIA FAITH

    LAURA DIANNE – congrats!
    TRICIA C – amen, those days when our priorities are sadly upside down
    HEIDI! ❤️
    ❤️ MERCY, KELLY (NEO), MICHELLE PATIRE, JULIA C, CEE GEE, TINA

    prayer request – for wife and middle school age child of family member who passed away from heart attack a few days ago.

  41. Cat-tee says:

    Amen and Amen❣️

  42. Kelly (NEO) says:

    “Lord, help me draw near to you and to grow in my awareness of your presence.”

    May I have eyes to see and ears to hear Your work in my life and in the world.

    HEIDI – so nice to see you pop in

    VICTORIA E and TAYLOR – praying for restoration of your health

    SEARCHING – praying for the wisdom of God to fill all involved with the healthcare decisions of your relative

    ALLISON BENTLEY – may you have many fruitful conversations with your cousin…be obedient to God’s prompting, the rest is up to Him

  43. Ada McCloud says:

    Lord God, help me draw near to you.
    Amen

  44. Mary Ann Graves says:

    Amen

  45. Donna Mitchell says:

    Father, help me to draw near to you to open my eyes to see your presence in everything. Thank you for your grace and mercy. In Jesus Name. Amen.

  46. Tina says:

    “Lord, help me draw near to you and to grow in my awareness of your presence.”

    Lord in your mercy, hear my prayer to desire a closeness to you, and to grow, very much aware of your presence in, around and over my life..
    In the Mighty name of Jesus, The One who has made this possible..

    AMEN.

    BUT GOD..

    Happy Tuesay, Sisters! ❤️