July 22 - Christ in the Temple

Sunday, July 22, 2012

July 22 - Christ in the Temple
Matthew 21:14-15; Luke 19:47; 20:1; John 5:14; 7:14; 8:20

In each of these passages, we see Jesus actively engaged in work at the temple.  He heals people who are hurting, he teaches from the scriptures, he encounters and spars with the chief priests and teachers of the law.

In John 5:14, we find him looking for the man he healed at the pool in order to reinforce the healing and remind him to stop sinning.

So many times we look at the negative activities of Jesus within the temple yards – turning over the tables and causing a riot, then as in tomorrow’s lesson, promising the destruction of the temple.  But, Jesus spent a great deal of time within the temple gates simply teaching.  There would have been many different types of teachers with disciples clustered around them and others listening from the outskirts.  It was not an abnormal sight.  What was different about Jesus was that people couldn’t believe what they were hearing from a seeming nobody.

“The Jews were amazed and asked, ‘How did this man get such learning without having studied?’  Jesus answered, ‘My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me. If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.” (John 7:15-17)

Jesus went where the people were.  He met them in their homes, he talked to them on hillsides, he spoke to crowds from a boat as they gathered on the shore, he faced down his antagonists in the temple courtyard so that people there could hear his message.

It was his message that was important.  When he taught and performed miracles, he was teaching a message of love from God.  He did everything to glorify the one who sent him.  No matter where he was, the message was greater than he was.  What about you … you know that your message is greater than you, so what is your message?