November 21 - Luke 19:45-48

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Luke 19:45-48 – Jesus in the Temple

The temple was an integral part of every Jewish person’s life. The story of Jesus’ presentation in the temple is found in Luke 2:21-40. It is here that Simeon and Anna find the child and recognize him as the Messiah. Luke emphasizes the continuity of the Law and the Holy Spirit. Things are done according to the Law and they occur through the action of the Holy Spirit. In Christ is found unification for the Jewish people. Mary and Joseph presented Jesus because of obligation to the Law. The encounters with Simeon and Anna occurred because of the intervention of the Holy Spirit.

The next story in Luke’s gospel happens years later. Mary and Joseph have gone to Jerusalem once again and Jesus stays behind … in the Temple, his father’s house. We find that “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52). When his parents asked why he was there, he confronted them with the fact that he is about his father’s business.

Those words are never more true than they are when he enters the Gentiles’ court on the Temple grounds in the current passage.

Israel continues its refusal in acknowledging God’s ultimate rule in their lives. In Luke 19:45-46, they have distorted the purpose of the temple. In the previous passage, they squelched spontaneous praise of God, we see here that they allow theft and corruption in the temple courts and in the next two verses, we find that they are creating a plan to kill Jesus. This flagrant abuse of the Law is one of the many reasons we saw Jesus weeping over the city in Luke 19:41.

Luke expressly divides the people ‘who hung on his (Jesus’) words’ from the ‘chief priests, teachers of the law and leaders among the people, who were trying to kill him (Jesus).’ Throughout his gospel and into his second letter to Theophilus – (Acts of the Apostles), Luke continues to show that Christianity is a continuation of true Judaism. The corruption that was at the top echelons of Jewish society did not represent the heart of the people.