Jesus in the temple

The Lord Jesus taught and did so much in the temple during the last week before his death.

a. As He himself intimated in his early youth, when He was found in the temple area listening to the doctors and asking them questions, it was his ambition to be about His Father's business.

Since God's Name was intimately connected with the Temple, He honoured his Father by taking his stand there, for "I and the Father are one." It was therefore his concern that whatever had to do with his Father was not to be mangled in its purpose, for that would reflect badly on the heavenly Father: thus it behoved him also to cleanse the Temple both at the beginning and at the end of his public ministry.

b. It was a king who originally desired to build the temple and it was his son, another king, who actually saw to it that it was erected. Christ, the antitype of the Davidic monarchy, came to the temple to fulfil it use and liturgical purpose.

As King, he claimed the temple to be his rightful place; as Prophet, just as the prophets before him frequented the temple area to deliver their burdens to the people, he came and taught; as High Priest, he came to the place where innumerable sacrifices were offered to God without cleaning the conscience of the offerers.

Effectively, being found in the temple during the closing days of his earthly life, he suggested strongly that he was the true Messiah in his three-fold role. "And the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple." It was his temple; and if the temple was his, then he could be none other than God himself!

c. For his disciples, it was quite significant for their Master to plant himself in the midst of all religious activity of ancient Judaism.

Though they may not have realised it at the time, yet his presence in the temple precincts was meaningful: all acceptable worship was offered up at Jerusalem and particularly at the Temple. Christ was showing us that he was not creating something radically new by his teaching, but rather found its roots in Old Testament history: in all the covenants, the kings, prophets, feasts and various sacrifices.

His salvation, the righteousness he spoke about and which he himself brought to his own, was witnessed to by the Law and the prophets, though it was granted without the Law and apart from it.

d. As if to challenge their false and usurped authority (he described them as thieves and robbers, John 10:1ff.), Christ made it a point to confront them face to face. He had become unbearable to them; they wanted to get rid of him; they resented his ministry; and yet Christ gave them clear evidence that they had no power over him save at the appointed time.

He came to the most public of all places and yet no one laid his hands on him for his hour had not yet come.