Sunday, 29 October 2017

The Lord vs The Temple

A few thoughts regarding the temple and the Lord Jesus.

The temple was something for God on earth, and how true that was of the Lord Jesus Christ! He truly was something for God down here on earth, he was God manifest in the flesh, and he daily brought pleasure and delight to his father God as he walked down here. He walked and worked always in the current of God's will and exclusively for his glory. Unfortunately, in the Lord's day the same could not be said of the temple.

Let's look at a few verses together...

The Lord Jesus Presented in the Temple as a Baby (Luke 2)
The first time we read of the Lord Jesus in the temple we read of the encounter with Simeon, that ageing righteous and devout man; “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.”

What tremendous words! Of course these could only be said of the Saviour, for only he was the light of the world, and the Saviour of sinners.

The Boy Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2)
We remember that as a boy of 12 when discovered by his parents in the temple he could say; "Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?"

Truly the Saviour was ever driven by the work that he had been sent to do, and that single purpose drove his every word, thought and deed.

Jesus Cleanses the Temple (John 2)
"And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!”"

His disciples recorded the zeal he had for the things of his father God. Sadly a place for God had become a place for men. The things of God were now secondary to the convenience and greed of men. The temple had become corrupted and defiled, and needed such a cleansing.

How lovely to remember that our Lord Jesus could never be corrupted or defiled! There was never anything that needed to be removed, or purged out, for he was "all fair without, all pure within!"

"Thy stainless life, Thy lovely walk,
In every aspect true,
From the defilement all around,
No taint of evil drew."

The Woman Caught in Adultery (John 8)
We go from the Sinless One to a sinful woman, what a contrast! Here the Lord Jesus in the temple courts was presented with one who was a sinner of some repute, there could be no doubt of that, as she was caught in the very act. Here the Saviour taught those hard-hearted and hypocritical Scribes and Pharisees, that sin could be dealt with righteously AND forgiven! He taught them that grace and compassion were just as important as truth and righteousness, and he had come to provide that more excellent way, a way for sinners to be saved. Remember he could say “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

His words are lovely; "And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”"

The Widow's Mites (Mark 12)
"Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans. So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.”"

This woman was noted by the Lord, and he took the time to call his disciple to him and use her as an example to show the value of true giving, as God sees it. She had cast in all that she had, and the Saviour noted it, how lovely! I thought of another at the temple that day who 'gave all', of course our Lord Jesus Christ. The Saviour spoke of the abundance of men that day, compare this to the Saviour himself, the most abundant one! The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof... all things were made by him and for him... he was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor. He humbled himself in coming down from the realms of glory into this sinful world. And he knew physical poverty whilst he was here too.

In going to Calvary however, he truly gave all - he gave himself! He 'offered himself without spot to God'... the use of sacrificial language there in Hebrews not without significance, as we think about the temple as being a place of sacrifices and offerings.

We praise God for the Lord Jesus Christ! Well might he have said in Matthew 12 "Yet I say to you that in this place there is One greater than the temple."


Monday, 9 October 2017


We are often exhorted (and rightly so) to direct our hearts and minds towards the Saviour when we gather to remember him on a Lord's Day morning. To take a fresh glimpse with the eye of faith as it were and 'behold' him, in other words to survey his person and character and meditate upon him. This can only be a good thing, as it will surely draw out worship from our hearts!

I was thinking of a series of scriptures that use this word 'behold' in connection with the Lord Jesus and hope that it draws our eye towards him again. I shall list the ones I was thinking of briefly here, with little or no comment, so you can add your own thoughts and meditations.

  1. "Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth..." Isa 42:1
    1. Here is the prophet speaking the mind of God, speaking of the Lord Jesus, the perfect servant
    2. A man in whom his soul delights, how different from all other men! He was daily his delight (Pro 8)
  2. "And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child... Luke 2:34
    1. What a statement! Behold this child... the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us!
  3. "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." John 1:29
    1. The Lord Jesus at the commencement of his earthly ministry
    2. The perfect spotless Lamb of God (hinting back to the Passover Lamb)
    3. Also hinting forward to the time he would offer himself as the Lamb, without spot to God for the sins of the world
    4. As they turned to behold, they would see a normal man, no beauty that they should desire him!
  4. "and they say, 'Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!'" Matthew 11:19
    1. This was the Jews perspective, their assessment!
    2. What a friend we have in Jesus!
    3. The common people heard him gladly
    4. He cam not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance
  5. "Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!" John 11:36
    1. For once their assessment was correct! Him whom thou lovest is sick...
    2. A glimpse at his humanity - he is touched by the feelings of our infirmities!
    3. A man of sorrows...
    4. How we could put this statement over the cross, in relation to ourselves, behold how he loves us!
  6. "Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man!... and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!" John 19:5 & 14
    1. His suffering at the hands of men - their mocking tones
    2. They set him at nought
  7. "And the people stood beholding." Luke 23:35
    1. The scene at Calvary, what a sight would have met their eyes...
    2. His visage was marred more than any mans
    3. His pierced hands and his feet, his precious blood shed!
    4. "See from his head, his hands, his feet, sorrow and love flow mingled down!"
  8. "Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have." Luke 24:39
    1. A risen Saviour, we believe it and rejoice!
    2. Lovely words - "that it is I myself!"
  9. "Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world." John 17:24
    1. What a wonderful prospect awaits us!
    2. Faith will give place to sight, we shall see his face!
    3. "but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." 1 John 3:2

I trust these simple thoughts will be a help and blessing to us all.

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