TEACHING IN THE TEMPLE
TEACHING SINNERS THE WAY
SUNDAY FEB. 21, 2021
Scripture To Consider:
“Now about the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and taught. And the Jews [Jewish religious leaders] marveled, saying, ‘How does this Man know letters, having never studied?’”
“Jesus answered them and said, ‘My doctrine is not mine, but His who sent Me. If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority. He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him. Did not Moses give you the law, yet none of you keeps the law? Why do you seek to kill Me?’”
“The people answered and said, ‘You have a demon. Who is seeking to kill You?’ Jesus answered and said to them, ‘I did one work, and you all marvel. Moses therefore gave you circumcision (not that it was from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath, so that the Law of Moses should not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath? Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.’” John 7.14-24
Something To Consider:
The Feast of Tabernacles lasted seven days. In the middle of the feast Jesus went into the temple and taught. The last time it was recorded that Jesus was in the temple He cleansed the temple. Jesus uses the same spiritual sequence in the lives of new believers. The New Testament teaches us that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, after our being spiritually born-again, comes the cleansing process of our bodily temple.
For some of us it appears to take place overnight. This is not a man-made cleansing but a spiritual cleansing orchestrated by God’s Holy Spirit. It is accomplished through the cleansing and washing of the water of God’s Word. That is why the commandment by Jesus to continue in the Word of God. That is why Jesus requires His saints to remain in Him, who is the Word of God!
There is a difference between man-made cleansing and true biblical cleansing. Man-made cleansing can never cleanse the soul. Man-made attempts at cleansing leads to man-made self-righteousness. The apostle Paul reported in Romans 10.3; “For they [those refusing the spiritual cleansing God offers] being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.”
Something Else To Consider:
Jesus, in Luke’s gospel chapter 16, addressed some self-righteous Pharisees, who were lovers of money and who oppressed Jesus, therefore Jesus stated; “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts.” Jesus continued to reveal their lack of true righteousness by proclaiming; “For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.”
Wow! Think about all the things, all the man-ordained titles, all the worldly wealth and worldly possessions that are longed for, lied for, cheated for, and eventually accumulated in an unrighteous manner. So much of it is an abomination in the sight of God. And yet, teaching sinners the way is precious in the sight of the Lord! What is it that we are learning today?
Therefore, what is it that we are going to continue to seek Monday morning? Will we seek to increase the coffers of our own investments to lavishly spend on ourselves? Or will we increase our sphere of influence in being taught by Jesus as we reside in the temple of this earthly body? Will we seek more earthly education so as to better our resume in order to land a higher paying job? Or will we simply and lovingly seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness?
Something More To Consider:
After beginning the cleansing operation in our hearts and lives, the Holy Spirit begins a teaching campaign. David writing in Psalm 25, declared, “Good and upright is the Lord; therefore, He teaches sinners in the way. The humble He guides in justice, and the humble He teaches His way.”
And as Jesus was teaching in the temple, in our Scripture to consider, the Jewish religious leaders marveled, saying, “How does this Man know letters, having never studied?” These antagonistic opposing leaders marveled at Jesus’ teaching! What about us as true believers, do we marvel at the teaching of Jesus? Or can we simply but foolishly take it or leave it?
Jesus professed in John 14.6; “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” He followed up in John 16.13, by explaining; “However, when He, the Spirit of truth [the Holy Spirit], has come, He will guide you [and me] into all truth.” Therefore, the Holy Spirit is actively involved in teaching sinners the way to Jesus, who is the way, the truth, and the life!
A Few Final Words:
Jesus had never attended any of the more than two dozen schools of higher theological learning in and around Jerusalem. Therefore, these leaders in our text questioned His lack of formal and institutional educational background, but could not question His ability to teach the Word of God.
In Acts 4.13, we read, “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.” There was no better compliment that could have been given to these early followers of Jesus or to present day followers of Jesus, than to be named as having been with Jesus. Can that label be rightfully placed upon us?
Jesus is still teaching in the temple of the lives of true believers and followers of Him and His way, His truth, and His life. Therefore, do we marvel at His teaching in the temple of our lives? Do we marvel at His still teaching sinners the way? Does His teaching captivate our attention or does it bore us? The answer is extremely revealing?
According to the written witness of the Word of God, formal education was not, nor is not, a spiritual requirement for sinners to be cleansed, or for the humble to be taught His ways. But, a true hunger and a sincere thirsting for the righteousness of Christ is necessary for all sinners saved by grace. What teaching is Jesus focusing on in our temple today?
Our Father in heaven, cleanse these bodily temples from all sin, that You may in turn teach us Your ways as we diligently study Your Word. In Him Always, Amen!