The Manifestation, Movement & Ministry At A Time of Celebration In A Place of Confrontation

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ as it was written and recorded by the apostle John. More specifically, today’s passage is found in the eighth and ninth chapters of this New Testament book. The more I read and consider the words which are found in the New Testament gospel narrative which was written by the apostle John the more I can’t help but encounter and come face to face with a Jesus who was not only the Word made flesh which dwelt among us, but also a Jesus who is willing to bring healing and wholeness within the hearts and lives of men and women—even at the expense of tradition, at the expense of ritual, at the expense of the boxes we attempt to put the living and eternal God in. You cannot read the gospel narrative written by the apostle John and not encounter and come face to face with the powerful truth that Jesus was willing to cleanse the Temple of the Lord in the city of Jerusalem in the second chapter, while in the very next chapter meeting with a Pharisee named Nicodemus by night. Not only this, but in the fourth chapter we find Jesus needing to pass through Samaria on His way to Galilee that He might sit down at a well in the city of Sychar that He might wait for a Samaritan woman who would come to draw water from the well. Not only this, but it would be there in Samaria Jesus would offer the living water of the Holy Spirit and would make the declaration that He was truly and indeed the Messiah. It would be in this place where Jews would in fact have no dealings Jesus would both offer the invitation to partake of living waters, as well as make the declaration that He Himself was the Messiah. Moreover, it would be here in Samaria Jesus would tarry at the well—even after the woman had left and left her water jar behind—that He might be there when the men of the city would come out to see and meet Him. Jesus could have very easily departed from the well after the woman had left herself, but Jesus chose to tarry, abide, and remain at the well, thus indicating that He had come into Samaria for more than just this woman. This woman was essentially the key and the catalyst that would unlock the city of Sychar within Samaria, and it would be this woman who would ultimately open the door for Jesus to speak with the men of the city whom she would bring her testimony to. What I so absolutely love about this passage is that Jesus tarried and waited at the well—not even necessarily for the woman to return to retrieve her water jar, but rather to be there when the men of the city would come unto Him. The men of the city would come out unto Jesus and would believe on Him because of the testimony of the woman, and it would be from that place they would entreat Jesus to tarry and abide with them.

            The narrative that is found in the fourth chapter of the New Testament gospel written by the apostle John is quite astounding when you take the time to think about and consider it, for the words we find within it not only suggest a Jesus who is willing to sit down upon a well to wait for this Samaritan woman, but Jesus was also willing to remain and abide at that well after the woman departed from His presence and returned unto the city. Jesus would tarry and wait at that well until this woman had entered into the city and declared unto the men how she had encountered a man who had told her everything she had done, and presented unto them the possibility that this man might very well be the Messiah. What’s more, is that not only did Jesus tarry at the well waiting for the men of the city to arrive, but so also would Jesus agree to abide with them after they entreated Him. Even more than this we find Jesus tarrying and abiding with them for two days as He would not only offer unto them living water, but He would also reveal and show unto them that He was indeed the Messiah. How absolutely remarkable and powerful it is to think about and consider the fact that Jesus would show up in Samaria—show up in a place where Jews would have no dealings—and would offer unto this Samaritan woman living water. More than this, we find Jesus showing up in Samaria showing and declaring Himself as the Messiah unto this woman, and it would be this woman who would return unto the city and bring the declaration that there was a man who not only told her everything she had done, but might also be the Messiah. How marvelous it is to read of a Jesus who was willing to tarry two days in Samaria among those with whom Jews had no dealings, but who were waiting for the Messiah to come. Please don’t miss and lose sight of this, for although the Jews would have no dealings with the Samaritans they would still live with a Messianic expectation as they would wait for the Messiah to appear and be manifested among them in their midst.

            When and as you come to the fifth chapter of this gospel narrative you will find Jesus returning unto Jerusalem after spending time in Cana of Galilee where He had healed a nobleman’s son who was sick and perhaps on the verge of death. It would be after Jesus had healed this nobleman’s son he would return unto Jerusalem, and would do so at the time of a feast which the Jews would celebrate. This reality and concept of feasts is one that is present within and throughout the gospel narrative written by the apostle John, and more often than not the activity of Jesus within Jerusalem was intrinsically linked and connected to one of the feasts which the Jews would celebrate. I am absolutely and completely convinced that we must needs pay close and careful attention to this reality, for the appearing and manifestation of Jesus in Jerusalem would be wonderfully and powerfully linked to the Jewish feasts which would be celebrated—not only by those who were living and dwelling in Jerusalem, but also by those who would have perhaps traveled and journeyed from Galilee, from Judaea, and possibly even various other cities, towns, villages and regions round about Jerusalem. This is something we must needs recognize, for the movement and activity of Jesus the Christ in the gospel narrative of the apostle John seems to be directly linked to the feasts which would take place in Jerusalem, as time and time again we would find Jesus showing up in the city at a time of one of the feasts. More often than not Jesus would enter into the city of Jerusalem during and at a time of one of the feasts—perhaps to celebrate and observe the feast itself, but also perhaps to appear and manifest at a time when the city and its streets would be filled with countless men, women and children from the surrounding cities, towns and villages. What’s more, is that the activity of Jesus within the gospel narrative written by John not only seems to be directly linked and connected to the Jewish feasts, but also seems to be linked to those specific times when the courts of the Temple of the LORD would be filled with people who would journey from Jerusalem to celebrate and observe the feast. In fact, I would dare say that you cannot read the gospel narrative written by the apostle John without recognizing and understanding Jesus’ movement being intrinsically linked and connected to the feasts the Jews would celebrate.

            This concept of Jesus’ movement and activity—and not only His movement and activity, but also His appearance and manifestation in the midst of Jerusalem—is something that is truly astonishing when you think about it, for it seems to suggest and speak to the powerful narrative of Jesus’ manifestation during and at times of the Jewish feasts. If you want to understand the movement and manifestation of Jesus during the days of His first coming as the Lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world you must needs recognize and understand it in terms of the Jewish feasts which were celebrated in the city of Jerusalem. What’s more, is that we must needs understand the movement and manifestation of Jesus the Christ within the feasts the Jews would have celebrated during those times, for when we think about and consider the movement and manifestation of Jesus the Christ and His second coming we must recognize and understand this to be similar in nature. Most scholars and theologians will agree that the first of the Jewish feasts—those feasts which were known as the Spring feasts—were fulfilled during the time of Jesus’ first coming, while the second of the Jewish feasts have not yet been fulfilled. There is not a doubt in my mind that when we read the words which are found in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John we see a powerful picture of Jesus’ movement and manifestation in the midst of Jerusalem and its intrinsic and apparent link to the Jewish feasts. You cannot read the gospel narrative written and recorded by the apostle John and not come face to face with the awesome and powerful truth that Jesus’ movement during those three and a half years would appear to be directly linked to those pilgrimage feasts which would take place in the midst of the land of Judaea and within the city of Jerusalem. More often than not when we read of Jesus being present in the midst of the city of Jerusalem it would be at a time of one of the feasts which would take place during the year—those feasts which would occur three times as men and women would come and appear before the LORD with their gifts, their sacrifices and offerings.

            I am absolutely and completely convinced that in order for us to truly understand the narrative that is found in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John, and in order to understand the movement and manifestation of the Word made flesh and dwelling among us we need to understand the Jewish feasts. If we are to understand the words which are found within this gospel narrative we must needs understand the Jewish feasts which were mentioned and recorded in this gospel—and not only those feasts which were mentioned in this gospel, but also the feasts as they were prescribed and ordained by the LORD of hosts through His servant Moses. The words which are found in the gospel narrative written by the apostle John is a powerful statement and testimony concerning Jesus the Christ and how He moved within and throughout Judaea and Galilee according to the feasts which would take place during the year. The more you read this gospel narrative written and recorded by the apostle John the more you will find and discover a Jesus whose public ministry—particularly and especially in the midst of the city of Jerusalem—would be characterized by and during the times of the feasts of the Jewish people. This is an absolutely powerful and incredible thought to think about, for it powerfully demonstrates the movement and ministry of Jesus among the Jewish people within Jerusalem, for Jesus would journey unto Jerusalem during those times when the Jewish people would make their way and their journey from their homes to come and appear before the LORD. Pause for a moment and think about what it would be like to make the pilgrimage and journey from your home in Judaea, or in Galilee, or in any of the surrounding cities, towns, villages and regions to worship the one true and living God, and as you enter into Jerusalem you discover that Jesus the Christ is present within the city. Not only this, but stop and consider what it would have been like if you were a Jew living during those days who was perhaps waiting for the Messiah to come and be manifested, and as you went up to Jerusalem to worship the LORD with your gifts, with your sacrifices, and with your offerings, you would encounter the Messiah and would hear His words and behold His works. In the process of coming to appear before the LORD in worship at His holy Temple in the midst of the city of Jerusalem you would actually hear, encounter and behold that One whom John the Baptist declared was the Lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world.

            Within the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John we find powerful descriptions of the movement, the manifestation and the ministry of the Word which became flesh and dwelt among us, and we find His movement and ministry being directly linked and connected to the Jewish feasts which would be celebrated in the midst of the city of Jerusalem as the city would be filled with countless Jews who would travel and journey from all throughout Jewry, and through Judaea, Galilee and various other locations that they might worship before the LORD. Oh there is not a doubt in my mind that when you read the gospel narrative of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ and His ministry in direct relation and connection with the Jewish feasts you are beholding a powerful picture of the future manifestation of the Messiah who has since been glorified and exalted at the right hand of the Father who is in heaven. The more I read the words found in this particular gospel narrative the more I am brought face to face with powerful descriptions of the ministry and manifestation of the Messiah in the midst of the city of Jerusalem—and not only a powerful description of the manifestation and ministry of the Messiah during that time of His first coming, but also a powerful picture of the manifestation of the Messiah in the days to come. Not only this, but is it possible that within the gospel narrative which was written by the apostle John we encounter an absolutely tremendous picture of the manifestation of the Messiah as it pertains to the city of Jerusalem in the Last Days—not only in the Last Days, but also in the days of what the prophet Jeremiah speaks to and refers to as “Jacob’s Trouble.” How absolutely incredible and powerful it is to think about and consider the narrative that is found within the gospel account written by the apostle John, and how what we find here within this passage of Scripture is a powerful picture of Jesus the Christ moving throughout Judaea and within Jerusalem according to the Jewish feasts which the people would celebrate during those days—and quite honestly which the Jews would celebrate throughout the years since Moses first ordained the observance of the feasts by the mouth of the LORD. It is with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the Old Testament book of Leviticus, as well as in other places in the Pentateuch:

            “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts. Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, and holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings. These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons. IN the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD’s Passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest: and he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it. And ye shall offer that day when ye wave the sheaf an he labm without blemish of the first year for a burnt offering unto the LORD…And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbath shall be complete: even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath ye shall number fifty days; and ye shall  offer a new meat offering unto the LORD. Ye shall bring out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven: they are the firstfruits unto the LORD. And ye shall offer with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock, and two rams: they shall be for a burnt offering unto the LORD, with their meat offering, and their drink offerings, even an offering made by fire, of sweet savour unto the LORD…And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, IN the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation. Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD> And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God. For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people. Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwelings. It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD. On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD. On the eight day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein. These are the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day: beside the sabbaths of the LORD, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your freewill offerings, which ye give unto the LORD. Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath. And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days. And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month. Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwel in booths: that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God. And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the feasts of the LORD” (Leviticus 23:1-44).

            “And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work: it is a day of blowing the trumpets unto you. And ye shall offer a burnt offering for a sweet savour unto the LORD; one young bullock, one ram, and seven lambs of the first year without blemish: and their meat offering shall be of flour mingled with oil, three tenth deals for a bullock, and to tenth deals for a ram, and one tenth deal for one lamb, throughout the seven lambs: and one kids of the goats for a sin offering, to make an atonement for you: beside the burnt offering of the month, and his met offering, and the daily burnt offering, and his meat offering, and their drink offerings, according unto their manner, for a sweet savour, a sacrifice made by fire unto the LORD. And ye shall have on the tenth day of this seventh month an holy convocation; and ye shall afflict your souls: ye shall not do any work therein: but ye shall offer a burnt offering unto the LORD for a sweet savour; one young bullock, one ram, and saven lambs of the first year; they shall be unto you without blemish: and their meat offering shall be of flour mingled with oil, three tenth deals to a bullock, and two tenth deals to one ram, a several tenth deal for the one lamb, throughout the seven lambs: one kid of the goats for a sin offering; beside the sin offering of atonement, and the continual burnt offering, and the meat offering of it, and their drink offerings. And on the fifteenth day of the seventh month ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work, and ye shall do no servile work, and ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: and ye shall offer a burnt offering, a sacrifice made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD; thirteen young bullocks, two rams, and fourteen lambs of the first year; they shall be without blemish: and their meat offering shall be of flour mingled with oil, three tenth deals unto every bullock of the thirteen bullocks, two tenth deals to each ram of the two rams, and a several tenth deal to each lamb of the fourteen lambs: and one kid of the goats for a sin offering; beside the continual burnt offering, his meat offering, and his drink offering. And on the second day ye shall offer twelve young bullocks, two rams, fourteen lambs of the first year without spot: and their meat offering their drink offerings for the bullocks, for the rams, and for the lambs, shall be according to their number, after the manner: and one kid of the goats for a sin offering; beside the continual burnt offering, and the meat offering thereof, and their drink offerings. And on the third day eleven bullocks, two rams, fourteen lambs of the first year without blemish; and their meat offering and their drink offerings for the bullocks, for the rams, and for the lambs, shall be according to their number, after the manner: and goat for a sin offering; beside the continual burnt offering, and his meat offering, and his drink offering…On the eighth day ye shall have a solemn assembly: ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer a burnt offering, a sacrifice made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD: on bullock, one ram, seven lambs of the first year without blemish: their meat offering and their drink offerings for the bullock, for the ram, and for the lambs, shall be according to their number, after the manner: and one goat for a sin offering; beside the continual burnt offering, and his meat offering, and his drink offering. These things ye shall do unto the LORD in your seat feasts, beside your vows, and your freewill offerings, for your burnt offerings, and for your meat offerings, and for your drink offerings, and for your peace offerings. And Moses told the children of Israel according to all that the LORD commanded Moses” (Numbers 29:1-40).

            Now I fully realize that this is quite a bit of text that is found within these two passages of Scripture, but it is absolutely necessary that we understand these texts as they are presented within the Old Testament books of Leviticus and Numbers. It is within these chapters where we find the LORD commanding and instructing Moses concerning the observance and celebration of the appointed feasts—and not only the appointed time of the feasts, but also the appointed actions that needed to be carried out during the feasts. What I find to be truly astonishing and amazing when you think about the feasts of the LORD—particularly and especially when you consider them in light of the movement, the manifestation and the ministry of Jesus within Jewry, within Judaea, and within Jerusalem. As I have mentioned you cannot read the gospel narrative of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ written by the apostle John without coming face to face with the fact that Jesus would choose to come unto Jerusalem at the time of the appointed feasts which were ordained by the LORD through the mouth of Moses. With this being said, it is absolutely astounding to read and consider the words which are found in the gospel narrative written by the apostle John, for not only would you find Jesus manifesting Himself at certain feasts within the city of Jerusalem, but Jesus would also deliberately and intentionally choose to bring healing and wholeness on the sabbath day. As if it weren’t potentially provocative enough that Jesus would bring healing during the appointed times of the feasts, Jesus would also bring healing and wholeness on the sabbath day. In fact, what we find in the fifth chapter of the gospel narrative written by the apostle John is not only Jesus showing up in Jerusalem at the time of one of the feasts of Israel, but Jesus would also show up and deliberately and intentionally bring healing on the Sabbath Day. Pause for a moment and think about how incredibly provocative this would be during those days unto the Jews, for not only would Jesus’ presence at the feast offend the chief priests, the scribes and the elders of Israel, but there would also be a great number of the Jews who would be offended with Jesus. It’s truly something worth thinking about and considering that there in the midst of one of the appointed feasts of Israel—during the time of what should have been celebration—there would be countless Jews who would be offended at Jesus because of the manifestation of His ministry among them. It would be as the Jews would celebrate the feast(s) of the LORD in the midst of the city of Jerusalem that Jesus would show up and would essentially interrupt an appointed time for the Jews, and would interrupt a time of celebration, a time of offering, and a time of sacrifice. With this in mind, I invite you to consider the following words which are found within the gospel narrative written by John concerning the movement and manifestation of Jesus at the time of the feasts:

            “Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the feast day, many believed in His name, when they saw the miracles which He did. But Jesus did not commit Himself unto them, because He knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man: for He knew what was in man” (John 2:23-25).

            “Now after two days He departed thence, and went into Galilee. For Jesus Himself testified, that a prophet hath no honour in his own country. Then when He was come into Galilee, the Galilaeans received Him, having seen all the things tat He did at Jerusalem at the feast: for they also went unto the feast” (John 4:43-45).

            “After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water” (John 5:1-3).

            “After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias. And a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His miracles which He did on them that were diseases. And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there He sat with His disciples. And the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh” (John 6:1-4).

            “After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for He would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill Him. Now the Jews’ feast of tabernacles was at hand. His brethren therefore said unto Him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest. For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and He Himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these tings, shew thyself to the world. For neither did His brethren believe in Him” (John 7:1-5).

            “…Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come. When He had said these words unto them, He abode still in Galilee. But when His brethren were gone up, then went He also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. Then the Jews sought Him at the feast, and said, Where is he? And there was much murmuring among the people concerning Him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people. Howbeit no man spake openly of Him for fear of the Jews” (John 7:8-13).

            “Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the Temple, and taught. And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned” (John 7:14-5).

            “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) (John 7:37-39).

            “And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch. Then came the Jews round about Him, and said unto Him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly” (John 10:22-24).

            “Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with His disciples. And the Jews’ Passover was nigh at hand: and many went out of the country up to Jerusalem before the Passover, to purify themselves. Then sought they for Jesus, and spake among themselves, as they stood in the Temple, What think ye, that He will not come to the feast? Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a commandment, that, if any man knew where He were, He should shew it, that they might take Him” (John 11:54-57).

            “On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet Him, and cried Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the LORD” (John 12:12-14).

            “And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast: the same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus. And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified” (John 12:20-23).

            “Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that He should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end. And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him; Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside His garments; and took a towel, and girded Himself. After that He poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith He was girded” (John 13:1-5).

            With each of these passages of Scripture you will encounter and come face to face with the awesome and powerful truth that Jesus’ movement and manifestation within Jewry, and Jesus’ movement and ministry within the city of Jerusalem would be directly linked and connected to the feasts of Israel—and not only the feasts of Israel, but the feast of Passover, the feast of Tabernacles, and the feast of Dedication. There were certain times when the apostle John would write and speak of Jesus’ presence being in the city of Jerusalem at the time of a feast, and yet the apostle would not reveal what specific feast Jesus would actually be present during its celebration. The fifth chapter of the gospel narrative written by the apostle John is one such instance when we read how Jesus went up to Jerusalem at the time of a feast, and how he would go unto a pool in the midst of the city known according to the Hebrew tongue as Bethesda. What makes the fifth chapter so incredibly provocative is when you think about and consider the fact that not only would Jesus show up in the midst of the city of Jerusalem at the appointed time of one of the feasts, but Jesus would also bring healing and wholeness during and at a time of observance—and not only during a time of observance, but during a time of observance to that which was written within the Law of Moses. If and as you read the words which are found in the Old Testament books of Leviticus and Numbers you will find the Sabbath day being directly linked and connected to the feats—and not only the presence of the Sabbath day in the midst of the feasts, but also the instruction and command that there was to be no servile work performed on the Sabbath. For Jesus to heal this man who had the infirmity for thirty and eight years, and to do it on the Sabbath would not necessarily be as much about Jesus’ healing this man on a particular Sabbath, but Jesus’ healing of this man on the Sabbath day in the midst of one of the feasts. It would have been one thing for Jesus to heal this man on any of the other Sabbaths within and throughout the year, and yet Jesus would deliberately and intentionally choose to heal this man on the Sabbath during one of the feasts of Israel.

            The more you read the gospel narrative which was written by the apostle John concerning the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ the more you will find that not only was the ministry, the movement and the manifestation of the Word which became flesh seemingly being linked and connected to the feasts of the Jews, but you will also find Jesus being unafraid to offend, upset and anger the Jews. In fact, I would dare say that you cannot read the gospel narrative written by the apostle John and not encounter Jesus somehow and someway offending the Jews during those days. What’s more, is that more often than not Jesus would offend the Jews while walking in Jewry and while walking in the midst of the city of Jerusalem. It would be in the fifth chapter of this gospel narrative you will find Jesus offending the Jews—not only because Jesus healed a man on the Sabbath, but also because He claimed that God was His Father. It would be in the sixth chapter of this gospel narrative you will find Jesus once more offending the Jews—and not only the Jews, but those who were considered to be disciples. It’s actually quite intriguing to think about and consider how Jesus would offend the Jews in the fifth chapter because He healed this man on the Sabbath and because He spoke of God as being His Father, while in the sixth chapter Jesus would offend the Jews when He would speak of Himself as being the bread which came down from heaven—and not only the bread which came down from heaven, but also that they needed to eat His flesh and drink His blood. Within the fifth chapter of the gospel narrative written by the apostle John we find the Jews persecuting Jesus because He healed on the Sabbath, and we find the Jews seeking to destroy Jesus because He had claimed that God was His Father. In the sixth chapter we don’t necessarily find the Jews seeking to kill Jesus, but we do find the Jews being offended with Jesus because of His words, we find the Jews murmuring and complaining against Jesus because of those words, and we ultimately find many of the disciples who walked with Jesus turning back and walking no more with Him. Perhaps one of the most captivating truths found within the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John is that Jesus’ movement and activity in the midst of Jewry and in the midst of the city of Jerusalem wouldn’t merely offend and upset the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders of Israel, but it would offend many of the Jews themselves.

            What we find in the seventh chapter of the gospel narrative written by the apostle John must needs be understood in terms of that which is found in the fifth chapter, for in the seventh chapter we find Jesus returning unto Jerusalem, and doing so at the time of one of the feasts. If and as you begin reading with the fourteenth verse you will that in the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the Temple and taught. It would be Jesus’ teaching that was so captivate and perplex the Jews, for they could not understand how He knew the letters having never learned. It would be in response to this Jesus would declare that His doctrine was not His, but that His doctrine belonged to Him that sent Him. Not only this but Jesus would also speak to and reference the fact that the Jews went about seeking to kill Him—a statement which the Jews could not understand, for they would speak unto Him and declare Him to have a devil and ask who it was who sought to kill Him. Jesus would go on to speak about how He had done one work, and how they all marvelled—that one work being His healing the man on the sabbath the last time He was in Jerusalem. This one work Jesus would reference was His going down unto the pool called and known as Bethesda and healing this man who had the infirmity for thirty and eight years and instructing him to rise up and take his mat and walk. It would be in the seventh chapter we find Jesus speaking within the Temple—once more at a time of one of the feasts of the Jews—Jesus would look back to what He had done and what He had wrought the last time He was in Jerusalem, and had healed the man who had the infirmity for thirty and eight years on the Sabbath day. Oh how absolutely remarkable it is to think about and consider the fact that once more we find Jesus in Jerusalem at the time of one of the feasts, and it would be there in Jerusalem that He would speak boldly unto the Jews who were there in the city at the time of this feast. It would be there in the city of Jerusalem Jesus would once more be present among the Jews at the time of one of the feasts, and yet it would be at the time of this feast Jesus would speak unto them concerning the previous work and miracle He had wrought in the life of the man who had an infirmity for thirty and eight years.

            THE MANIFESTATION OF JESUS AT A TIME OF FEASTS! THE MOVEMENT OF JESUS AT A TIME OF THE FEASTS! THE MINISTRY OF JESUS AT A TIME OF FEASTS! THE MINISTRY AND MOVEMENT OF JESUS IN THE TEMPLE! IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO UNDERSTAND THE MOVEMENT AND MINISTRY OF JESUS THE CHRIST APART FROM THE FEASTS AND THE TEMPLE! THE FEASTS WOULD REPRESENT THAT WHICH WAS COMMANDED BY THE LAW OF MOSES AND THE TEMPLE WOULD REPRESENT THE PLACE OF THE GLORY AND PRESENCE OF THE LORD! IN THE SECOND CHAPTER WE FIND JESUS IN THE TEMPLE! IN THE FIFTH CHAPTER WE FIND JESUS IN THE TEMPLE! IN THE SEVENETH CHAPTER WE FIND JESUS IN THE TEMPLE! IN THE EIGHTH CHAPTER WE FIND JESUS IN THE TEMPLE!

            The more you read the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ written by the apostle John the more you will encounter and come face to face with the fact that while the movement, the manifestation and manifestation of Jesus seemed to be directly and intrinsically linked to the Jewish feasts it also appeared to be linked to the Temple of the LORD. As you continue reading the words which are found within this gospel you will find that almost immediately after the manifestation of Jesus the Christ in the midst of Judaea and Galilee we both see and find Him in the Temple in Jerusalem. While it is entirely and altogether true that the public life and ministry of Jesus the Christ appears to be directly linked to the Jewish feasts of the LORD—specifically the feasts of Passover, Tabernacles and Dedication—so also is the public ministry of Jesus linked to the Temple. IN fact, I would dare say that you cannot read the gospel narrative written by the apostle John without finding Jesus in the Temple there in Jerusalem. Not only this, but what would begin with Jesus entering the Temple there in Jerusalem to bring cleansing to it would ultimately continue with Jesus’ presence in the Temple—not only teaching and preaching within the Temple, but also directly confronting the Jews which were present during those days and within that generation. From the second chapter of this New Testament gospel through and until I would say the twelfth chapter you will find example after example of Jesus present in the Temple, and it would in fact be within the Temple where most of Jesus’ confrontations with the Jews and with the chief priests, the scribes and the elders of Israel would take place. With this being said, I would strongly suggest that Jesus’ entering into the Temple and bringing cleansing to it by overturning the tables of money, driving out those who bought and sold in the midst of the Temple, as well as that which was bought and sold would be a direct precursor and portent of a greater manifestation and reality that would take place within the Temple. I would dare make the bold and emphatic statement that what we find in the second chapter of this New Testament gospel narrative is a powerful picture and foreshadowing of confrontation that would take place there in the Temple. In fact, it’s quite interesting to think about the Temple of the LORD and its presence within the gospel narrative written by the apostle John, for the Temple seemed to be a place of confrontation between Jesus and the Jews of that generation. You cannot read the gospel narrative written by the apostle John and not encounter the powerful truth that the Temple would indeed be a place of confrontation between Jesus and the Jews of that generation.

            THE TEMPLE AS A PLACE OF CONFRONTATION! ALTHOUGH THE TEMPLE WAS INDEED A PLACE OF WORSHIP IT WOULD BE A PLACE OF CONFRONTATION BETWEEN JESUS AND THE JEWS! AS MUCH AS THE TEMPLE WAS INDEED A PLACE OF CELEBRATION DURING THE FEASTS OF THE LORD IT WOULD ALSO BE A PLACE OF CONFRONTATION BETWEEN A HOLY GOD AND A PEOPLE’S RECEPTION OR REJECTION OF THE MESSIAH! I sit here today thinking about and considering the awesome and powerful truth that as you read the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John you will find the Temple as being a place of controversy and confrontation—particularly and especially during times when both the city of Jerusalem and the courts of the Temple would be filled with travelers and sojourners who would come unto the Temple to worship. In fact, we learn and discover later on in this gospel that there were actually Greeks who would come unto Jerusalem and unto the Temple that they might worship before the LORD in the midst thereof. Later on in this gospel we will find Greeks coming unto Jerusalem and coming unto the Temple to worship the LORD—and not only worship the LORD, but also desiring to see Jesus. It would be the Greeks who would speak unto Philip—one of Jesus’ disciples—that they desired to see Jesus. Presumably these Greeks had heard a great deal about and concerning Jesus the Christ, and upon their journey to Jerusalem and unto the Temple they would seek and desire to see Jesus. What so amazes me about the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John is that not only was this gospel narrative written with a strong emphasis placed on Jesus’ movement within and unto the city of Jerusalem as being directly linked to the Jewish feasts, but so also was Jesus’ movement and ministry directly linked to the Temple of the LORD. What’s more, is the more you read this gospel narrative the more you will find Jesus in the city of Jerusalem at the time of the Jewish feasts, and more often than not Jesus would be in the Temple of the LORD during the time of those feasts. Oh I would dare say that you cannot truly understand the public life and ministry of Jesus the Christ within this gospel narrative without and apart from understanding it in light of Jesus’ presence within the Temple. The events which we find and read in the second chapter serve as a powerful portent and precursor to that which we will find in the Temple within and throughout the rest of the Gospel. It would be Jesus entering into the Temple and overturning the tables of money and driving out those which bought and sold in the midst of it that would signal and seemingly set apart the Temple of the LORD as a place of controversy and confrontation during those days.

            I have to admit that in all the years I have read and studied the gospel narrative written and recorded by the apostle John I have never seen the movement and ministry of Jesus the Christ as being directly and intrinsically linked to the Temple. Not only this, but I have never seen and read the gospel narrative written by the apostle John through the lens of the temple being a place of confrontation between Jesus and the Jews. What would begin with Jesus entering into the Temple and fashioning a cord which He would use to drive out those who bought and sold, and overturning the tables of money would be a powerful statement and declaration that the Temple would indeed become a place of confrontation—not only with the Jews, but also with the chief priests, the scribes, the elders of Israel, the Pharisees, and the entire religious system, community and establishment. That which we find in the second chapter of this New Testament gospel powerfully and wonderfully demonstrates the Temple as a place of confrontation between Jesus and the Jews, for time and time again you will find the Jews growing and becoming offended with the words and works of Jesus the Christ. In the second chapter of this gospel narrative we find Jesus entering into the Temple and bringing cleansing to the Temple, and then as soon and as early as the fifth chapter of this gospel you will find Jesus once more in the Temple after healing a man who had an infirmity for thirty and eight years, and doing so on the Sabbath day. It would be in the fifth chapter of this gospel narrative we find Jesus once more in the Temple and engaged in a tremendous confrontation with the Jews—and not only between Jesus as the Word made flesh and the Jews, but also between God the Father and the Jewish people. I absolutely and firmly believe that this controversy and confrontation which would take place in the midst of the Temple reveals that the Temple would indeed be a place of reckoning as men and women within that generation would be brought face to face with their perception and reception of Jesus the Christ.

            I sit here today thinking about and considering the awesome and powerful truth that is found and contained within the gospel narrative written by the apostle John and I find myself coming face to face with the tremendous reality that the Temple would be used by Jesus as a place of confrontation and as a place of controversy with the Jews during those days. The gospel narrative of the public life and ministry of Jesus the Christ as it was written and recorded by the apostle John would present us with the Temple of the LORD—not only as a place of worship, but also as a place of confrontation as it would be there in the midst of the Temple Jesus would directly confront the Jews and their traditions, their rules, their regulations, and even their own hypocrisy and legalism. It is truly something unique and captivating to think about and consider the fact that while it was true that the Temple would indeed be a place of worship and it would indeed be a place of prayer—the Temple would also be a place of confrontation. We tend to think of the house of the LORD as being a place of worship, as a place of prayer, as a place of sacrifice, as a place of gifts and offerings being brought before the LORD, and while this is indeed and is in fact true, I would dare say that it is only part of the picture surrounding the Temple. What we find within the gospel narrative written by the apostle John is not only Jesus going up unto the city of Jerusalem at and during the times of the Jewish feasts, but almost always and inevitably we find Jesus in the Temple of the LORD teaching and preaching the people which were there. With this being said, it’s worth noting that it would be during these times of Jewish feasts celebrated by Jews and Greeks alike that the Temple of the LORD would be used as a place of confrontation between the Jews as more often than not we would find many of the Jews being offended with the words and works of Jesus the Christ. The words and language we find in the second chapter is in my opinion and estimation a powerful foundation and catalyst for how and what the Temple would be used for during those days, as the Temple of the LORD would indeed and would in fact be used by Jesus the Christ as a powerful place of confrontation between Himself and the Jews. The Temple of the LORD would be a place where Jesus would speak of the Father—and not only speak of the Father, but also speak of His doctrine and the words and works which the Father had sent Him to fulfill and accomplish. Oh that we would read the gospel narrative of the public life and ministry of Jesus the Christ and recognize and understand that while the Temple would indeed be a place of worship, of prayer and sacrifice and offering before the LORD, it would also be used as a place where Jesus would directly confront the Jews within and during that generation.

            I have to admit that it is truly something remarkable to read the gospel narrative written by the apostle John and to not only find Jesus moving in, out and within the city of Jerusalem according to the schedule of the Jewish feasts ordained by the LORD through the mouth of Moses, but also finding Jesus present in the Temple of the LORD where He would speak directly unto the people there in the midst of the court of the LORD. It is truly something worth noting and pointing out when reading the gospel narrative written by the apostle John that the Temple of the LORD would be used during a time of the Jewish feasts. You would think that during these times of celebration and observance that the Temple would indeed and would in fact be a time appointed for peace and rest in the midst of the city of Jerusalem, and in the midst of the feasts of the LORD, and yet the gospel narrative records and presents us with the powerful picture that more often than not the Temple of the LORD would be the site of a confrontation between Jesus and the Jews, and between Jesus and the chief priests, the scribes, the elders of Israel, the Pharisees, and the like. What’s more, is that even when you read the narrative of Jesus’ trial by the chief priests, the scribes, the elders of Israel, and the religious system after being betrayed in the hands of His enemies and adversaries you will find it also taking place during one of the feasts of the LORD. What would begin with Jesus entering into the Temple and bringing cleansing unto it in the second chapter of this gospel narrative would ultimately culminate in Jesus’ being betrayed into the hands of His enemies and adversaries during one of the Jewish feasts which were celebrated by countless Jews alike from the surrounding regions, cities, towns, villages, and the like. It is absolutely something to think about and consider when you read the gospel narrative written by the apostle John that the Temple would indeed be used by the Father as a means to confront the Jewish people through the person and presence of His eternal Son. This is in fact what I believe is so absolutely and incredibly powerful and significant about what we find in the second chapter of this gospel, for in the second chapter of this gospel we find the Father confronting the Jewish people and the religious system during those days with, by and through the person and presence of His eternal Son. With this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in this gospel narrative written by the apostle John concerning Jesus’ actions, movement, ministry and manifestation in the midst of the Temple of the LORD during the appointed time of the Jewish feasts of the LORD:

            “After this He went down to Capernaum, He, and His mother, and His brethren, and His disciples: and they continued there not many days. And the Jews’ Passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and found in the Temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: and when He had made a scourge of small cords, He drove them all out of the Temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; and said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. And His disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up. Then answered the Jews and said unto Him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this Temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this Temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But He spake of the Temple of His body. When therefore He was risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this unto them: and they believed the Scripture, and the word which Jesus had said. Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the feast day, many believed in His name, when they saw the miracles which He did. But Jesus did not commit Himself unto them, because He knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man: for He knew what was in man” (John 2:12-25).

            “Afterward Jesus findeth him in the Temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole. And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay Him, because He had done these things on the sabbath day. But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill Him, because He not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God” (John 5:14-18).

            “Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the Temple, and taught. And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned? Jesus answered them and said, My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. He that speaketh of Himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that send him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him. Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me? The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee? Jesus answered and said unto them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel. Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (Not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers) and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man. If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the Law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every white whole on the sabbath day? Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment” (John 7:14-24).

            “Then cried Jesus in the Temple as He taught, saying, Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of myself, but He that sent me is true, whom ye know not. But I know Him: for I am from Him, and HE hath sent me. Then they sought to take Him: but no man laid hands on Him, because His hour was not yet come. And many of the people believed on Him, and said, When Christ cometh, will He do more miracles than these which this man hath done? The Pharisees heard that the people murmured such tings concerning Him; and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take Him. Then said Jesus unto them, Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto Him that sent me. Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come. Then said the Jews among themselves, Whither will He go, that we shall not find Him? Will He go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles? What manner of saying is this that He said, Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come?” (John 7:28-36).

            “Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. And early in the morning He came again into the Temple, and all the people came unto Him; and He sat down, and taught them. And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting Him, that they might have to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down, and with His finger wrote on the ground, as though He heard them not. So when they continued asking Him, He lifted up Himself, and said unto them, HE that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again He stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up Himself, and saw none but the woman, He said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more” (John 8:1-11).

            “Then said they unto Him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, YE neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also. These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as He taught in the Temple: and no man laid on Him: for His hour was not yet come” (John 8:19-20).

            “Then said the Jews unto Him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus aid unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Then took they up stones to cast at Him: but Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the Temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by” (John 8:57-59).

            “And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the Temple in Solomon’s porch. Then came the Jews round about Him, and said unto Him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? IF thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them unto me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of these works do ye stone me? The Jews answered Him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God” (John 10:22-33).

            “Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put Him to death. Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with his disciples. And the Jews’ Passover was nigh at hand: and many went out of the country up to Jerusalem before the Passover, to purify themselves. Then sought they for Jesus, and speak among themselves, as they stood in the Temple, What think ye, that He will not come to the feast? Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a commandment, that, if any man knew where He were, he should shew it, that they might take Him” (John 11:53-57).

            “Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the Temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing. Why askest thou me? Ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said. And when He had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answerest thou the high priest so? Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smites thou me? Now Annas had sent Him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest” (John 18:22-24).

            I cannot help but encounter and come face to face with the awesome and powerful truth that not only was the ministry and movement of Jesus the Christ in the midst of Jerusalem directly linked and connected to the Jewish feasts which were celebrated at specific and appointed times during the years, but it would also be during the times of those feasts Jesus would be found in the Temple—and not only would Jesus be found in the Temple, but it would also be there in the midst of the Temple where a confrontation would indeed take place between Jesus and the Jews. In fact, more often than not the confrontation which took place between Jesus and the Jews would be directly linked and connected to the words which He spoke and the works which He had done. Pause for a moment and think about this truth, for what we find within the gospel narrative written by the apostle John is not only a powerful picture of Jesus moving in and out and within the city of Jerusalem during and at the appointed time of the feasts, but we also find Jesus in the Temple where He would find Himself engaged in confrontation and controversy with the Jews who would be offended with His words and works. Stop for a moment and think about this tremendous reality, for the city of Jerusalem would be filled with Jews from throughout Judaea and Galilee, and would even be filled with those from other regions (such as the Greeks), and yet it would be during those appointed times of the feasts of the LORD we find the Jews engaging in continued and constant controversy with Jesus. What’s more, is that this controversy would first begin and be found in the second chapter of this gospel narrative, for it would be in the second chapter we find Jesus entering into the Temple of the LORD and after making a scourge of cords and driving out all those who bought and sold in the midst of the Temple, and overturning the tables of money. It is truly something remarkable and worth thinking about the language found in the gospel narrative written by the apostle John, for while the movement and ministry of Jesus the Christ would be intrinsically linked to the feasts of the LORD we also find Jesus’ movement within the Temple of the LORD.

As I bring this writing to a close I feel it absolutely imperative to call and draw your attention to the tremendous reality that the Temple would be a strong and powerful place of confrontation between Jesus and the Jews, as it would be there in the Temple at Jerusalem Jesus would confront the seed of Abraham with the works which He performed, as well as the words which He spoke. It is truly something worth thinking about and considering how the confrontation which would take place in the Temple would more often than not be directly linked and directly connected to the words and works of Jesus during those times as the Jews would indeed be offended by both. The Temple would indeed be a place of worship, of prayer, and of sacrifice, however, it would also be a powerful place of confrontation as the Jews would be brought face to face with their response to the words and works of Jesus the Christ. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this powerful truth, for it brings us face to face with the fact that while more often than not the house of the LORD is viewed and perceived as a place of worship and prayer it is also a place of confrontation as men and women are brought to terms their reception of the words and works of the Lord Jesus Christ—not only within their hearts and lives, but also in the midst of the generation, the culture and society in which we are living. We must needs recognize and pay close attention to this, for it is in and with this light we recognize and understand the Temple of the LORD—the house and sanctuary of the LORD—as truly and indeed a place of worship and prayer, but also as a place where the Lord Jesus the Christ enters into confrontation with us as He confronts the offenses, the hypocrisy, the legalism, and the religion within our hearts and minds. Perhaps the single greatest question we must ask ourselves when reading and considering the narrative of Jesus’ ministry and movement in the Temple is whether or not we are willing to allow ourselves to be confronted in the house and sanctuary of the LORD, and whether or not we are truly willing to allow the Lord Jesus Christ to exercise His authority and dominion in the midst thereof. What’s more, is we must also allow ourselves to be confronted with the words and works of the Lord Jesus Christ and our willingness to receive and accept them are not. The single greatest question we must ask ourselves when we enter into the sanctuary and house of the living God is what we are doing with and how we respond to the words and works of the Lord Jesus the Christ among us in our midst.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s