What’s happening: It’s Tuesday and Jesus has returned to the Temple. This seems to occupy so much of His focus so far this week. He looked at it on Sunday and cleansed it yesterday. Now He is sitting in it teaching the people. What a thrill to hear Jesus teaching in person in this house of prayer.
Suddenly he is confronted by chief priests, elders, and teachers of the law for they are responsible for what goes on in the Temple. So they ask Him on what authority He threw out the money changes and the animals yesterday? What right does He Have to behave like that? Their voices are loud and angry.
Rather than answer their question, Jesus gives them a question: “John’s baptism—was it from heaven, or from men? Tell me!” They all huddle together and realize they cannot answer Him. If they say it was from Heaven, He will say then why didn’t you believe it. But if they say from Earth, the people who were standing by and who believed it was from Heaven will get upset. So they say “we can’t say.” So He says “and neither can I.” He has outwitted them once again. They are boiling with anger.
He sits down and begins to teach. He compares the Kingdom of God to a vineyard (Matthew 21:33-46)and a wedding banquet (Matthew 22:1). He teaches about taxes (Matthew 22:15) and rebukes the Sadducees for not believing in the resurrection of the dead. He also warns about the coming destruction of the city and the Temple if they will not believe in Him. It is pleasant hearing him instruct and enlighten. He finishes and starts walking out. We decide to linger and let the words He has spoken sink in as we think about their meaning. The Kingdom of God is….I cannot wait. These are His final teachings before the chaos descends on Him. Still His mind is sharp and His words are understandable.
Things to Ponder: Jesus ability to teach calmly and respond cleverly to confrontations with so much weighing on his heart, shows a remarkable individual. What a gift He was…and is. It would be careless and foolish to ignore the teachings of such a man. What is the Kingdom of God going to be like? I need only look into Jesus teachings to get the most accurate idea this side of eternity.
Prayer: Lord, cause me to have a thirst for the teachings of Jesus that draws me into the Bible where I may drink deeply of the Fountain of Life.