by: carole l. haines
6 But I say to you that something greater than the temple is here. (Matthew 12 NASB)
The patience that the Lord showed toward us, while He was here on earth, points to His incredible love, mercy and compassion. The Pharisees were constantly showing up and trying to trap Jesus in what he said. They followed Him around and were continually contradicting, interrupting, criticizing. Can you imagine criticizing God? Well, we’ve all done this, criticize God. Perhaps not deliberately, but we question Him, interrupt Him, contradict Him, just like the Pharisees. Yet Jesus showed great patience, and always spoke the truth in love. Even when He was a bit harsh in His answers, it was in love, because sometimes we need a sharp word to correct us in our thinking.
Something greater than the Temple is indeed here. The temple is the building in which worship is inspired, but God Himself is the Inspiration. We must carefully watch over ourselves to be sure that what we do, how we carry out our traditions and duties, does not cloud out the Glory of God. Jesus quotes Isaiah and speaks harshly to the Pharisees in Matthew 15:
3 Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? 4 For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ 5 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ 6 they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:
8 “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’”
You “nullify” the Word of God for the sake of your tradition. To nullify means, to render void, deprive of force and authority, to make of no effect. We must be careful not to let the “HOW” we do things, crowd out the “WHY” we do it. All worship springs from the heart, not the action. Our words are not holy in themselves, the Spirit of God makes them Holy within us, as we teach, as we sing, as we encourage one another. Our service is not Holy within itself, but the Spirit of God working in and through us makes those actions Holy. O Truly, Truly, something greater than the Temple is here. Somethings greater than tradition is here, Jesus Christ, God Himself, come down in flesh to dwell among us. Let us Glorify such a love, by doing all we do in the Spirit of Christ. Let us keep our traditions Holy, by letting Christ be our all in all.