“Scenes from the passion” Lent devotion for Wednesday, March 10, 2021. Photo by SPOTSOFLIGHT on Pixabay.com.
And Jesus said to them, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. But let the Scriptures be fulfilled.” (Mark 14:48-49)
Since the temple wasn’t a formal place of teaching like the synagogue, I think we would call what Jesus was doing at the temple “street preaching.” People gathered around Jesus to hear him teach about the widow giving more than all the others, his sheep who know his voice, the greatest commandment and the resurrection. He also instructed them to watch out for the teachings of the scribes, who were in it for themselves.
Why didn’t the chief priests and scribes and elders just grab Jesus at the temple? Sometimes it was the crowds. Jesus was just too popular. Sometimes it was Jesus’ teaching. Some who were supposed to arrest him were instead fascinated by his words. It might have been fear. Jesus had quite a temper when he cleared all the animals and moneychangers from the temple.
No matter how many times I read through the gospels, I always learn something new. It’s like Jesus is still there teaching every day. From parables to prayers, from the synagogue to a lonely road through Samaria, from a boat to the temple, I don’t just learn about Jesus, but I learn what he wants for me and what he’s done for me. If Jesus is teaching everyday – for free, by the way – wouldn’t it be a shame to not take advantage of his lessons?
I am constantly amazed that Jesus’ teaching from over two thousand years ago still makes sense and still applies today. His hillside lectures about loving enemies, investing in heaven, how to pray and why we shouldn’t worry encourage and challenge me every day. His parables about sheep, farmers, vineyards and families remind me how different life is with Jesus. His compassion, mercy, power and humility inspire folks from every walk of life.
Jesus once reminded Martha that even though there are many things to do each day, there’s nothing better than learning from him. If you want to grasp what Jesus is all about, show up for class!
Heavenly Father, thank you for Jesus’ daily lessons. Amen.