The house in which we trust...
(Tim) When our Lord was being tried, He was passed from church to state and each authority had one principal charge that stuck. With the senior pastors and elders, it was difficult to condemn Him for any of the many false charges lodged against Him--until one stuck. What was it?
Two men came and reported Jesus as saying, "I am able to destroy the temple of God and to rebuild it in three days."
With the civil authority, it wasn't the destruction of the temple they focused on, but Jesus' claim to be King of the Jews.
Both had their high crimes, didn't they? And who can fault the Romans for being jealous for the throne? "Another king? The man's a zealot, a rebel, an anarchist! Away with him!"
But the senior pastors and elders--they had their high crime, too: An attack upon their precious temple. Why, just think of all the godly souls who had poured their life savings into that capital campaign!
"Listen to this Nazarene upstart--such sacrilege! If he lays one hand on our glorious edifice, I swear I'll tear his flesh from his bones!"
The king loves his throne, the elders and pastors their edifice.
Speaking only to the pastors and elders, does anyone remember how Jesus responded when the disciples were puffing out their chests about the temple?
As He was going out of the temple, one of His disciples said to Him, “Teacher, behold what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!”
And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left upon another which will not be torn down." (Mark 13:1,2)
And, according to Jesus, how did sons escape their duty to care for their parents in their old age?
By swearing on the temple.
Dear fathers and brothers, have we ever stopped crying out, "The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord?"
Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, “Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place. Do not trust in deceptive words, saying, ‘This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD.’ For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly practice justice between a man and his neighbor, if you do not oppress the alien, the orphan, or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, nor walk after other gods to your own ruin, then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever."
"Behold, you are trusting in deceptive words to no avail. Will you steal, murder, and commit adultery and swear falsely, and offer sacrifices to Baal and walk after other gods that you have not known, then come and stand before Me in this house, which is called by My name, and say, ‘We are delivered!’--that you may do all these abominations? Has this house, which is called by My name, become a den of robbers in your sight? Behold, I, even I, have seen it,” declares the LORD. "But go now to My place which was in Shiloh, where I made My name dwell at the first, and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of My people Israel."
"And now, because you have done all these things," declares the LORD, “and I spoke to you, rising up early and speaking, but you did not hear, and I called you but you did not answer, therefore, I will do to the house which is called by My name, in which you trust, and to the place which I gave you and your fathers, as I did to Shiloh. I will cast you out of My sight, as I have cast out all your brothers, all the offspring of Ephraim. (Jeremiah 7:3-15)