What is in the Heart’s of Man

GentileInscriptionfull

Above is a “stele” which was found on the walls of the Herodian Temple.  Basically it says, that Gentiles entering the temple would be killed.  Specifically it reads:

NO FOREIGNER
IS TO GO BEYOND THE BALUSTRADE
AND THE PLAZA OF THE TEMPLE ZONE
WHOEVER IS CAUGHT DOING SO
WILL HAVE HIMSELF TO BLAME
FOR HIS DEATH
WHICH WILL FOLLOW

This was the worldview and Zeitgeist during the time that Jesus lived.

Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. But Jesus would not entrust himself to them for he knew all people. He did not need any testimony about mankind, for knew what was in each person. (John 2:23-25)

In this passage, Jesus went with his disciples to the Passover Festival where he performed many signs for those in Jerusalem, and as a result many believed in his name. Yet, he did not entrust himself to them because he knew what was in their hearts. Wherever Jesus went, he caused disturbance in the status quo. Previously, he cleansed the temple because he was concerned for right worshipping of God, and discussed destroying the temple which was where the Jews made sacrifices to the Lord.

Here are some things that we can glean from this passage:

  1. Many people believed in Jesus for the wrong reasons. They only believed because of the signs that he performed. Their faith was only “skin deep”, and they were only interested in getting their needs met;
  2. Jesus knew that they were broken, and that their worship was askew since the Gentiles were not allowed to worship in the temple.
  3. The court of the Gentiles in the temple was turned into a market place
  4. The Jews questioned Jesus authority and demanded a sign that he was from God

Jesus knows what is in our hearts. Most people have good intentions, but fall short of the truth. Organized religion takes people away from the heart of Jesus and true authentic worship (worship in Spirit and Truth – not in buildings). Man’s authority always clashes with God’s authority and his Kingdom. Jesus was ushering into the world an upside down kingdom that shakes the foundations of the status quo in Jerusalem and to the ends of the world. He does the same in our lives.

1 Corinthians 1:22-25

[22] For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, [23] but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, [24] but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. [25] For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (ESV)

Again, the above from the Apostle Paul, God’s Kingdom turns the world on its head.  In Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God which centers on the cross.  This is what Jesus meant about the “zeal for his house will consume him”, and that he will destroy the temple and in three days rebuild it.  Both illustrations are spoken in John 2.  Yet, the cross symbolizes both the power of God and the wisdom of God embodied in Jesus.

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