“I tell you that something greater than the temple is here.” Matthew 12:6
Listen: Matthew 12
The tension was beginning to build between Jesus and the Jewish religious leaders. Questioned by some Pharisees about his disciples breaking Sabbath law, it’s interesting that Jesus doesn’t say, “We didn’t break the law.” Instead, he says he is greater than the temple. Everyone who heard this understood this statement was bold. The temple was the place where people went for two things: the presence of God and the forgiveness of their sins. By claiming to be greater than the temple, Jesus was claiming to be God. Jesus acted as a sort of mobile temple who both embodied the presence of God and offered forgiveness of sins.
This information can seem a bit academic to us living thousands of years later, but the impact of this provocative claim on us today is enormous. It gives us so much to be thankful for. First, since Jesus represents the presence of God to us, we get to know what God is like. We can read Scripture and learn about God, rejoicing that he made himself present and known to us. Second, since Jesus has the power to forgive, we have been offered a new way to find forgiveness. We do not need to go to a temple and offer a sacrifice—Jesus made himself our sacrifice instead. Our God made himself known to us and sacrificed himself for us—let us be drawn to gratitude and thanksgiving!
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
On this Thanksgiving Day, take a moment and reflect on all the blessings God has poured out on you and your life. Find a way to express your gratitude to him in some way today. Maybe you want to pray and thank him for making himself known and offering forgiveness through his son. Maybe you want to share what you are thankful for with your family or friends. Or maybe you will do something as quiet as journal about his presence and sacrifice, sing a song of thanksgiving in your car or something entirely your own. Whatever you choose to do—do it with a heart of gratitude and thanksgiving.
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