What do a wedding feast and a Temple visit have in common?
Read John 2:1-17
At both the wedding feast (John 2:1-12) and in the Temple (John 2:13-17) people were taking care of their human need. In the wedding, the activities were appropriate, while in the Temple they were not.
In the wedding Jesus overlooked the intrusion of Mary (John 2: 3-4). His mission was to reveal God (John 2:11). Mary’s desire was to please her guests. Jesus used Mary’s hospitality to fulfil his mission. He took the little kindness Mary had and multiplied it into a godly act.
While Mary acknowledged there was something unique about Jesus (John 2:3), those in the temple completely disregarded the things of God (John 2:14-16). In the Temple the focus was on trade, commerce and greed. This earned them the Lord’s rebuke. It was not the selling and buying that was wrong but the place and spirit in which it was done.
When our greed overthrows the rightful place of God and prayer the Lord is grieved.
It is rather revealing that in a single chapter we witness the compassion and the rebuke of God through the Lord Jesus. In our modern age we are often hesitant to mention the fact that it is possible to grieve the heart of God.
May God help us to get our priorities right in the church and in our individual life. In the Gospel of John, God’s love was shown firstly to people outside the ‘inner circle’ of the religiously privileged. Jesus was sterner to those acting inappropriately inside the religious establishment.
People were the one common element found in the wedding feast and Temple. Mary had a heart for the people. She wanted to please them. God honoured this and was able to be a blessing because her priorities were right.
Those in the temple were not only despising God but also the people. They were more interested in making a profit (or ministry) rather than touching people. It might seem a subtle difference but it is a big one.
Those of us that have been in the ministry or faith for a long time need to check our hearts and make sure that such a subtle change has not occurred.
Don’t you find it ironic – Mary’s ministry in the wedding feast was more pleasing to God than those in the Temple!
Those who keep a heart for people find favour with God and please the Lord.
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