In the Temple

“About My Father’s Business”

Jesus said, “You will know that I am the one I claim to be and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.” John 8:28

Four days to live. What would you be doing if you knew your time on earth was that short? Luke tells us that Jesus spent at least two of the days prior to His crucifixion in the temple, teaching the people and preaching the gospel (Luke 19:47, 20:1).

On Monday Jesus drove the moneychangers out of the temple because they had defiled God’s house by making it a “den of thieves” (Luke 19:46). The religious leaders asked, “By what authority do you do these things?” Jesus defended His authority and His deity by telling the parable of the King whose Son was rejected (Luke 20:1-8, Matthew 21:23-46).

On Tuesday Jesus created verbal portraits of what genuine faith looked like in the parables of the Ten Virgins and the Talents (Matthew 25:1-30). With graphic illustrations He showed the people what disguises falsehood and hypocrisy wore (Matthew 23:13-36; 25:31-46). He condemned the religious leaders’ pride, but praised a widow’s humble generosity (Luke 20:45-21:4).

Jesus also challenged the crowd that gathered around Him at the temple each day: Would they embrace Him as the Son of David, their Divine Messiah, or would they reject Him as a blaspheming imposter? (Luke 20:41-44)

Alone with the disciples on Tuesday night, Jesus spoke at length about the end times (Matthew 24:3-28; Luke 21:5-36). He advised them to “take heed”—be discerning, perceptive, and wary—of all teachings other than His own (Luke 21:8). He also said, “be watchful”—exercise constant vigilance—for the “cares of this life” might distract them from being ready when He returned (21:34).

I don’t know if I have four days or 14,000 days left on earth. But Jesus says to me, to all of us, “Be always on the watch and pray” (Luke 21:36). He spent every day diligently doing His Father’s will. And so should we. In our words, deeds, and even in our thoughts we are to be “about our father’s business.”

Are we heeding? Are we watching? Are we busy with our Father’s business or our own?

DIG DEEPER:

Read the three parables Jesus told to the crowd gathered at the temple in Matthew 21:23-46, 25:1-13 and 25:14-30. How are the stories similar? How are they different? Why do you think Jesus told these stories?

Read Luke 2:41-49. Some versions of the Bible use “in my father’s house” instead of “about my father’s business” verse 49. What was Jesus doing in his father’s house according to this passage? What was He still doing in Luke 20-21? What business has your heavenly father given you to do?

Contrast Jesus’ words in Luke 21:36 with the disciples’ actions in Luke 22:45-46. How often are we as “sleepy” as they were?

Read 1 Thessalonians 5:1-8 and 1 Peter 4:7-9. Besides being “watchful”(KJV) and “alert”(NIV) what other characteristics should Christians manifest during the end times?

Denise K. Loock

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