Rejected (Thrice)

Thursday, September 21, 2017

“But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple” (Matthew 12:6 KJV).

Christ Jesus uttered three “greater” statements in this chapter. Why?

Today’s Scripture is the first occurrence. The reference to the Temple actually implies the priest serving in the Temple. There is a “greater priest.”

Next, verse 41: “The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.” There is a “greater prophet” than Jonah. Finally, verse 42: “The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.” There is a “greater king” than Solomon.

The “Old Testament” predicted Messiah would hold three offices—Prophet, Priest, and King. Deuteronomy 18:18: “I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him” (cf. Acts 3:22,23). Jeremiah 23:5: “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.” Zechariah 6:12: “Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.” These three Messianic roles correspond to the three gifts the wise men brought to young Jesus in Matthew 2:11—gold (king), frankincense (priest), and myrrh (suffering prophet).

Today’s Scripture is approximately halfway through Christ’s earthly ministry. In verse 14, we read of the first conspiracy to take His life. Israel’s religious leaders hate Him and His Heavenly Father for what they have taught Israel from the beginning. Israel’s national leadership refuses the Lord Jesus as King (ruler), Prophet (preacher), and Priest (intercessor). He gradually withdraws from public ministry. In the next chapter, He switches to parables to hide the truth from those unbelievers.