Going to Church Made Jesus Sad
“. . . Do you see these great buildings? . . .” Mark 13:2
These words of Jesus made a great impression on the disciples. It was a sad prophecy, which matched the mood of Jesus.
The temple never seemed to be more successful. Jerusalem was filled with many who had made costly journeys to be present at its great festivals. The crowds were great and the gifts were richer. The Sabbath was meticulously and elaborately observed. Every part of the Levitical law was carried out. But we know today the whole thing was a failure and a sham. The true essence and spirit of worship was totally distorted. The atmosphere made Jesus sad.
The temple was always a sad place for Jesus. It was the one place that made Him angry. His most heated confrontations and arguments had been with religious leaders. He had attempted to cleanse it, but it was too corrupt to be cleansed. The temple was a beautiful shell, but the core was rotten. The spirit of God had left that place long ago, and no one noticed. The temple leaders maintained a life of comfort by its offerings. They had no compassion for the needy, the sinful, and suffering people around them. The whole sight made Jesus sad.
We should not be surprised that Jesus could not join the admiration of His disciples. From His point of view, He saw beneath the surface and saw the vast emptiness of religion. Instead of drawing distressed souls to God, it seemed to be hindering them. There was no love or compassion in the courts. It was an atmosphere of greed, pride, egoism and self-righteousness. The mess made Jesus sad.
The only thing that pleased Him in the temple on the last week of His life, the only thing which caused His heart to applaud, was the very thing the religious leaders despised – the sacrificial offering of a widow woman. It’s through this attitude that others see the true heart of God.
Let others see Jesus through you.