November 20, 2020
But I say to you that something greater than the temple is here (Matthew 12:6).
In the Book of Hebrews, the writer spends a great deal of time arguing the fact that, because of the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus, Judaism became a defunct religion. The Apostle Paul discussed the same in the Book of Romans. Throughout his career he fought the Judaizers who believed Christians must honor the Mosaic Law. His argument was that the Gospel was free from the Law, grace and faith have always been the salvation of the human soul beyond the sacrificial system.
The Jews believed there was nothing greater in Judaism than the Temple, other than God Himself. For Jesus to assert He was greater than the temple was to assert He was God. He did this in more direct terms in Matthew 12:8, For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath. What does that mean? He is the Creator and Administrator of the Sabbath. Mosaic Law did not regulate the Sabbath, the Lord did. That’s why He could speak to the Pharisees about the Sabbath like He did.
Matthew 12:11-12, And He said to them, "What man is there among you who has a sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will he not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable then is a man than a sheep! So then, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath."
Think of the truth and reality of His statement. The Temple was mountain peak of Judaism because it represented the presence of God in their midst. Jesus was God in their midst. Isaiah 7:14, Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel. Matthew 1:23 "Behold, the virgin shall be with Child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with you.”
John Gill wrote, “Christ's argument is that if the temple, and the service of it, excused the priests from blame in doing things in it on the Sabbath day, which otherwise might not be done, then much more might his presence, who was greater than the temple, excuse his disciples from blame in this action of rubbing and eating the ears of corn, which was done to satisfy hunger, and to render them the more capable of performing their ministerial function, and which was of more importance than the service of the priests.”
The argument of the writer of Hebrews is that Jesus Christ is greater than all things - angels, Moses, Joshua, the priesthood, the sacrificial system, Mosaic Law, Judaism - all things.
“Lord Jesus, You are superior to all things. You are King of kings and Lord of lords. You are at the right hand of the Father in glory. There is no authority greater than You because the Father has turned all things over to You. I praise You, Lord Jesus, for the grace, mercy, and love You have extended to me that allows me to know You personally and to experience Your salvation. Amen.”