And he taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him, And could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear him.
Imagine what it would have been like to have Jesus as a teacher in the temple. Here was a man teaching the law, the same as the scribes and Pharisees, but there was something so different about Him. The people had marveled before how Jesus taught as one who had authority, not like the scribes, because Jesus is the great law-giver Himself. He gave the commandments to Moses. He is behind the law, the Author Himself.
But more than that, Jesus was full of love and compassion. He wasn’t judging, but pleading for them to understand God’s truth. He wasn’t looking to cast any away with a cold harshness, but to draw them into the waiting arms of the Father. He didn’t even despise the ones who disagreed with Him and argued with Him over the things He was saying and what He was trying to do. He engaged with them just as much to try to get them to see the error of their ways. He wasn’t looking to be a dictator over their lives, but a gracious Master to His humble servants.
And there was something in that so threatening to the rulers because they could never achieve that kind of admiration from the people with their methods and their ways. Jesus was, in a sense, taking something from them because His words of freedom and life countered the bondage they brought upon the people with their traditions and their insistence on ruling over the people instead of guiding them to God.
Jesus never let those who opposed Him change His purposes or His work. He kept right on ministering and teaching, and we are to do the same thing. Let’s not be discouraged by the ones who reject and refuse to listen, but encouraged by the ones who will hear, who are eager to learn and grow. Let’s be ourselves eager listeners and learners under the teaching of Christ and learn of Him and follow His ways. Let’s not hinder the work He is trying to do in the hearts of those around us, but enable His truth to go forth in the power of His Spirit to change the lives of those who will hear Him.