Monday, December 28, 2009

The Interloper

Part 3 of this story series ...

They'd been looking for Him.

He didn't show up until about half-way through the Feast, but when He did, there was no question that He had arrived.

And they thought they finally had their chance to arrest Him and kill Him.

They were already livid at what He'd done the last time He'd been in Jerusalem. He'd healed a cripple on the Sabbath.

On. the. Sabbath.

How dare He? The Law of Moses was clear that no work was to be done that day! Anyone knew that such an act was direct violation, and yet this man -- this Galilean -- had no regard for their teachings or rules. He actually told them off for being so offended.

They were incensed.

And they wanted Him dead.


So now He was back in Jerusalem, and they were ready to pounce.

But there was a small problem. They weren't prepared for it and hadn't foreseen it, either.

The crowds loved Him. They gathered around Him like hungry children at a father's knee, asking Him questions with the same insistence of a five-year-old who wants to know, "Why? Why? Why?" He was patient, guiding them through the ancient writings of the Scriptures.

And He was accessible -- infuriatingly accessible.

This man from a no-name hole-in-the-wall village in a lowly-esteemed place of Israel had positioned Himself right in the center of the place where He didn't belong -- the Temple Courts.

They whispered angrily among themselves that this was one of the biggest affronts He could have managed. They were appalled when they heard His Galilean accent ring through the resplendent colonnades, echoing in the place where they were solely supposed to be the teachers and guides of the people.

How dare He?

Who was He, to place Himself there? Jerusalem was known for its schools of rabbinical teaching, and the Temple Courts were reserved for the highest of highest teachers of the day. Throughout the Feast, it was tradition for the crowds to "teacher shop." Each of the most revered rabbis chose a colonnade to sit by and share his understanding and revelation of the Law. The people would move from post to post, listening and learning.

This time was only for those teachers.

And yet, here was their sworn enemy, putting Himself above the rest of them -- and drawing the biggest crowds of all!

So they decided to do something about it.

They would trap Him in His own words, this interloper.

They would interrogate Him before the largest group of people and prove to Israel, all of Israel, gathered for this Feast, that He was a big fake. A liar. A deceiver. A son of Satan.

He didn't belong here.

They were going to prove it.

And then they were going to kill Him.

What does this have to do with a Christian Safehouse? Tune in for part 4 of the story ...

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