And Jesus was going about in all
Galilee, teaching in their synagogues,
and proclaiming the gospel of the
kingdom, and healing every kind of
disease and every kind of sickness
among the people. Matthew 4:23
Initially I looked for this text to develop a thought I had in a conversation about the corona virus situation. Upon reading the passage, I was captured by one word, that I thought would be a good thought for us during this season.
That word is “their”.
Jesus is God in flesh. The Word incarnate. He is the law. The Creator. Yahweh in the flesh! The Author and the Finisher of our Faith! He is the Authority. He is documented as teaching in their synagogue. Jesus in this passage is listed like an adjunct professor. Literally getting permission and licence to teach day to day, semester to semester. Imagine this scene. Imagine His thoughts. Imagine the focus He had to have. Imagine the humility He walked with.
The next word that emerged was synagogue. The synagogue is: a Jewish house of worship, often having facilities for religious instruction.
It was first, a place for the Jewish people to “worship”. Worship is: to honor or show reverence for as a divine being or supernatural power. God is the reason they gather, the source that births, forgives and restores, heals, delivers, convicts. Here He is, The Word, looking for a pulpit to stand in and searching for a classroom to teach in. The Creator of the universe, a guest in His own home! He wanders from house to house, seeing His name on the building, but it nothing more than a guest. He is, the founder and architect of it all wandering back and forth like a starving artist, looking for studio time.
Imagine how many lessons He taught, only to have people impressed by His Words, but refused to allow Him to be imprinted on their hearts. His name is on the building and written on the text that they used to study and recite, but it was not written on their hearts. They were familiar with the story, were aware of His name and purpose, but when they encountered Him, they didn’t recognize Him, and most rejected Him, not accepting Him.
Imagine this scene:
The Creator of Creation, now being placed in a role of a Starving Artist. He now wanders from Synagogue to Synagogue, auditioning for the role of Messiah.
Have you ever had to audition to be yourself? This is frustrating. You are being yourself, carrying out your purpose and with the same breath and energy having to prove yourself to
The Creator auditioning to be Himself! Loving all things, Supporting all things, Forgiving all things, Knowing all things, and being the source of all things, and now He stands before those who should be submitted to Him and has to earn the right to take the seat in their heart, while many ridicule Him.
We should all thank God that He was and is willing to prove
His love for us. Literally carrying out His purpose before
us in deed (death on a cross) so that we can identify
His worthiness to be our King!
Jesus shows up as a landlord with the deed to His home, but the leadership have taken ownership of it through squatter laws. They have taken the place of worship, and used it for commerce and as a training ground to multiply servants and brand a customer base to support their habits and to position themselves for power in the community and government.
For the Jews, it was a place of worship, but for Him, it was a place to be worshiped. It was a place where He should be the center. A place where everyone should be submitted and aligned. But here the Creator is having ownership to the deed to life, the guarantor of the Word that they study, and having to take out a loan on His own life to impart wisdom and truth into the life of those who belong to Him!
I know many of you want to cast stones at the Pharisees. We love to condemn those who have been documented as scoffers, but the reality is that God has been auditioning now for 2000 years for each one of us, and still hasn’t gotten the part. He has quoted the scriptures and fulfilled the scriptures. For many, He has healed the sickness and delivered His people from evil. He has proven Himself to be a Master Teacher, and a Servant to all those He encountered.
I wondered to myself, “What would be documented today? Not to you or us as individuals, but our synagogues? Is Jesus auditioning to day? Is He a visitor or is He a Member?
Is He the focus, or is He a is He a sidenote?
Is He the main character or is He a supporting role at best?
It is possible for Him to be a character on our Sunday Scripts, but not to be the main character. Could it be that God is still having to address the house of God as “their synagogue” because He has become a supporting role in building someone else’s kingdom; achieving someone’s agenda? Could it be that God has become an asset that is being used as a cosigner to accomplish the building of our own Kingdoms?
What role does He play with you? Have you selected Him as owner, co-owner, parent, or do you see God as an LLC or Corporation that is formed for you to profit, take risk, build your kingdom and to protect your personal assets?
Sadly, I believe for most, that God is still auditioning for the lead role in our lives.