The Temple: Location Means Everything

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Location is important.  Imagine the scene:  Brianna opens the door and says, “What do you think?” to Paul sitting across the room.  The meaning is unclear.  Why?  Because the location of those people changes what these words mean.  

If Brianna is opening the door to the conference room at work, she is likely asking input on a project.  If on the other hand, she is opening the door to the bedroom from her walk-in closet before they leave on a date, she is asking  a hundred things and confessing about twenty while making at least one warning shot over the bow.

The Bible is exactly the same way.  Where Jesus is when he is teaching as well as when he is there has dramatic implications on the meaning of his words.  No place has as much potency of meaning as the Temple, and a whole lot of Jesus’ teachings happen within its incredibly symbolic walls.

When he says “I am the light of the world”  he is standing in the temple which had as its nickname “The Light of the World.”  All of a sudden those words take on a depth and significance that we miss when we don’t pay attention to their location and understand how that location alters and extends the meaning of the words that are being spoken.

Because of the importance of location and the unique ways in which the life and teachings of Jesus are meshed with the place in which he worshipped (the Temple), I believe it is important for us to dive into its study.  We will be looking at that for the next four weeks at our evening worship and will be making them all available on the podcast about a week later.

My Favorite Bible Background Sites

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“Where does he find this stuff?”  It’s the question asked over and over again by people wanting to find the interesting tidbits that make for spell-binding teaching.  The unfortunate answer is often that a lot of boring research will yield one or two gems.

However, there are a few repositories for these gems online.  Here are three of my favorites:

Follow The Rabbi — Teaching by Ray Vander Laan on the Jewishness of Jesus that was a source of much of Rob Bell’s early teaching on the subject.  The site is not totally clear or easy to use, but it’s worth the extra time digging. For the largest portion of the stash scroll down to read, click on browse more guides, and then click on articles.

Biblical Archaeology Society — This is a fascinating site full of exactly what its name implies.  Pictures, ebooks, articles, you name it.  I will often log on to BAS and just search the name of a city or person mentioned in the text I am teaching to see what sort of archaeology there is to inform the text.

Wikipedia/Media — In Study after study, the accuracy of wikipedia has been verified as surpassing Encyclopedia Britannica.  However, I find it most helpful in finding links to articles on other sites.  But the real gem is wikiMEDIA.  It is full of great images, classic artwork, and some audio and video.  The best part is that it is all free to use.

Go forth and rock some Bible background!

From: YouthWorker Movement