Ellen G. White Writings

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Humble Hero, Page 283

Jesus’ Last Visit to the Temple

This chapter is based on Matthew 23; Mark 12:41-44; Luke 20:45-47; 21:1-4.

It was the last day of Christ’s teaching in the temple. There stood the young Galilean, with no earthly honor or royal badge. Surrounding Him were priests in rich clothing, rulers with robes and badges, and scribes with scrolls in their hands, to which they frequently referred. Jesus stood calmly, as one holding the authority of heaven. He looked unflinchingly upon His adversaries who thirsted for His life. Their schemes to trap Him had failed. He had met challenge after challenge, presenting pure, bright truth in contrast to the darkness and errors of the priests and Pharisees. He had faithfully given the warning. Yet another work remained for Christ to do.

The people were charmed with His teaching, but they were greatly perplexed. They had respected the priests and rabbis, yet now they saw these men trying to discredit Jesus, whose virtue and knowledge appeared brighter with every assault. They marveled that the rulers would not believe on Jesus when His teachings were so plain and simple. They themselves did not know what course to take.

Christ’s purpose in the parables was to warn the rulers and instruct the people. But He needed to speak even more plainly. The people were enslaved through their blind faith in a corrupt priesthood. These chains Christ must break. “The scribes and the Pharisees,” He said, “sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.”

The scribes and Pharisees claimed to take Moses’ place as expounders of the law, but they did not practice their own teaching. And much of what they taught was contrary to the Scriptures: “They bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.” Certain portions of the law they explained in such a way as to impose regulations on the people that they themselves secretly ignored or from which they even claimed exemption.

“All their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues,

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