The high priest questioned Jesus about his followers and his teaching. But Jesus told him, “I have spoken freely in front of everyone. And I have always taught in our meeting places and in the temple, where all of our people come together. I have not said anything in secret. Why are you questioning me? Why don’t you ask the people who heard me? They know what I have said.”
As soon as Jesus said this, one of the temple police hit him and said, “That’s no way to talk to the high priest!”
Jesus answered, “If I have done something wrong, say so. But if not, why did you hit me?” Jesus was still tied up, and Annas sent him to Caiaphas the high priest. John 18:19-24 (CEV)
Jesus taught in the open. The gospels relate few occasions in which Jesus taught in the Temple. He took His teaching to the people and His message was for everyone. There was no manipulation or “pumping up” the crowds. Jesus’ message was so simple and different from anything the people had ever heard.
I grew up in a church with a tradition that only the priest read the gospel account. He would announce, “A reading from the Holy Gospel of Luke” and that was it, no chapter or verse. I never participated in a Bible study until I was almost 40 years old. Reading the Gospels for myself was a shattering experience for me. WOW! Here was everything right here in front of me, for me to read, for me to reason what it said. I devoured the New Testament from Matthew to Revelation and then began in Genesis. Amazed does not fully describe what I was feeling.
It is so important for me to share with my children and grandchildren the sweet Word of God. To tell them what God has done in my life. It is important for them to see the truth of my relationship with Jesus – good and not good. If I share only the victories then what are my children and grandchildren going to think when they struggle? Struggle is part of the gospel story too, isn’t it?
My friends, I beg you to listen as I teach. I will give instruction and explain the mystery of what happened long ago.
These are things we learned from our ancestors, and we will tell them to the next generation.
We won’t keep secret the glorious deeds and the mighty miracles of the Lord. Psalm 78: 1-4 (CEV)
In the same church where I did not read the Bible, I heard the true passion of Christ’s love for me as He suffered and died as the perfect sacrifice to cover my sins. For most of my growing years I went to worship every day before school. When I was 12, I began to sing in the adult choir and we sang at least one service every day of Holy Week. The music was so beautiful as voices and organ soared throughout the cathedral. I remember one year a severe thunderstorm came up during the Good Friday service. Just as the minister utter Jesus’ words, “It is finished.” this HUGE clap of thunder shook the building. I suspect most of us went home that evening with an extra helping of belief in our spirits!
This year share something more than Easter eggs and bunny stories with your children and grandchildren. And as you sit around the table groaning under the weight of all the food, remember those who are on the outside, alone, homeless and hungry, looking in. Share the blessings God has given you. When God gives a blessing and I allow myself to be a conduit of His love, the blessing isn’t divided but multiplied. Whatever bread I cast out on the water of this life, God will multiply it larger than I can imagine.
Jesus, my Redeemer lives. He is alive! His plan is for me to freely share the Hope I have found in Him. When the storms of this life and the tragedies bring seemingly unbearable suffering. Jesus is the anchor I count on and my testimony will help others to trust in Him, too.
My Redeemer Lives written & sung by Nicole C Mullen