Jesus stood in the temple and cried out, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” (Matthew 23:37, NKJV). As I read this, a question arises: In the New Testament, would God cast off a person who rejected his offers of grace, mercy and awakening?
Jesus answered this by saying, “See! Your house is left to you desolate” (Matthew 23:38). He told them, “This temple is now your house, not mine. I’m leaving it, and I leave what you wasted and deserted.”
He then added, “For I say to you, you shall see me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’” (Matthew 23:39). He was declaring to them, “My glory is no longer in this old work.”
Think of it. Here stood mercy and grace incarnate, saying, “This old thing isn’t mine anymore.” Jesus moved on to Pentecost, to the beginning of a new thing. He was about to raise up a new church, not a replica of the old. He would make it brand new from the foundation up. It would be a church of new priests and people, all born again in him.
Not long after this portion of scripture, Jesus told his disciples, “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’…the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him…and will appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 24:45-51).
Even though we are part of this new work Jesus is doing, we should carefully evaluate ourselves. Is our behavior in the church representative of who Jesus is? Are we acting like the church triumphant, the spotless bride of Christ? Do we reveal to a lost world the very nature of God?