What is our attitude as we read God’s word? Are our minds hanging on what we read, most of all when they are the words of Jesus and his apostles? In the days of Ezekiel, they did not want to hear the word of the LORD, so they did not listen; we have encountered this phrase four times (6:3; 13:2; 16:35; 20:47).
It was quite a contrast in the days of Jesus, but his words caused a difference of opinion, some saying, “’This really is the prophet’. Others said, ‘This is the Christ’” (John 7:40,41). The religious leaders rejected him because he was a challenge to their authority.
Notice the scene in the concluding words of Luke 18. Jesus had triumphantly entered Jerusalem and is “teaching daily in the Temple” and declares, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer …’” (verse 46). He was quoting Isaiah 56:7 where it says it will become “a house of prayer for all peoples”. May that day come soon and may we, by the grace of God, be made alive then. At the end of Ezekiel we read of the remarkable vision that Ezekiel is given of the ultimate temple, which will then be built.
Different reactions to the teaching of Jesus provide a stark contrast. We read, “The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people were seeking to destroy him” (verse 47). There have always been those who have sought to destroy those who truly believe God’s word and accept his Son as their Saviour: we see it today in parts of the world today.
The verse in Luke tells us that his opponents “did not find anything that they could do”. Why? – “for all the people were hanging on his words”. It seems ironic that at least some of them would be stirred up by their leaders to reject him and that very soon they would hang him on a cross – such is human nature! Let us make sure that we are so committed that we are “hanging on his words” as we read them, and those his Father inspired his disciples, the prophets, Moses and others to write. May we all, as we read them day by day, see more clearly the wonder of spiritual “light” that shines in the gross darkness swamping the minds of people today.