By Doug Bell
Matthew 12: 5 ”Or have you not read in the Law, that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath and are innocent?
6 ”But I say to you that something greater than the temple is here”...
41 ”The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment, and will condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.
42 “The Queen of the South will rise up with this generation at the judgment and will condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.”
At one time or another we all have make comparisons. it’s a way of helping people understand what we’re trying to say. But comparisons don’t always mean all things are equal.
Here Jesus is comparing three things that are different. In the first, He is comparing the Temple to Himself. The Temple was the most important place in all the History of the nation of Israel. It was where the people met God and worshipped Him. Yet, God wasn’t just to be worshipped. Israel was a Theocracy (God’s Government), So, all of life was to be ordained and accomplished according to the plan of God. Yet, as important as the Temple was, Jesus said, “Something Greater than the Temple” was before them.
Secondly, He reminds them how in the Old Testament, Jonah went and preached salvation to the people of Nineveh. After hearing his ‘sermon,’ even the King all the way down to the poorest person in the city, repented and were saved. But, as powerful a prophet Jonah was, Jesus was Greater!
Lastly, The queen of Sheba had traveled a tremendous distance to hear Solomon’s wisdom. She was so impressed that she gave gifts to Solomon for just being able to sit in his presence and listen. As wise as Solomon was, Jesus had even greater wisdom!
***** This isn’t the only place in the New Testament where something is contrasted to Jesus. In fact, this kind of comparison goes through out the book of Hebrews;
•Jesus is greater than the angels, because He is the divine King (Heb. 1:4,6,8).
•Jesus is greater than Moses, because while Moses was a servant of God, Jesus is the Son of God (Heb. 3:3-4).
•Jesus is greater than Joshua, because Jesus brings a greater rest to the people of God (Heb. 4:8-9).
•Jesus is a greater priest than Aaron, because He is sinless and immortal (Heb. 7:26-28).
•Jesus also has a better ministry
•brought in a better covenant
•built on better promises with (Heb. 7:22; 8:6)
•a better sacrifice, that is, Jesus Himself (Heb. 9:12).
What should we take from all of these “comparisons”? That Jesus is even more than what is reveled about Him in the Bible (John 21:25). And we will never be disappointed if we place our faith in Him!