Thought for Thursday

And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple, and when He had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, He went out into Bethany with the twelve. Mark 11:11

Did you ever wonder why the Lord Jesus, after his great reception and arrival in Jerusalem, did not remain there? Why did He leave the city to spend the night with his disciples and friends instead of claiming VIP lodging in Jerusalem? Although He entered the city as the King, He did not find Jerusalem ready for His kingdom. Jerusalem is still not ready, and won’t be for awhile, although He will someday set up His righteous reign there for a thousand years. In the meantime, He is sojourning outside, with His followers. With us!

During His first sojourn on this earth, Jesus spent most of His time with a few devoted followers. Other than the disciples, He had close friends such as Lazarus, Mary, and Martha in Bethany, and others who appreciated Him. By times, the crowds were attracted to Him for brief periods. It’s the same today. The Lord Jesus has a few devoted followers throughout the world, those who recognize His lordship and who appreciate His person. The crowds still gather around once in awhile, such as Christmas and Easter, and even call on Him during tragedies and problems, but ignore Him most of the time. For now, just as on that day in our text, Jesus is content to dwell in the outside place with His own.

After looking over the magnificence of the temple, the Lord Jesus must have found the little house in Bethany pretty humble. But the temple held no attraction for him at this stage. It was full of religion and ritual, but no worship. It was bustling with activity, but it had no time for Him. But out in Bethany was a small and quiet spot where He was recognized and loved. Outside the camp of religion is where we welcome Him today. Outside the camp of ritual and ceremony is His desire to meet with a few of His own. Little companies who recognize no name but His, who seek no glory but for Him, who honour no word apart from His. Do you know such a place?

If the Lord Jesus was content to dwell outside the camp, our greatest desire should be to dwell with Him there. – Jim MacIntosh

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