February 15: Searching for the Wrong Kingdom
Exodus 35:1–36:38; John 6:15–24; Song of Solomon 4:14–16
Because of the signs He performed, Jesus drew large crowds. And because of His signs, those who followed Him decided that He should be king. It seems natural and fitting, in a way, that Jesus should be revered and honored among the masses. Why shouldn’t He be worshiped on earth like He is in heaven?
But Jesus wasn’t interested in gaining glory and fame. He had no interest in the kingdoms of this world, as His temptation in the desert demonstrates (Matt 4:8). This scene reveals both His character and His mission—He was seeking His Father’s glory and following His will.
“Now when the people saw the sign that he performed, they began to say, ‘This one is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world!’ Then Jesus, because he knew that they were about to come and seize him in order to make him king, withdrew again up the mountain by himself alone” (John 6:14–15).
It also reveals something about human nature. Although the crowds wanted to make Jesus king, they weren’t necessarily looking to revere Him. They were looking out for themselves. They wanted to install a new kingdom—one brought on by force and political revolution. They wanted their immediate physical needs met, but they didn’t necessarily consider the great spiritual revolution that needed to take place within.
Following Jesus shouldn’t be something we do because it’s somehow convenient for us. Following Jesus requires all of us—and it will often look like a life of sacrifice, not ease.
The Jews who followed Jesus were challenged to accept Him, not as a prophet or a Messiah, but as the Son of God. The same crowd that followed Jesus obsessively, looking for signs, was eventually confronted by teaching that shook their understanding of this Messiah and what God expected from them.
Do you follow Jesus for reasons of your own? How can you follow Him for the right reasons?
REBECCA VAN NOORD
- Then Moses assembled all the Congregation of the children of Israel, and said unto them, These are the words which the Lord hath commanded, that ye should do them: Six days thou shalt work, but the seventh day shall be unto you the holy Sabbath of rest unto the Lord: whosoever doeth any work therein, shall die. Ye shall kindle no fire throughout all your habitations upon the Sabbath day. Again, Moses spake unto all the Congregations of the children of Israel, saing, This is the thing which the Lord commandeth, saying, Take from among you an offering unto the Lord: whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring this offering to the Lord, namely gold, and silver, and brass: Also blue silk, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goat’s hair, And rams’ skins dyded red, and badgers’ skins with Shitim wood: Also oil for light, and spices for the anointing oil, and for the sweeet incense, And onyx stones, and stones to be set in the Ephod, and in the breastplate. And all the wise hearted among you, shal come and make all that the Lord hath commanded: That is, the Tabernacle, the pavilion thereof, and his covering, and his taches, and his boards, his bars, his pillars, and his sockets, The Ark, and the bars thereof: the Mercy seat the the veil that covereth it, The Table, and the bars of it, and allt the instruments, and his lamps with the oil for the light: Likewise the Altar of perfume and his bars, and the anointing oil, and the sweet incense, and the veil of the door at the entering in of the Tabernacle, The Altar of burnt offering with his brazen grate, his bars and all his instruments, the laver and his foot, The hangings of the court, his pillars and his sockets, and the veil of the grace of the court, The pins of the Tabernacle, and the pins of the court with their cords, The ministering garments to minister in the holy place, and the holy garments of Aaron the Priest, and the garments of his sons, that they may minister in the Priest’s office. Then all the Congregation of the children of Israel departed from the presence of Moses. And every one, whose heart encouraged him, and every one, whose spirit made him willing, came and brought an offering to the Lord, for the work of the Tabernacle of the Congregation, and for all his uses, and for the holy garments. Both men and women, as many as were free hearted, came and brought taches and earrings, and rings, and bracelets, all were jewels of gold: and every one that offered an offering of gold unto the Lord: Every man also, which had blue silk, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen and goats’ hair, and rams’ skins dyed red, and badgers’ skins, brought them. All that offered an oblation of silver and of brass, brought the offering unto the Lord: and every one, that had Shittim wood for any manner work of the ministration, brought it. And all the women that were wise-hearted, did spin with their hands, and brought the spun work, even the blue silk, and the purple, the scarlet, and fine linen. Likewise all the women, whose hearts were moved with knowledge, spun goats’ hair. And the rulers brought onyx stones, and stones to be set in the Ephod, and in the breastplate: Also spice, and oil for light, and for the anointing oil, and for the sweet perfume. Every man and woman of the children of Israel, whose hearts moved them willingly to bring for all the work of the Lord had commanded them to make by the hand of Moses, brought a free offering unto the Lord. Then Moses said unto the children of Israel, Behold, the Lord hath called by some Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur of the tribe of Judah, And hath filled him with an excellent spirit of wisdom, of understanding, and of knowledge, and in all manner of work, To find out curious works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass. And in graving stones to set them, and in carving of wood, even to make any manner of fine work. And he hath put in his heart that he may teach other: both he, and Aholiab the son of Ahisamach of the tribe of Dan: Them hath he filled with wisdom of heart to work all manner of cunning and broidered, and needle work: in blue silk, and in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen and weaving, even to do all manner of work and subtle inventions. Then wrought Bezalel, and Aholiab, and all cunning men, to whom the Lord gave wisdom, and understanding, to know how to work all manner work for the service of the Sanctuary, according to all that the Lord had commanded. For Moses had called Bazalel, and Aholiab, and all the wise-hearted man, in whose hearts the Lord had given wisdom, even as many as their hearts encouraged to come unto that work to work it. And they received of Moses all the offerings which the children of Israel had brought ofr the work of the service of the Sanctuary, to make it: also they brought still unto him free gifts every morning. So all the wise men, that wrought all the holy work, came every man from his work which they wrought, And spake to Moses, saying, The people bring too much, and more than enough of the use of the work, which the Lord hath commanded to be made. Then Moses gave a commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the host, saying, Let neither man nor woman prepare any more work for the oblations of the Sanctuary. So the people were stayed from offering. For the stuff they had, was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much. All the cunning men therefore among the work to make it, and too much. All the cunning men therefore among the workmen, made for the Tabernacle ten curtains of fine twined linen, and of blue silk, and purple, and scarlet: Cherubims of broidered work made they upon them. The length of one curtain was twenty and eight cubits, and the breadth of one curtain four cubits: and the curtains were all of one size. And he coupled five curtains together, and another five coupled he together. And he made strings of blue silk by the edge of one curtain, in the selvedge of the coupling: likewise he made on the side of the other curtain, which was in the second coupling. Fifty strings made he in the one curtain, and fifty strings made he in the edge of the other curtain, which was in the second coupling: the strings were set one against another. After, he made fifty taches of gold, and coupled the curtains one to another with the taches: so was it one Tabernacle. Also he made curtains of goats’ hair for the covering upon the Tabernacle: he made them to the number of eleven curtains. The length of one curtain had thirty cubits, and the breadth of one curtain four cubits: the eleven curtains were of one size. And he coupled five curtains by themselves, and six curtains by themselves. Also he made fifty strings upon the edge of one curtain in the selvedge in the coupling, and fifty strings made he upon the edge of the other curtain in the second coupling. He made also fifty taches of brass to couple the covering that it might be one. After he amde a covering upon the pavilion of rams’ skins dyed red, and a covering of badgers’ skins above. Likewise he mde the boards for the Tabernacle, of Shittim wood to stand up. The length of a board was ten cubits, and the breadth of one board was a cubit and an half. One board had two tenons, set in order as the feet of a laddder, one against another: thus made he for all the boards of the Tabernacle. So he made twnety boards for the South side of the Tabernacle, even full South. And forty sockets of silver made he under the twenty boards, two sockets under one board for his two tenons, and two sockets under another board for his two tenons. Also for the other side of the Tabernacle toward the North, he made twenty boards. And their forty sockets of silver, two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board. Likewise toward the West side of the Tabernacle he made six boards. And two boards made he in the corners of the Tabernacle for either side, And they were joined beneath, and likewise were made sure above with a ring: thus he did to both in both corners. So there were eight boards, and their sixteen sockets of silver, under every board two sockets. After, he made bars of Shittim wood, five for the boards in the one side of the Tabernacle, And five bars for the boards in the other side of the Tabernacle, and five bars for the boards of the Tabernacle on the side toward the West. And he made the middle bar to shoot through the boards, from teh one end to the other. He overlaid also the boards with gold, and made their rings of gold for places for the bars, and covered the bars with gold. Moreover he made a veil of blue silk and purple, and of scarlet, and of fine twined linen: with Cherubims of broidered work made he it: And made thereunto four pillars of Shittim, and overlaid them with gold: whose hooks were also of gold, and he cast for them four sockets of silver. And he made an hanging for the Tabernacle door, of blue silk, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, and needle work, And the five pillars of it with their hooks, and overlaid their chapiters, and their fillets with gold, but their five sockets were of brass. Exodus 35:1–36:38
- When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come, and take him to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone. When even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea, And entered into a ship, and went over the sea, towards Capernaum: and now it was dark, and Jesus was not come to them. And the Sea arose with a great wind that blew. And when they had rowed above five and twenty, or thirty furlongs, they saw Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing near unto the ship: so they were afraid. But he said unto them, It is I: be not afraid. Then willingly they received him into the ship, and the ship was by and by at the land, whither they went. The day following, teh people which stood on the other side of the sea, saw that there was none other ship there, save that one, where into his disciples were entered, adn that Jesus went not with his disciples in the ship, but that his disciples were gone alone, And that there came other ships from Tiberias near unto the place where they ate the bread, after the Lord had given thanks. Now when the people saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus. John 6:15–24
- Even spikenard, and saffron: calamus, and cinnamon, with all the trees of incense, myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices. O fountain of the gardens, O well of living waters, and the springs of Lebanon. Arise, O North, and come, O South, and blow on my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out: let my well-beloved come to his garden, and eat his pleasant fruit. Song of Solomon 4:14–16