A very common image of Jesus is one of him walking through the villages and countryside of Galilee and Judea teaching and healing people. We have this image that Jesus was always out and about doing ministry. While this is true in a very large part, we often overlook the details in the Gospels that talk about the times when Jesus returned to his home or took part in the religious ceremonies of his faith.
Today’s passage gives us some details about Jesus. Where has he gone? Why did he do this? What does he do there?
While it is true that Jesus did not have as part of his Great Commission, “Go and build churches and sit in their pews,” it is not true that he was against organized religion. This passage in Luke is one of many references throughout all four Gospels of Jesus attending a worship service either at the Temple in Jerusalem or in a local synagogue.
Luke makes the comment that he did this “as was his custom.” This is not the first or only time that he entered a place of worship and took part in the worship service. It was his custom to do this.
And not only that, he was an integral part of the service. He stood up to read from the Scripture. He taught or preached in the synagogue.
So, we are to imitate Christ. He attended organized religious services. He took part in worship. Therefore, I believe we are supposed to gather with other believers and be part of worship.
However, as we imitate Christ we must remember to follow his lead in all of his ministry. Although he did attend weekly worship services he also took his ministry outside the walls of the church. He did go out to the people, those who may not have been connected with his own place of worship.
Jesus honored God in worship and he also took the love and mercy of God out into the world. We should attend church. We should worship God. But we should also take our “church” outside the church building to those who need to know of God’s love and mercy.
DAILY CHALLENGE: How can you extend the walls of your “church?”