Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Temple and Missionary Service

I love the connection between missionary work and Temple service that Alfred Edersheim makes in this quote.

Other Rabbinical ordinances, however, are not so easily explained, unless on the ground of the avoidance of every occupation and undertaking other than worship. Thus ‘no man might go on the Temple Mount with his staff,’ as if on business or pleasure; not yet ‘with shoes on his feet’–sandals only being allowed; nor ‘with the dust upon his feet;’ nor ‘with his scrip,’ nor ‘with money tied to him in his purse.’ Whatever he might wish to contribute either to the Temple, or for offerings, or for the poor must be carried by each ‘in his hand,’ possibly to indicate that the money about him was exclusively for an immediate sacred purpose.

It was probably for similar reasons that Jesus transferred these very ordinances to the disciples when engaged in the service of the real Temple. The direction, ‘Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves,’ must mean, Go out in the same spirit and manner as you would to the Temple services, and fear not–‘for the workman is worthy of his meat’ (Matt. 10:9, 10). In other words: Let this new... service be your only thought, undertaking, and care.

(Edersheim, Alfred. 1994. The Temple: Its Ministry and Services. Updated edition. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers., pg 40)

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