Even as Jesus realized the moral cataclysm that was to take his life was coming in a few short days, his response was not one of fear, panic or resignation. In fact, instead of finding somewhere to lay low, he showed up everyday at the Temple and taught there. No hiding here: Jesus chose the most visible place in all the city with crowds swelling larger every day as Passover drew near to spend his days.
He was not there to soak up the atmosphere either. Each day he spent teaching the crowds in the Temple precincts. And nothing dry or humdrum here. The way the Gospel writers put it, the crowds were “spellbound” by his teaching, amazed at how Jesus could make clear the pathway to God, hour after hour. Then there would be some sort of daily confrontation with the powers that be. Each evening, after long days of intense concentration and fractious confrontation, Jesus went back to sleep in a borrowed bed at the edge of town.
Instead of mourning the prospect of a life cut short, Jesus immersed himself in a mission far beyond the bounds of his own mortality. His vision of the good, full life was not filled with friends, food and fun. Jesus knew, in the week he had left, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work.” (john 4:34).
What then is your work – your primary work? What comes first for you? In seeking “the good life” have you substituted relative, lesser things for the one thing that can truly give life ultimate purpose and meaning? You only have days to decide whether God will be first, or if you will cling to those things that will surely disappoint.