On the porch

imageSolomon’s porch is a key location in the bible. It was attached to the east side of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem, the holy meeting place for the Jewish people and early Christians.

Let’s begin with Jesus because all scripture points directly to our Lord and Savior. In John 10, Jesus is walking on Solomon’s porch (or colonnade) during the Feast of Dedication, or Hannukah. This is a celebration of the temple’s re-dedication after it had been destroyed and rebuilt.

The Jews have surrounded him and are pestering him for a straight answer: are you the Messiah? Jesus quotes Psalm 82 to rebuke their disbelief. In this psalm from hundreds of years earlier, Asaph (a key temple musician for both David and Solomon) describes the failure of the leaders to properly care for those entrusted to them.

I think that Jesus’ selection of this psalm was significant for two reasons: 1. it pointed directly at the Pharisees’ (the current religious leaders) unwillingness to accept him as God’s son and Savior; and 2. Asaph was credited with singing at the original dedication of Solomon’s temple (the first one that was later destroyed, 2 Chronicles 5:12). The construction of this first God-house and its porch by Solomon is described in 1 Kings 6.

Now let’s move forward in time after Jesus’ death and resurrection. His church has been established and his disciples are spreading the Gospel, the good news of Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf. Peter and John are walking through the temple courts on their way to prayer. A lame beggar asks them for money; Peter instead heals him in the name of Jesus.

While the man held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon’s Colonnade. (Acts 3:11)

Peter used this opportunity to tell everyone present about Jesus and the new life available through belief in him. Solomon’s porch became a regular meeting place for these early Christ-followers (Acts 5:12).

So what does this mean for you and me? We need more than a history lesson to gain victory in this often difficult life. For the answer, let’s finish where we began: with Jesus.

In John 2, Jesus is just beginning his ministry. He has completed his first miracle, turning water into wine at the wedding feast, and he has traveled to Jerusalem. Upon arriving at the temple, he finds its courts filled with vendors profiting from the need for sin sacrifices by the people (Jesus replaced this animal sacrifice requirement by his own death on the cross). He was angered by this desecration and drove the  vendors out of the temple.

18The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”

19Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”

20They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” 21But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.

Where’s your porch? It’s right where you sit. Call on Jesus and he will join you. Believe in him as your Lord and Savior. Be baptized into new life in his name. The Holy Spirit will fill you and you will join the disciples on Solomon’s porch as you tell your story and spread the good news!

About Tony Schmitz

Tony Schmitz received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Temple University in 1993, his MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1996, and his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1999. He is a mechanical engineering professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
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