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Jeff

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Jesus Cleanses the Temple John 2:13-25

     I can remember a pastor who preached on this text years ago when I was a college student at a Campus Crusade for Christ conference.  I believe that was the same conference where I decided to sign up for summer missions, which eventually led me to go to the state of Nevada for a summer on mission trip. 

     John identifies John 2:13 as happening around Passover.  John is the only disciple who puts this story at the beginning of Jesus' ministry.  It is possible that this happened twice.  The Passover would have occurred around March-April around the full moon.  The temple and Jerusalem would have been extremely crowded with people.  It is possible that the moneychangers and animal pens were temporary for this ceremony.  The problem with it was that the outer court was the only place for non-Jews to pray and worship.  Mark's version of this story says that Jesus called the money changers a robbers den, which may refer to the rates of exchange that the merchants were charging for the exchanges.

     Jesus took his time gathering up the rope that would be needed to drive out the animals.  It must have been extremely crowded and this would have been a difficult task met with immediate resistance and hostility.  But, Jesus drove them out of the temple because he was concerned for his Father's house.  The concerns of the Father were more important to him than anything else.  His Father's house was to be a house of prayer and not of anything else.  This action is looked at as fulfilling Malachi 3:1 and Zechariah 14:21.

     Herod had started the reconstruction of the temple around 19 B.C. and even here while Jesus was in the temple there was still some building going on.  The whole complex was not completed until 63 A.D. and then it was destroyed 7 years later.  Jesus was asked for a sign and he pointed to his death and resurrection.  This is still the main proof that Jesus who he said he was, the empty tomb.  The disciples did not understand this statement at first, but then they did after his resurrection verse 22. (John 10:18)

     This passage is about priorities.  John earlier said that it is through Jesus that the world was made and for whom it was made and holds together.  We were made for a purpose.  Other things, even good things, can come in and crowd out what is best.  Jesus had a zeal for his Father and his purposes.  We need to keep in mind that we are not just made for our own goals and purposes, but for his.  How is what your doing pleasing the Father?  How are you using your gifts and talents to please Him?

   It says the people believe in Him because they saw his signs verse 23.  Yet, this was not a saving belief.  This is the same belief that after he fed them with bread and fish that they wanted to follow him in John 6:26.  They wanted to make him king, yet their understanding of the kingdom he wanted was skewed.  They got their stomach full and therefore wanted more.  Jesus clearly knew the thoughts of man in John 6:26 & Matthew 9:4.  Jesus doesn't judge us the way others do.  He sees the motives and thoughts of the inner man.  What he saw on this occassion was not to be trusted in.  Yet, even though he sees all the dark places of the heart he was still willing to come and die on a cross out of love for you and me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jeff, we enjoy your journal and writing of the Bible. You do such a great job and put in food for thoughts on topics.