After he introduced Jesus’ first disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter, Nathanael and Philip, the apostle John wrote about the first miracle he witnessed when Jesus turned 180 gallons of water into fine wine. Next, John writes of the day when Jesus returned to the temple in Jerusalem.
“13 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.” (John 2:13)
Passover is a Jewish celebration that commemorates their deliverance from slavery in Egypt when the angel of death “passed over” Jewish homes in Egypt whose doorways were sprinkled with blood of a sacrificial lamb. Since Jesus was a Jew, and Jerusalem was nearby, it was no surprise He chose to go to the holy city to join other to celebrate the Passover.
“14 And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business.” (John 2:14)
Countless Jewish pilgrims traveled to Jerusalem the Passover feasts, and for many, bringing their sacrificial animals was not conceivable. Because of this, vendors set up in the outer courts of the temple where they sold various animals for profit.
Also, there were money changers in the temple to exchange foreign currencies into Jewish or Tyrian coinage so all male 20 years or older could pay the temple tax.
“15 When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. 16 And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” 17 Then His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.” (John 2:15-17)
John tells us of a rare instance when Jesus showed anger and became violent as He felt the vendors and money changers were disrespecting the sanctity of the temple, which was meant to be a place of worship not a public market.
When they saw what Jesus was doing, His disciples recalled David’s cry when he was persecuted for his zeal toward God. The men felt the same fate awaited Jesus because of the way He reacted to the vendors and money changers.
“18 So the Jews answered and said to Him, “What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?”” (John 2:18)
When they saw what Jesus did, those present questioned Him and challenged His authority going as far as demanding some kind of sign He had the right to do what He did in the temple court.
“19 Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”” (John 2:19)
Jesus’ answer to those who questioned His authority was very simple, but since He was standing in the temple when He made His claim, the Jews were confused with His answer.
“20 Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”” (John 2:20)
The Jews did not understand Jesus was talking about Himself, His temple not the actual place of worship they were standing in.
“21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22 Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said.” (John 2:21-22)
Jesus’ disciples did not understand the meaning of His claim either at the time, but later on when He did rise from the dead.
In this section of John’s gospel, we found out that God does indeed feel anger, and that Jesus chose a public display of His anger to express His disappointment of the way His people disgraced the place where Jews were to worship Yahweh, not profit from the sale of animals or exchange of currency. Because of this, all believers should expect the Lord’s wrath when we turn our back to Him… Let’s pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives,
We praise you Lord for the wisdom found through the gospel of John,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to live out the apostle’s writings
As we continue to learn more about you through your word.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through the truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of Christian faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and our place with you in Heaven
According to your ways, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre