October 23, 2020
Jesus Clears the Temple
13 It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration, so Jesus went to Jerusalem. 14 In the Temple area, he saw merchants selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifices; he also saw dealers at tables exchanging foreign money. 15 Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the money changers’ coins over the floor, and turned over their tables. 16 Then, going over to the people who sold doves, he told them, “Get these things out of here. Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!”
17 Then, his disciples remembered this prophecy from the Scriptures: “Passion for God’s house will consume me.”
18 But the Jewish leaders demanded, “What are you doing? If God gave you the authority to do this, show us a miraculous sign to prove it.”
19 “All right,” Jesus replied. “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it.”
20 “What!” they exclaimed. “It has taken forty-six years to build this Temple, and you can rebuild it in three days?” 21 But when Jesus said, “this temple,” he meant his own body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered he said this, and they believed both the Scriptures and what Jesus had said.
Jesus and Nicodemus
23 Because of the miraculous signs Jesus did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration, many began to trust in him. 24 But Jesus didn’t trust them because he knew all about people. 25 No one needed to tell him about human nature, for he knew what was in each person’s heart.
Yesterday, we studied one of two events that happened in chapter 2. The first event is Jesus turning water into wine. Turning water into wine occurred in secret, and only a few people knew about it at that time. Jesus showed reaction and did it in a way that didn’t embarrass the married couple. Wine is symbolic of blood. The festival having wine is a spiritual ritual is part of the reason why Jesus performed the miracle.
The second event that happened is Jesus running money marketers out of the Temple. As Passover is getting close, this event is a celebration that took place yearly and lasted a week, in which the Temple hosts the holiday. Jesus is heading to the Temple, and when he arrives at the Temple, he sees people selling animals for profit. He is angry at this point. He makes a whip and starts causing destruction. Does this allow us to start violence when we see something we don’t like? No, it doesn’t. We have the right to be angry but not cause destruction. We know a lot of dishonesty in today’s world. We continue to protest about those things; some pray about them and protest. Nothing wrong with either one. You have to put work in for the issues you want to protest.
Jesus has God’s authority to do that. Police officers have the power to have guns and use them to chase criminals and in dangerous situations. Now, with the way things have been going on, things have to change. That is another conversation. Judges are allowed to put those in jail; we don’t have the power to do that. When someone takes advantage of you, these are thoughts that come to mind. Jesus acted on it because he has seen people taking advantage of the church, and while Passover celebrators are there to celebrate Passover. The people there have forgotten about the purpose of the church or don’t care about it. I will throw something out here, and I would love to have thoughts and debates about it. Please post your feelings about megachurches. I feel megachurches are using the church as well for financial gain. It is a touchy topic for a lot, but I would not mind hearing anybody’s insight because I would like to read them.
Meanwhile, the Jews questioned Jesus about his authority to come in and start destroying things. The Jews didn’t understand that just because a building took 46 years to build doesn’t mean anything to Jesus. Jesus is the building made of stone. He doesn’t need the building to bring people to him. As many baptisms, healing moments, celebrations that took place outside, Jesus need the building for what? It can be destroyed and stay that way. Jesus made a point by fulfilling the prediction. Jesus proved he is the most substantial proof for his claim to be God. With that in mind, it is not popular for a lot of people to follow Jesus. While it is not popular, continue to keep your faith and follow him anyways.
Father, thank you for today. Today has worries of its own. I pray we can overcome concerns and be faithful to you when it is not popular to follow you, even when someone makes us so angry that we resort to violence. Let us remember you when we want to cause wrath. Romans 12:19 in the NLT version reminds us, “Never to take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen!