“Destroy this Temple and in Three days I will Raise it up!”

Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!.” Then His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.” So the Jews answered and said to Him, “What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and You will raise it up in three days?” But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 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 2:13-22

Jesus journeying to Jerusalem for the Passover was annual custom for every devout Jewish male over the age of 12 years old (Exodus 23:14-17). During the celebration of Passover, worshipers came from all over Israel and the Roman Empire to Jerusalem. And because many traveled such great distances, it became inconvenient to bring their animal sacrifices with them. So here in our text, we find the ever opportunistic Jewish merchants setting up shop in the temple as their way of seeing the chance provide a necessity for profit. Along with them, you had money changers who took advantage of these travelers who had to pay a temple tax as well as purchase an animal sacrifice, and it could only be in Jewish or Tyrian coinage because of its high purity of silver. They would exchange their foreign currency at a higher rate for their needed proper currency. Exploitation was the result of their practices which the Lord dealt with swiftly.

As John records this cleansing of the temple at the beginning of Jesus ministry, the synoptic gospels record a temple cleansing at the end of Jesus ministry, during the Passover right before His crucifixion (Matthew 21:12-17; Mark 11:15-18; Luke 19:45-46). The historical circumstances and literary contexts of the two temple cleansings differ so much that it was probably two different temple cleansings Jesus performed. For the Jewish nation never widely accepted Jesus’ ministry, and as a whole never recognized Him as their Messiah (Matthew 23:37-39). When the holiness of God and His worship was what was being overlooked, Jesus took fast action, the “all” indicates the He drove out not only these men, but their animals as well. Jesus was forceful but never cruel. He was deliberate as well as accurate in His perception in what He saw. What can we learn from this correction? Does anything in your life need to be addressed? How we worship the Lord is a very critical part of our relationship to God. Is it reverent enough so as to know that being in God’s presence as He inhabits our praises, is truly what every believer should be seeking after every day. Jesus told the Samaritan woman that God the Father is seeking true worshipers, who worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:23). We should marvel that Jesus was able to disperse such large crowds without ever inciting a riot for which Roman soldiers who were placed on guard during the Passover in the Antonia Fortress overlooking the temple would have swiftly reacted.

Jesus by His actions declares His deity, He had called the temple, His Father’s house and the disciples had remembered the scripture, “The zeal of the Father’s house has eaten Him up” (Psalm 69:9). The Jews were seeking a sign from Him showing by what authority He had taken on Himself by purging the marketplace in the temple. In Matthew chapter 12, he writes that certain scribes and Pharisees came to Jesus and said to Him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.” But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (vv.38-41). This is similar when Jesus said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” They did not understand what He was saying, and had misinterpreted in thinking that He was referring to the temple that He had just cleansed. At the trial of Jesus, the authorities charged Him with making a threatening statement against the temple, revealing how they totally missed Jesus revealing Himself as their promised Messiah, and His resurrection. Paul the apostle wrote in 2 Corinthians, For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens (2 Corinthians 5:1). Paul was contrasting our earthly bodies with our spiritual bodies. Earthly house, or tent a metaphor of our physical body. A building from God, Paul’s metaphor for the believer’s resurrected, glorified body. We too one day will exchange our temporary earthly body, for a new and prepared for us by God resurrected and glorified body.

Beloved friend, Jesus Christ taught that the coming of Himself as the promised Messiah would not be without signs, interpreted by the Old Testament prophets, and given so that Israel would know their Messiah had come. But they choose not to believe in these signs, and written Scriptures, and in His own statements about who He was. Jesus declared that the only sign that would be given to the doubting world would be the resurrection of Himself. Paul asserted without the resurrection we have no gospel, but are still in our sins, and the most pitiable of all men (1 Corinthians 15:13-19). You know if you are a Christian today, you will be doubted as to why do I need a Savior? We liken it to their own misinterpretation of the signs given to them. The misunderstanding of Scripture reading, and the fact that Satan will not let them go without a fight. It seems so unfair with the way the this whole world system wants its life to be without the knowledge of God, and His Word. It’s as though they would rather go living without certainty that beyond this life is eternal life that will be with the Lord, or without Him. When we share our faith, let it be all about the cross and crucifixion of Jesus Christ, and most of all, How God the Father did not end His story there at Calvary’s cross, but rather with a glorious resurrection three days later, that was biblically prophesied, and accurately ordered. So that we can have the power of the Holy Spirit, the same Spirit who raised Christ from the dead, now be our source of power. To be His witnesses to a doubting world yet, cannot deny the witness of the resurrection of Jesus Christ because of His followers who are living testimonies of His love and mercy working in us a powerful testimony of saving grace. Your body is the temple of the living God, who is now at work in you. And one day will raise you up into His glorious body He has prepared for you. Can you think of any more assurance in this life? Our unstable world would love to have this same assurance if they would only believe. Jesus’ ascension into heaven was God’s witness to the world about His Son.

May the Lord bless your walk with Him!

Author: rontrujillo

Married 37 years We have six children. All of whom are adult. Three are married one of them blessed us with three beautiful grandchildren. Retired Firefighter @ Boeing Aircraft 37 years (Formally McDonnell Douglas) Born Again Summer of 1981

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