Archive for April 3rd, 2014

John 2:12-25

John 2:12-25 has Jesus heading “down to Capernaum along with his mother, brothers, and disciples, and stayed several days”.  He has just turned water into wine and performed His first miracle.  Then they were off to Jerusalem for the Passover feast.  When they arrived at the temple, it was filled with people “selling cattle and sheep and doves. The loan sharks were also there in full strength”.  Animals were necessary for sacrifice and money needed to be changed to enable the activity.

But Jesus wasn’t buying it – certainly not happening in the temple itself.  “Jesus put together a whip….chased them out of the Temple, stampeding the sheep and cattle, upending the tables of the loan sharks, spilling coins left and right”.  This is the same Jesus that a few days earlier had not wanted anyone to know about Him and His ministry.  Now, in the middle of the most public place there was, Jesus is turning over tables and chasing people off.  He was not kind and gentle. He had a whip.  He used it and chased people away.

Jesus had a simple message.  “Stop turning my Father’s house into a shopping mall”.  It may not have been the activity that was the problem as much as the way it was being done.  People took advantage of those coming to the temple to sacrifice.  But the leaders of the day didn’t see it as a problem.  “The Jews were upset. They asked, What credentials can you present to justify this”?  Jesus didn’t answer the question in a way they could understand.  He talked about tearing down the temple and rebuilding it in three days.  Of course, He was talking about His own death and resurrection but the Jews had no idea what He was talking about.

Later, after he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered he had said this. They then put two and two together and believed both what was written in Scripture and what Jesus had said”.  Jesus knew the Jews would not understand, but also knew that when He had died and rose again, His disciples needed to remember these words.  He was setting up circumstances for three years hence that would empower and encourage those who were left behind to take His message to the world.  His first big interaction was not only confrontational and very intentional, but had a future importance that no one but He knew when it happened.

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