Friday, March 18, 2011

John 2: 12-25

"12 After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples. There they stayed for a few days.

Jesus Clears the Temple Courts
13 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” 17 His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”[a]
18 The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”

19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”

20 They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” 21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.

23 Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name.[b] 24 But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. 25 He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person."

There is a lot of powerful stuff packed into these 13 verses. First, we see Jesus angry for the first and only time in the New Testament. He is filled with righteous anger that the Temple is being misused and disrespected. It is a holy place, a place of worship and it has been turned into something much less than that by the sinful nature of humans. Second, when he is asked by what authority he clears out the Temple, he states that he can destroy and rebuild it in three days. The Jews listening to this obviously don’t understand, but it is obvious to us 2000 years in the future, that Jesus is referring to his crucifixion and resurrection. Third, the passage ends with an emphasis again on humankind’s sinful nature.

This passage highlights the urgency that is felt in the Gospel of John to make people understand who Jesus is - the messiah. Jesus knows, as highlighted in this passage, that we are in desperate need of a savior. We are helpless against our own sin and cannot do anything to fight it without the help of Jesus. While this passage is filled with sin and God’s righteous anger towards it, it also foreshadows the saving death of Jesus.

Do you know how deeply we are in need of the saving grace of Christ?

Father God, forgive us. We are helpless against the temptations that confront us each and every day without your help. Forgive us for failing to ask for that help. Forgive us forour pride when we try to make our own way through this world. Give us your grace and mercy and and the strength to be weak and depend upon you. Amen.


Anonymous March 18, 2011 at 11:37 AM  

How beautiful...your words asking God for the "strength to be weak" so that we will depend upon Him. How often we view dependence as a form of weakness. In some cases it is, but with God, it is the avenue He wants us to take so that he can truly empower us and point us in the correct direction, the one that reveals Him. Thank you for this message.