On Wednesday nights at the church I Pastor, Faith United Church in Hempstead Texas, we are going through the book of John verse by verse. This is my personal favorite way to preach. Here is this coming Wednesday’s sermon.
JOHN PART 6
CLEARING THE TEMPLE
John 2:12-25 TNIV – 12 After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples. There they stayed for a few days. 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.” 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. 24 But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. 25 He did not need human testimony about them, for he knew what was in them.
INTRO: Last week we saw Jesus turning water into wine, which was the first sign concerning Jesus Divinity as well as Him being the Messiah.
Tonight, we are going to look at the clearing of the Temple. The world has many different views concerning Jesus. Some consider Jesus as always being meek and mild, and yes we was often meek and mild. But while Jesus is fully God, He is also fully man. He had the same emotions that you and I often have – even anger. Here is a story about Jesus being angry. Let me first start off by saying that there are two kinds of anger. There is common everyday anger, which when we lash out in – we sin. This kind of anger is a fleshly anger.
2 Corinthians 12:20TNIV – For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.
Ephesians 4:26 TNIV – In your anger do not sin.
There is also a righteous godly anger. An anger that burns within us when the Lord is blasphemed in our midst. And anger that burns within us when our brothers or sisters are slandered in the name of religion. An anger that burns within us when we hear or see false teachings within the church, or abuses within the church.
This is the type of anger the consumed Jesus Christ the day He entered the Temple. Let’s look further.
1. The journey to Capernaum.
Verse 12 TNIV – After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples. There they stayed for a few days.
After the first sign that Jesus performed, turning the water into wine, this passage tells us that Jesus and His disciples went to Capernaum and stayed a few days.
We don’t know really from this passage why Jesus and His disciples went to Capernaum.
It could be to rest. But I think it is more that likely that Jesus spent time with His Father before He began to embark on His ministry.
We all have what are called down times. Times of rest and recovery. We should not consider those times as down times, but recovery times. Opportunities that we can spend some quite alone time with our Heavenly Father, recharging our spiritual, physical, and emotional batteries.
2. The Messiah in His Temple.
Verses 13-17 TNIV – 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.”
I want you to first notice before we go further how I titled this 2nd point: the Messiah in His Temple. Why did I entitle it this way? There are many reasons, but one that I want to focus on was why the Temple was built. It was actually built to honor the name of the Lord.
1 Kings 3:2 TNIV – The people, however, were still sacrificing at the high places, because a temple had not yet been built for the Name of the LORD.
1 Kings 5:5 TNIV – I intend, therefore, to build a temple for the Name of the LORD my God, as the LORD told my father David, when he said, ‘Your son whom I will put on the throne in your place will build the temple for my Name.’
And what is the name of our Lord and Savior – it is none other than Jesus Christ. And all authority has been given Him.
Philippians 2:10 TNIV – that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth…
Now this is one story that is mentioned in all four of the Gospels – but John’s is different. And while we want go into the differences much, it is my belief that these differences calls for two different occasions that Jesus cleared the Temple. Study this on your own, it would be a good study for everyone. The first obvious one is that the Synoptic Gospels all place this at the end of Jesus ministry, while John places it at the beginning. Now there are other instances of Jesus performing an action on more than one occasion. By example we know that Jesus fed the 5,000, but in Matthew it is declared that Jesus also fed the 4,000 as well.
This is the second Passover mentioned in the Gospel accounts concerning Jesus. The first dealt with the events that took place in the life of Jesus when He was 12 years old.
Luke 2:41-42 TNIV – 41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. 42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to the Festival, according to the custom.
Again Jesus goes to the Temple during the beginning of Passover, this time at the beginning of His public ministry.
Why did Jesus come to Jerusalem to publicly present Himself before the Jews during the Passover? There is a lot of speculation about this from Scholars and Commentators. I think the real meaning is possibly found in what the Passover itself represented. It was the festival that looked back to the time the Jews were freed from their slavery in Egypt. It reminded the Jews of the night when the death angel came in judgment on the first-born of animals and well as people. Only one thing prevented the judgment from befalling their house, the application of the blood of the Passover lamb. By applying this blood on their doorpost – God’s judgment was “passed over,” them. I believe that Jesus knew that He would become the Passover lamb for the human race. We are deserving of God’s judgment and wrath, but through the shed blood of the perfect Passover lamb – Jesus Christ – God’s judgment has “passed over” us.
1 Corinthians 5:7b TNIV – For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.
To me what is so interesting is that if you hold the same view as I do is this: Christ basically begins His public ministry during Passover, and He would also be arrested and crucified during Passover as well.
Notice what He found in the Temple courts (v. 14). He found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and the exchanging of money. During the beginning of Passover, Jews from all over would come and fill the streets of Jerusalem, preparing for this holy festival. They would use the Court of the Gentiles within the Temple gates as a not-so-holy place that could serve as a place to buy and sell sacrifices and exchange money.
The selling of the animals. There were merchants that would sell animals for sacrifice for the Temple. When you came to the Temple, your were allowed to bring your own animal for sacrifice, but that animal had to be first examined for blemishes. If one was found, you had to buy one without blemish. Scholars believe that in all likely-hood this practice had become vile and crooked – more of a money making scheme, and for the purpose of actually provided a true, unblemished sacrifice.
The money changers. During the time of Jesus, only Jewish coins, not Roman, could be used for the payment of the annual Temple tax. It was thought that there was a high exchange rate…meaning that the Moneychangers were making a profit during this time.
Notice the reaction of Jesus (vv. 15-16). Remember what I said earlier, that it is my belief that the Temple was built for Jesus – or the honor the name of the Lord. Here He comes in and sees all this going on, it is not bringing Him or the Father honor, but blaspheming the Holy name of the Lord by their attitudes and actions. You see, Jesus was all about doing what was pleasing to the Father. He even at the age of 12 new He had to be doing the Father’s business. What He saw wasn’t real worship to honor and lift up the Father, but it brought disgrace – so He reacted in righteous anger.
Now before we say, “Go get them Jesus, I think we need to ask ourselves from very important questions: (a) Would Jesus be pleased in our worship of Him? Are we worshipping because we like the song or music, or so that people will think highly of us? (b) Are we living our everyday lives to honor the Lord, or are we doing things hidden, and under the table? (c) Is our faithfulness to Church when we feel like it, or is it pleasing to the Lord? I think it is important to examine ourselves? Why, because Scripture says so.
2 Corinthians 13:5 TNIV – Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?
The reaction of His disciples (v. 17). While I’m sure they were shocked by what they saw, I believe that Holy Spirit brought to their minds the Scripture passage from Psalm 69:9.
3. The Jews react.
Verse 18 TNIV – The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”
In this passage, these Jews were probably the Jewish Authorities, or maybe the Sanhedrin. These Jews are obviously upset. But notice that they don’t question the actions of Jesus, but by what authority He does this. They wanted a sign, some type of credential proving Jesus authority.
4. The sign given – destruction and resurrection.
Verses 19-22 TNIV – 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.
What was Jesus credentials, or sign He was going to give them…His death and resurrection. The Jews missed the whole point, they thought He was talking about that physical Temple, and not His body. Later, His disciples would remember this and believe what Scripture prophesied concerning Christ Jesus.
5. Jesus performed signs.
Verses 23-25 TNIV – 23 Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. 24 But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. 25 He did not need human testimony about them, for he knew what was in them.
We don’t know what signs Jesus performed, all we know is that He did. Perhaps it was some signs that are mentioned in the other Gospels.
He was started to draw a crowd of people as we was performing these signs. Jesus would not entrust Himself to them, He knew the condition of their heart.
CONCL: The greatest sign the Jesus is in fact the Messiah and Savior of the world is His death, burial and resurrection. This is the sign we should be pointed people toward, not something superficial.