Reasons to Believe: The Temple Sign
Reasons to Believe: The Temple Sign!
John 2: 12 - 25
September 26, 2021
Jesus Cleanses the Temple!
A. Capernaum, on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee.
1. From the higher elevation of Nazareth, Jesus, his mother, his
brothers (James, Joses, Jude, and Simon), and his disciples went
down to the lower levels of the lake-side. Here two of the
disciples lived: John and James, the sons of Zebedee and Salome
2. After His rejection at Nazareth (Luke 4:16-30) this city became
His base of operations in Galilee.
B. Jerusalem and the Passover (early Spring, about April)
1. Passover - “a feast celebrated to commemorate the deliverance of
the people of Israel from Egyptian bondage.” City population
increased from 200k to over 1 million people.
2. The Feast of the Unleavened Bread - “The day on which the lamb
was killed was followed by the seven-day Feast of Unleavened
Bread, celebrated from the fifteenth to the twenty-first of Nisan.
So very close was the connection between the Passover-meal
proper and the immediately following Feast of Unleavened Bread
that the term Passover is frequently used to cover both. (Lk 22:1)”
3. The Court of the Gentiles stockyard (not slopes of Mt. of Olives)
a. True…worshipers could bring their own animal for sacrifice,
the reality was that upon inspection it would not be approved.
b. The High Priest approved vendors would then exploit the
worshippers for animals to sacrifice (cattle, sheep, doves, etc.)
c. Annual Temple tax was due (except women, slaves, minors)
and it had to be paid in the Jewish coinage, so there were
money changers to exchange your coins...at exorbitant rates.
C. Jesus responds forcefully to the market bazar!
1. Two cleansings of the Temple! “John records the cleansing quite
early in Jesus’ ministry, while the Synoptics (Matt. 21:12; Mark
11:15 and Luke 19:45) describe a cleansing during the last week
of Jesus’ life.” (Scholars differ on this point.)
2. Made a whip of cords and drove out the animals and overturned
the moneychangers tables. Jesus “exercised His right as the
Father’s only-begotten Son! (Luke 2:49) Notice: the doves.
This had to be a sign of miraculous power and strength.
3. “Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!”
a. The courage and zeal (jealousy for the honor of God’s house)
was identified by the disciples and explained in the reference!
b. Key to understanding: David brings this into focus Psalm 69:9
Ps. 69 quoted 7x in NT. Reflects the experiences of Christ.
c. Worship was the issue - “The condition of the temple was a
vivid indication of the spiritual condition of the nation.” As
Jesus looked at the chaos in His Father’s house, the Psalmist
relates what Jesus was experiencing “(1) his sufferings were
for God’s sake; (2) his friends had abandoned him; (3) his
zeal for the honor of God’s house had brought reproach
upon him; (4) his religious commitment had brought him
mockery.” Isaiah 29:13
d. True worship - Jn 4:24, Heb 12:28-29, 1 Cor 10:31,Ro. 12:1-2
What sign do you show us? (v.18-25)
A. The Jews (hostile Jewish authorities) react and demand that Jesus
vindicate Himself for the action taken. A Sign - “because it points to
a new dispensation of grace and fulfillment that Jesus is
1. The cleansing of the Temple was a sign! (Malachi 3:1-3)
2. Here is the SIGN:
Destroy this Temple and in three days I will raise it up! (v.19)
a. Jews respond that it has taken 46 years to build this Temple.
Yet the Jews were not willing to find out if Jesus could do it!
b. John provides his own commentary: Verse 21 - His body!
3. Should the Jews have understood this? Neither John, nor the
disciples, or the religious leaders got this at this point! (v.22)
Ps. 40:6-7, Jeremiah 3:16.
4. Jesus is THE TEMPLE - it took place on the day of resurrection!
“Therefore it is the human body of Jesus that uniquely manifests
the Father, and becomes the focal point of the manifestation of
God to man, the living abode of God on earth, the fulfillment of
all the temple meant, and the center of all true worship (over
against all other claims of ‘holy space’, 4:20–24). In this
‘temple’ the ultimate sacrifice would take place; within three
days of death and burial, Jesus Christ, the true temple, would
rise from the dead.” (also John 1:14)
B. What about the Sign?
1. Paul, at Athens on Mars Hill: “Truly, these times of ignorance
God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to
repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will
judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has
ordained. He has given assurance of this to all
by raising Him from the dead!
2. Many liked the signs - “It was one thing to respond to a miracle
but quite something else to commit oneself to Jesus Christ and
continue in His Word (John 8:30–31)...Seeing the signs and
believing in them would be a great beginning; in fact, even the
disciples started that way and had to grow in their faith.”
True belief and true worship!