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Jesus is the Temple

 

John 2:12-25

Key Verse: 2:21   “But the temple he had spoken of was his body.”

 

In John 1, John declares that First, Jesus is God (1,2) , Second Jesus is the light of life (4), Third Jesus is the word who became flesh (14), and Fourth, Jesus is the Lamb of God (29).

 

In the first part of John 2, Jesus changes water into wine at the wedding in Cana, Galilee. In the second part, Jesus clears the Temple with his anger.  All Synoptic Gospels record this event at the end (Mt 21:12,13; Mk 11:15-17; Lk 19:45,46). But John puts this event at the beginning of Jesus' ministry, along with the event of Jesus’ changing water into wine. It is because John is more interested in teaching the truth than in writing a chronological biography of Jesus. Then, what is the truth which John is trying to teach in his gospel? John 1:14 says, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” The truth that John teaches is that the coming of Jesus into this world is full of grace and truth.

 

Jesus’ changing water into wine for the wedding feast reveals the grace of Jesus, but Jesus’ clearing the temple with his anger reveals the truth of Jesus. Jesus is the holy God who does not condone those who make use of the temple for their stomach. Jesus is the God of blessing, and at the same time he is the God of righteousness. We love to receive God’s blessing. At the same time, we need to clean our hearts for the truth of God to dwell in our lives and community.

 

In today’s passage, John also declares that Jesus himself is the Temple. The Temple of God is the house of God and at the same time is the house of prayer for all nation. In the Temple where God is present, we worship God. In the Temple where God is present, we hear his voice through studying the Bible. In the Temple of God, we pray for all nations as a Kingdom of Priest and Holy Nation with world mission command. 

 

 I.     Jesus Clears The Temple (12-16)

           

Look at verse 12, 13.  Jesus spent sometimes at Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples. It seems very good that we need to spend sometimes with our house church’s members, along with our disciples. After a few day’s retreat at Capernaum, Jesus and his disciples went up to Jerusalem.  It was Passover time. What did Jesus find in the temple courts during the Passover? Look at verse 14. “In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money.”  Jesus saw many people selling cattle, sheep and doves for sacrifices in Passover. And Jesus saw others sitting at table very busy exchanging money. Jesus saw the holy temple of God turned into the market place. What happened to the temple of God?

 

According to Moses’ Law Jewish men had to appear before the Lord in the temple three times a year: at the Passover, at Pentecost, and at the Feast of Tabernacles (Dt 16:16). Among the three feasts, the Passover was the greatest. It was a time to remember the hardship they had experienced as slaves in Egypt, and God’s grace of deliverance. When people appeared at the temple, they were required to bring a gift to God (Dt 16:17). Worshipers who came from far distances needed to buy cattle, sheep and doves to offer as sacrifices. Therefore, there were strong needs for the market to be established. The purpose of establishing the market at the temple was for helping travelers. As a result, the religious leaders made a lot of money by establishing the market. But such profits from running the market were not used to fulfill God’s purpose of calling them to carry out the world mission, but such profits were used all to fulfill their stomach.  In this way, at the temple of God the religious leaders who were supposed to be Kingdom of Priests became thieves who made use of the temple for their stomach.

 

What did Jesus do about the temple which was turned into the market place? Look at verses 15, 16. “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. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!”  Jesus was so angry. But he did not lose his temper. His anger had a holy purpose. He made a whip out of cords and drove them out of the temple area, along with their animals. He overturned the moneychangers' tables. And Jesus shouted to the dove sellers, "Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father's house into a market!" Why was Jesus so angry?  Have you seen Jesus’ anger like this? In order to understand Jesus’ anger, we need to understand the meaning of the temple to God’s people.

 

First, the temple is the house of God. In verse 16a, Jesus said “How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!” The temple is Jesus’ Father’s house. It means the house of God. In 2 Ch 7:12, the Lord appeared to Solomon at night when he dedicated the temple and said, “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices.””  In essence, the temple is the place where God is present with his people (Ex 25:8) and the temple is the place where God and his people meet (2 Ch 5:7; Ex 25:22). And the temple is the place where the word of God is. (2 Ch 6:10b, 11) Therefore, Daniel in his exile in Babylon really wanted to meet God so that he went to his room and knelt before a window that faced the temple in Jerusalem and prayed three times a day. A Psalmist living in exile wrote of the temple, "Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked" (Ps 84:10).

 

In this temple of God, we study the Bible and we meet God and we worship God. The temple should be the center of our spiritual life and should be the center of our community life as well.  We should know what is happening at the temple of God. Who come to worship service? Who do accept Jesus? Who do repent of sins? Who do study the Bible? Who do daily bread? Who go to outreach campus? Who write testimonies? What are happening in the world for carrying out world mission? How can we reach out the world with the gospel of Jesus? These issues should be always in the center of our thoughts, of our hearts and of our community. Let us pray that the temple of God may be in the center of our lives and our community. If we do not have the heart for fulfilling the purpose of God, we are not different from the religious leaders who became thieves at the end.

 

Second, the temple is the house of prayer.  Mark quoted Isaiah and said of the temple, "My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations" (Isa 56:7b). God wanted even Gentiles to come to the temple for salvation. God wanted Israel to pray and pray for the salvation of all nations as a Kingdom of Priests. It is a great privilege from God that we can pray for world mission. Some of us are very indifferent in carrying out world mission even though God sent many second generations to NJ UBF. We are privileged so much to have world mission command. But if we who are privileged do not pray about world salvation, then who we are? We only think about how to survive to pay rent, by looking at bank balance, instead of thinking about how to find our five loaves and two fish for world mission. As a result, we will end up making the house of God into a marketplace. 

 

The religious leaders in Jesus' day had exchanged God for money. They were practical atheists. They were the root of all the evil in the land (1 Tim 6:10). They were incurably sick with sin. So Jesus drove them out of the temple with his burning anger.  Did Jesus give them up? No. But it was not easy for Jesus to help them with gentle talk, because they were too corrupted to be healed by medicine; they needed surgical care. It was very hard for Jesus to cut open their corruption. But Jesus, the God of truth, truly wanted to help them with a broken shepherd heart. Jesus made a whip out of cords and drove them out of the temple and yelled at them with his burning anger, “"Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father's house into a market!" Here we see that Jesus risked his own life to give them a chance to repent before God. Today, let us hear Jesus’ yelling at us with the heart of repentance and let us clean our hearts so that we may dwell in the house of God and the house of prayer for all nations as a Kingdom of Priests.

 

II.     Jesus is the Temple (17- 24)

 

Let me ask a question? How do you see Jesus’ behavior of yelling with his anger at the  people in the temple and of clearing the temple without permission from religious leaders? Aren’t you shocked? Aren’t you afraid of being arrested by religious police?

 

Then, how did the disciples respond to Jesus’ behavior of clearing the temple? Look at verse 17. "His disciples remembered that it is written: 'Zeal for your house will consume me.'" This is a reference to Psalm 69:9, which says, "zeal for your house consumes me." As we know well, Jesus was charged with blasphemy by the religious leaders because of this event. Of course, the disciples were very much shocked when they saw Jesus clearing the temple and rebuked the religious leaders, the people of high authority.  But they overcame their fear. How was it possible for them? It was because they remembered the word of God, overcoming their human feelings in a bad situation. When bad things happen, we calculate first. When we calculate first, we fall into deep fear and despair. But when we remember the word of God, we come to understand what happen from spiritual perspective.  Likewise, the disciples tried to understand Jesus' actions by remembering the word of God. When they did so, later they could understand the meaning of Jesus' death and resurrection.  Let's read verse 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." Jesus’ disciples came to have the faith of salvation by believing in the word of God.

 

But how did the Jews respond? Look at verse 18.  The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?” They demanded that Jesus perform more signs to prove his authority to do all this. What did Jesus say to them? Read verse 19. "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days."

 

In this verse 19, Jesus taught them two things. First, Jesus declares that he is the temple. People will no longer need a visible temple in order to worship God.  At the cross of Jesus, Mark described what happened in Mk 15:38 which says, “The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” Heb 10:1 says, “The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.” Jesus is now the temple. People can meet God and solve their sin problem in Jesus. The visible temple is no more the center of the life of God's people; Jesus is the center of their lives.  Heb 10:19,20 says, “Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body” Heb 4:16 says, “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” In Jesus we have salvation.

 

Second, Jesus also taught them the hidden secret of God's great salvation. The Son of God must die on the cross and rise on the third day. This is the good news of great joy for all the people, for Jesus' death and resurrection solve all men's sin problems and give them a living hope in the kingdom of God. 

 

How did many people respond to Jesus’ signs? (23) Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. Their faith came from seeing the signs. With the faith from seeing the signs, many ran away from Jesus when Jesus died on the cross.  But how did Jesus’ disciples come to the faith? Let's read verse 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." The faith of Jesus’ disciples came from hearing the word of God. By hearing what Jesus have spoken to us, we can build up our faith that never disappear.  How can we hear the word of God? As college student, it is the best to write personal testimonies based on the word of God, not on your feelings.

 

In today’s passage, Jesus clears the temple. Let us clear our hearts where Jesus wants to dwell with us. Jesus is the Temple. In Jesus, we have salvation.  Let us pray to build up the house of God and the house of prayer for all nations at Hamilton. 

No. Subject Author Date Views
210 John 4:1-26 "I am He." M. Peter Kim file M. PK 2017.11.12 23
209 Philippians 2:1-18 "Continue to Work out Your Salvation!" file admin 2017.11.05 15
208 John 3:16-36 "God so loved the world." - Peter Kim file M. PK 2017.10.29 12
207 John 3:1-15 "To See the Kingdom of God" by M. Peter Kim admin 2017.10.22 19
» John 2:12-25 "Jesus is the Temple" by M. John Park file admin 2017.10.16 26
205 John 2:1-11 "Jesus reveals his glory." - M. Peter Kim M. PK 2017.10.08 37
204 John 1:35-51 "We have found the Messiah." M. PK 2017.10.01 39
203 John 1:19-34 "Look the Lamb of God" file M. PK 2017.09.24 47
202 John 1:14-18 The word became flesh - M. Peter Kim. file M. PK 2017.09.17 40
201 Mark 13:1-13 "The Gospel must first be preached to all nations." file M. PK 2017.08.27 50
200 Luke 16:14-31 LET THEM LISTEN TO MOSES AND THE PROPHETS - by Sh, David Gates admin 2017.03.19 135
199 Luke 16:1-13 USE WORLDLY WEALTH TO GAIN FRIENDS - by M, Peter Kim admin 2017.03.17 127
198 Luke 14:1-24 BRING IN THE POOR, THE CRIPPLED, THE BLIND, AND THE LAME - by Shep David Gates admin 2017.02.06 125
197 Luke 13:22-35 Make Every Effort To Enter Through The Narrow Door - by M, Peter Kim file admin 2017.01.30 130
196 Luke 5:1-11 "Jesus calls Simon to fish for people." By Sh. David Gates M. PK 2016.05.01 349
195 Luke 4:14-30 "To Preach the Good News" by M. Peter Kim M. PK 2016.04.12 322
194 1 Corinthians 15:12- 34 'THE POWER OF THE RESURRECTION' by M. Peter Kim M. PK 2016.03.22 1002
193 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 "The Gospel of the Resurrection" By Sh. David Gates M. PK 2016.03.13 383
192 Luke 3:1-14 "Prepare the way for the Lord." By M. Peter Kim M. PK 2016.03.01 365
191 Luke 2:40-52 The Body Jesus in the Temple by Sh.David Gates file M. PK 2016.02.22 371