Tue, Aug 1st - 6:05PM
Book of John
" After this He went down to Capernaum, He, and His mother, and His brothers, and His disciples: and they continued there not many days. And the Jews' Passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when He had made a whip of small cords, He drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; And said to them that sold doves, Take these things hence; do not make My Father's house a house of merchandise. And His disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of Your house has eaten me up. Then answered the Jews and said to Him, What sign do You show to us, seeing that You do these things? Jesus replied, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then the Jews said, Forty six years was this temple being built, and You will raise it up in three days? But Jesus spoke about the temple of His body. Therefore when He was risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the scripture, and the Word which Jesus had spoken. Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the feast day, many believed in His name, when they saw the miracles which He did. But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men. And needed that none should testify of man: for He knew what was in man."
Capernaum was a large city about a day's travel from Cana. Jesus made this place like a headquarters in Galilee. His mom went with Him even though He had made her to understand that in the course of His ministry he could pay no more respect to her than to any other person. His siblings went as well as did His disciples. It seems that people were more affected by His miracles than anything else at this time. He had taught His followers that they were sojourners in this world, to go where their work led them.
Jesus desired to go up to Jerusalem to observe the Passover. This was actually the first one He attended after His baptism, with only three more to be attended by Him. Jesus had been made under the Law so He observed the Passover. This was to teach by example a strict observation of divine institutions. This time He did two things which He had never done previously:
(1) He purged the temple.
This action had actually been foretold in Malachi 3:2-3. Now was the time appointed by God for reformation. He removed what was amiss in the temple. This had also happened before (II Chronicles 30:14-15) at a Passover, again in II Kings 23:4. Christ came to reform the entire world, He demands that all who come to Him should also reform their hearts and lives.
What corruptions did He find in the temple? He found the outer court of the Gentiles occupied by sellers of sacrificial animals. The chief priests had approved bringing these sellers of animals into this court. They wished to make more money at the expense of the poorer Jews coming from long distances. Animals had to be certified as being blemish free. They had also approved having money changers located in this outer court as well. See, Jews were required to pay a half-shekel every year, as a poll tax. Obviously the money changers were not making these exchanges honestly.
First Jesus drove out all of the animals found there with a whip fashioned out of short cords. Those who sold them were also driven out. He could have taken possession of all of the animals since it was His Father's house. They were tresspassers. Then He poured out the changers money. Overturning the tables demonstrated His displeasure against those who make religion a matter of worldly gain. Reformation requires thoroughness, He drove them out, threw the money out, and threw the trade out of the temple as well. Jesus then turns to those who sold doves and tells them to remove them. Discretion must always guide and rule our zeal so that we do nothing that reflects poorly upon us. Jesus then tells them all why He has done what He has done. "Do not make My Father's house a house of merchandise!"
They were profaning the House of God. Merchandizing was a good thing but not in the temple. We need to heed this warning in our churches today. Allowing these activities to happen within the temple was sacrilege, it debased something which was solemn and made it mean. It distracted and disturbed when worshippers should have been preparing their hearts. It forced the Gentiles who came to observe the Passover to herd themselves in among the sheep and oxen. It brought a secular business into a place of holiness for the purpose of selling commodities. Christ had the authority to do these things, for it had been given to Him by the Father. And so Jesus cleansed the temple to return it to the condition it ought to be in.
(2) Christ then gave a sign to those Jews who demanded it to prove His authority for doing so. No miracle at that time, but He gives them something yet to come, His death, burial, and resurrection. If they were not to be convinced by what He had just done then let them wait. This sign which He gave them will prove Him to be the Messiah. He answered them in a tiny parable of which they could not understand due to them being stiff-necked and hardhearted. They totally miss the fact that Jesus plainly knows what they will drive the Romans to do.
We need to see that the death of Christ was the destruction of the Jewish temple and His resurrection was the raising up of another temple, the gospel Church. We can see that being foretold in Zechariah 6:12. These men made gross mistakes in interpreting Christ's words literally rather than figuratively. Today what an abundance of mischief has been done by all of the various modes of interpreting God's Word! Today we must not forget that Christ leads us to consider another temple of which the physical Jewish temple was but a shadow. The body of Christ is the true temple, the habitation/dwelling place of Christ's Holy Spirit. The temple at Jerusalem was just a "type." The temple in Jerusalem used to have the "glory of God" or the shekinah dwell in the Holy of Holies. The eternal Word dwelled there but now dwells within each and every true believer in Christ.
I know that it has been quite awhile since I posted anything new. Much has been going on in my life and was distracting for some time. My hope again is that I can begin posting new things here on a weekly basis for now. I thank all of you who have visited and read some or all of these posts. I hope that they have been a blessing to you.