ANOTHER SIDE OF JESUS — FROM JOY-GIVING WINE TO RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION
JOHN 2:13-25 Jesus is always making things new: a new temple (His Body), new birth, new worship, new covenantÃ‚Â¼
But many of the Jews didn’t understand Jesus’ spiritual application of material/physical things. i.e., His Body, a temple of God, "living water" for the Holy Spirit, etc.
Jesus was born under the law and observed (and fulfilled) the law, so He went up to Jerusalem for the Passover. On seeing the sacrilege the people had made of the temple, He fulfilled Malachi 3:1-3: "See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come," says the LORD Almighty. 2 But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness," 1 Peter 4:17 "For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?"
The love of money can ruin a minister and a ministry: 1 Timothy 6:5 "and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain." The Jews were taking financial advantage of religious ceremonies like the Passover.
"Zeal for Your house will consume Me." (Psalm 69:9) Psalm 69 is a foreshadowing of those who suffer for the sake of righteousness — ultimately Jesus. And His righteousness led Him to the cross.
In the other gospel accounts of the cleansing of the temple near the end of Jesus’ ministry (there may have been two different cleansings -scholars disagree on whether there was one or two) we see a demonstration of Jesus’ amazing (even supernatural) authority: Mark 11:16 "and he (Jesus) would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts." At Passover there would be thousands of people in and around the temple and they all simply obeyed His command. (See Psalm 114 for a picture of God’s and Jesus’ omnipotence.)
Yet some of the Jews (leaders?) questioned His authority and wanted a sign to demonstrate His authority, though they didn’t question what He did in cleansing the temple (they probably knew they were guilty).
In saying "Destroy this temple" Jesus used the word “naos’ for temple which means the inner sanctuary of the temple – a picture of Jesus’ inner heart where God dwells. Whereas “hieron’ is used for temple in the rest of the passage, meaning the entire precinct or area of the temple. He was predicting His death as they later destroyed His life on the cross. But He was also answering their question about His authority as He continued by saying He would raise it up in three days. His resurrection was "the sign," the proof of His power and authority as the Son of God: Romans 1:4 "and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord." Jesus destroyed the whole system of sacrifice in the temple. Hebrews 10:11-12 "Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest (Jesus) had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God."
Vv. 23-25 – Jesus performed miracles (signs) while He was there in Jerusalem during the Passover and many "believed" in His Name. But as seen in the next verses, they must have only believed in His power to do miracles versus putting their trust in Him for forgiveness of sin and newness of life. People can have a superficial belief in Jesus that does not lead to saving faith in Him. "Three words can be used to define belief: 1) notice —observe the facts objectively; 2) assent — acknowledge this truth intellectually, and 3) faith — receive the solution (Jesus) personally. Only when we personally receive by faith Christ’s forgiveness through His substituionary death on the cross for our sins have we received the free gift of salvation and eternal life." (Ken Boa, I’m Glad You Asked) John 1:12 "Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God–" This passage shows both intellectual belief ("believed in His Name") and personal reception — "received Him". Make sure you have the third level of belief in Jesus.
Jesus knows all men — He is God and is omniscient. Hebrews 4:12-13 "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes (motives) of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him (Jesus) to whom we must give account."
What would Jesus have to clean out if He came to our church, our home, our business, our hearts? He has come and will cleanse us now (as we submit to Him) or later at the judgment seat. (1 Corinthians 3:12-15) He loves us with a Holy love.