Jesus was on His way. He had His A team; He had completed His first public miracle, and now they were off to Passover in Jerusalem. When Jesus and the apostles arrived, it was clear that what He saw was less than pleasing. The fanfare that was happening in the temple courts rivaled a flea market. The Lord became enraged as He witnessed the bartering, the corruption, the exploitation, as well as the indifference shown by the temple leadership.
Jesus cleared the temple. He didn’t politely claim His dissatisfaction–He ran the crooks and corrupt people out! This was, after all, His Father’s house. I love how the Message bible described the scene; Stop turning my Father’s house into a shopping mall! There was little doubt or confusion about the message! Then when the leaders complained and demanded for Him to show them His “Heavenly Badge”, Jesus spoke prophecy. I will tear the temple down and rebuild it in 3 days!
I can almost picture John recounting the story in his mind. He, now several decades later, remembered the event with eyes on the cross. Jesus did not personally destroy the temple; the Romans would do that. Instead, the Lord turned the entire message on its head. Jesus made the relationship between God and His chosen personal rather than national. They no longer needed merchants to sell lambs and doves for sacrifice; Jesus became that sacrifice. People no longer had to purchase atonement; Jesus was their atonement!
Jesus is our atonement as well. He was not timid, nor was He wishy washy! Jesus came with a mission to right what had become so wrong. He came to restore fellowship between a God that loved His own and the very ones that He loved. Jesus had no illusions about why He came. Jesus came to die! So, to see the very leaders exploit those that God adored demanded action. It is a great gift that Jesus came not only to show the people the true nature of the Father, but He also came to show the religious leaders how far they had ventured from the truth!
God Bless You
13-14 When the Passover Feast, celebrated each spring by the Jews, was about to take place, Jesus traveled up to Jerusalem. He found the Temple teeming with people selling cattle and sheep and doves. The loan sharks were also there in full strength.
15-17 Jesus put together a whip out of strips of leather and chased them out of the Temple, stampeding the sheep and cattle, upending the tables of the loan sharks, spilling coins left and right. He told the dove merchants, “Get your things out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a shopping mall!” That’s when his disciples remembered the Scripture, “Zeal for your house consumes me.”
18-19 But the Jews were upset. They asked, “What credentials can you present to justify this?” Jesus answered, “Tear down this Temple and in three days I’ll put it back together.”
20-22 They were indignant: “It took forty-six years to build this Temple, and you’re going to rebuild it in three days?” But Jesus was talking about his body as the Temple. Later, after he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered he had said this. They then put two and two together and believed both what was written in Scripture and what Jesus had said.
23-25 During the time he was in Jerusalem, those days of the Passover Feast, many people noticed the signs he was displaying and, seeing they pointed straight to God, entrusted their lives to him. But Jesus didn’t entrust his life to them. He knew them inside and out, knew how untrustworthy they were. He didn’t need any help in seeing right through them.