Cleansing the Temple

Text: John 2:13-22

When Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Passover, He “cleansed” the temple by driving out the moneychangers and those selling animals. Why would Jesus do this? And what lessons does He teach on this occasion?

Imagining Jesus (v. 13-15)

  • Many have an idea about Jesus/God that they have in their minds – they are convinced the Lord is as they imagine, regardless of what the Bible says
  • To many, Jesus’ actions here would seem very “unChristlike” – do we accept the Bible or the imaginations of men?
  • Other ways in which people imagine Jesus that are contrary to how He is actually depicted in Scripture – could never send anyone to hell (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9); ignores sin, accepts people as they are in their sin (Matthew 11:28; Luke 13:3, 5); pleased with anything we do in His name (Matthew 7:21-23)

Zeal for God’s House (v. 16-17)

  • Jesus’ actions in cleansing the temple were not carnally motivated – zeal for God’s house (v. 17; Psalm 69:9)
  • Jesus’ actions were always consistent with the word of God (John 8:29) – He is our perfect example (1 Peter 2:21-22); our actions must also be based on the word (Colossians 3:17)
  • God’s house at this time was the temple, but today it is the church (1 Timothy 3:15) – be zealous to keep it pure from sin (1 Corinthians 5:1-2, 13), error (Titus 1:9-11), and human innovations (Acts 2:42); be zealous to do its work (1 Thessalonians 1:8; Ephesians 4:16)
  • Consuming zeal (v. 17) – wholehearted, not just when convenient

Destroying and Raising the Temple (v. 18-22)

  • Question of authority (v. 18) – natural response to Jesus’ actions; good question (Matthew 21:23); proof would be given in His resurrection (v. 19; Acts 17:31)
  • Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (v 19) – they misunderstood Jesus, thinking of the physical temple (v. 20); Jesus was speaking of His body, foretelling of His death and resurrection (v. 21); He had the power/authority to do this (v. 19; John 10:17-18)
  • Produced faith in the disciples (v. 22) – what is recorded in the gospels is there to produce faith (John 20:30-31; cf. Romans 10:17)
  • Jesus’ resurrection gives us hope that we will also be raised one day (1 Corinthians 15:20-23)

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