Monday, February 23, 2015

The Cleansing of the Temple

Not considered a miracle - but a sign/wonder

John 2:12-14 - pilgrims came by scores during Passover - a 7 day feast.
Temple was center of Jewish faith - is to this day, and not only to Jews, but Christians and Muslims.

Temple had several courts surrounding temple structure itself.  Outermost - court of Gentiles - as close as a non-Jew could get to the temple.   Then court of women - Jewish women - then court of men - Jewish men - then inside was the holy place where priests ministered, and back third of temple - Holy of Holies where High Priest entered only once a year.  Contained Ark of the Covenant - place where God dwelt

John 15-17
This passage referring to the outer court of the Gentiles where the sellers, vendors, money changers over time began setting up to hawk their wares.  Always was allowed, but started out in the area surrounding the temple courts completely.

Jesus drove the vendors/money changers out of the court of the Gentiles. -   "zeal for your house has consumed me"

John 2:18-22 - Jews asked for sign - Jesus: destroy this temple, will raise it again in three days - Jews scoffed at Him and didn't believe.  Disciples didn't understand at this time, but continued to follow/learn/consider

Question:  Was there 1 cleansing, or 2?  This is not mentioned in Matt., Mark, or Luke, but all four mention cleansing at end of Jesus' ministry - as coming in to Jerusalem for final Passover prior to crucifixion/resurrection.
Option A:  John ordered his material theologically and thematically - purpose "so that you will believe the Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God"
Option B:  there were two cleansings - one at start of His ministry, and one at last week (2 Passovers later)

Mark 11:15-17
Isa. 56:6-7 - "my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples
Mark 11:17-18 - priests now sought a way to destroy/kill Him.
Matt. 21:12-15

John's point = Jesus is LORD!!  
He has authority over temple, priests, worship, sacrifice

Why believe that?  Because He cleansed the temple???? - (any Zealot could do the same if he was "gutsy" enough) - the cleansing was not the sign.
Answer:  because He "rebuilt it in 3 days" - rose from the dead (temple of His body)

Not the Cleansing, Not the claims - Rom. 1:3-4

Ultimate sign = His resurrection

(John's point? - "Jesus is LORD"   John's purpose?  John 20:30-31)

Primary Truth of this passage = Jesus is Lord

Secondary truth(s) = additional truths taught and/or illustrated in the text - ones we can take home and use during the week.

#1.  Righteousness is not always pretty.  Note:  45% of Evangelical Christians think that Jesus sinned while on earth, and they use this passage as primary example.
Jesus is always righteous.  NOT always 'NICE' by our definition of nice.
(let's not forget WHO we serve/represent) - Jesus always gets it right.  We don't!!

#2.  There is no compelling sign - ie;  a sign/wonder - so profound (expressive/revealing) that it FORCES belief.  We still have to decide to believe.

Luke 16:27-31
ie:  not compelling sign until your death, His return - and then it's too late!
(so, now much more 'proof' do you need for the next step?)
You must decide - are you following Him?

#3.  Faith does not always eliminate confusion. - (dissolve uncertainty)
Did the disciples understand His answer to the Jews?
Did thy continue to believe?  follow?  even if they didn't understand what He meant

Compare:  Hab. 3:16-18 - even if not pretty, can be sure it's right!

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