Posted on Sat, Apr 2, 2011
April 2, 2011 Robert Dickson
22nd Day of Lent John 2:13-22
This story from John is the famous “Jesus cleansing the Temple” passage in which Jesus, while attending Temple for Passover, becomes angry at the sight of commerce taking place and puts a stop to it with strong language, the use of (or threat to use) a whip he fashioned, and a destructive rampage overturning tables, driving out livestock and scattering the moneychangers’ coin.
How unlike Jesus! What happened to turning the other cheek? Where did love thine enemy go? His violent outburst was not premeditated, “And when He had made a whip out of cords” (from verse 15) indicates that Jesus had no weapons with him, while “And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:” (verse 14) makes it clear that he came upon, rather than knew about ahead of time, the sight which made Him so livid. Nonetheless, His outburst is so out of character that it is a shock.
Later in the passage (verses 18 & 19) Jesus is asked by the Jews “What sign do you show to us, since you do these things?” to which Jesus responds: “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” While the seeming non sequitor is confusing at first, the passage goes on to state “but He was speaking of the temple of His body.” meaning that faith in the Temple, a grand structure indeed, but only a structure after all, is misplaced and that faith in Him is all that is of lasting value.
This story of Jesus’ rebellion against how far religion had strayed (verse 16: “make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise”) from His teachings – makes clear the real lesson that faith is about faith in Christ Himself and His teachings, not about burnt offerings, or profiting from Pilgrims, or even outward symbols of faith such as great edifices said to be for the glory of God.
Please Lord, help me see through the fog of life’s human-created trappings, unimportant possessions, and false idols to the clear light of Jesus’ teachings that I may be closer to Him and His blessings
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