JESUS CLEARS THE TEMPLE John 2:12-25 Key Verse: 2:15 “So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.” 1. When and where did this event take place? (13) What did Jesus find when he went into the temple? (14) 2. What did Jesus do when he found men selling cattle, sheep, and doves? (15) What did he say? (16) 3. What was the temple that its misuse should make Jesus so angry? (See 2 Ch 7:12- 16; 6:10b-11; 5:7; Ex 25:8,22). How should the temple be used? (Ps 84:10; Isa 56:7b; Lk 19:46) What was the problem of the religious leaders? (1 Ti 6:10) 4. How did the disciples respond to Jesus’ actions? (17, Ps 69:9) When did the disciples really understand? (22) What can we learn from them? 5. How did the Jewish leaders respond? (18) Why? 6. How did Jesus answer them? (19) What did Jesus mean? (21) How did Jesus become the temple? (21,22) What can we learn here about the meaning of Jesus’ life and death? 7. Why did Jesus not entrust himself to men? (24,25) JESUS CLEARS THE TEMPLE John 2:12-25 Key Verse: 2:15 “So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle, he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.” Last week we studied about Jesus who blessed a wedding banquet by changing useless water into useful wine. In today’s passage Jesus clears God’s temple our of his holy anger. When people see Jesus driving out animals and people from the temple using a whip in this passage, some of them might wonder thinking that how such graceful Jesus could do such a thing. However, when we study the Bible, we learn that our Lord Jesus is the God of grace and he the God of truth and righteousness. May God bless our Bible study and help us to learn of Jesus, the God of truth through the study of today’s passage. I. Jesus’ zeal for God’s house (12-17) Look at verse 12. After blessing the wedding at Cana in Galilee, Jesus went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples. After staying there a few days, Jesus up to Jerusalem along with his disciples and it was the Passover time. According to Moses’ law, all Jewish adult men were require to go to Jerusalem and appear before the Lord their God during the Passover Feast. Jesus, even though he was the Son of God, went up to Jerusalem in order to keep God’s law regarding the Passover Feast. This one fact tells us that our Lord Jesus did not come to the world to abolish the Law but to fulfill it (Mt 5:17). The Passover Feast was also called as the Feast of Tabernacle. It was the day when the people of Israel commemorated God’s deliverance from Pharaoh’s hands with his mighty power. The Passover Feast was also called as the Feast of the Unleavened bread because during one week of the Passover Feast, people were asked to eat the unleavened bread by Moses’ law in order to remember their days of suffering when they were living as slaves in Egypt. In the Bible the yeast symbolizes man’s corruption and greediness. And God commanded his people to purify their hearts by having unleavened bread during the feast. We also need to purify our hearts every day by remembering our Lord Jesus who died on the cross as God’s Paschal Lamb. Look at verse 13. Jesus went up to Jerusalem during the Passover Feast and he visited the temple in order to worship his God Father there. Jesus loved to be at God’s temple because he loved his God Father. In Luke 2, there is a famous episode about Jesus. Once Jesus visited Jerusalem during feast when he was a boy and there his parents lost Jesus during the feast. They searched all places in order to find Jesus and they finally found him in the temple. When they saw Jesus, the boy Jesus said to them, “Why were you searching me? Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” (Lk 2:49). May God help us God’s church. To us, God’s church is precious because it is the place where God’s people gather to server the Lord together. Jesus went to the temple to worship God there. But he found that the atmosphere of the temple so disturbing. It was full of noises, mixed with animal cries and shouts of men. Then why this kind of terrible thing happened? At that time by Moses’ law, all Jews were asked to offer some animals to God as their expression of their thanks to God. Also, they were required to pay temple tax. And in order to help the people, a market was established at the temple. There at the market, people would buy animals without defect animals and their Roman coins into Jewish coins. However, as time passed, their original purpose of establishing the temple was lost. Rather, in Jesus’ time, their primary purpose of running the market was to make money. The religious who had been chosen by God to serve their suffering people as shepherds, did not care about spiritual environment in God’s temple. They were happy as long as they could make a big money. So in Mark 11:17, Jesus rebuked him by calling them “robber”. Look at verse 15. Jesus became so enraged when he saw some corrupt people who was destroying the spiritual environment of the temple. So he made a whip out of cords and drove all the sheep and cattle from the temple. He also overturned the tables of moneychangers and said to those who were selling doves, “Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!” (16) So the merchants who had been doing their business shamelessly were frightened to death and they all ran away from the temple. Even many animals were driven out of the temple. In this way, the horror of God’s holy anger fell upon them. In this way, Jesus, the Son of God, cleansed the temple. Here we see a different image of our Lord Jesus. In the previous passage, we saw Jesus who blessed a wedding banquet at Cana in Galilee. Jesus who blessed the wedding banquet by changing tasteless water into tasty wine is the God of grace. This Jesus understands our pain and suffering while living in this world and says in Matthew 11:28-30, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." However, Jesus is the God of righteousness. As the God of righteousness, he is full of truth. The holy Son of God became so angry when he saw God’s temple full of godless people. Jesus is the God of righteousness, who cannot put up with corruption of men. Especially, he cannot bear man committing the sin of hypocrisy and pride and self-righteousness. So in Matthews 23:13-33, Jesus rebuked the religious leaders harshly by saying, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.” Look at verse 10 once again. Jesus said, “Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!” Jesus called God’s temple “my Father’s House.” In Mark 11:17, Jesus said, “My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations. But you have made it a den of robber.” Here through Jesus’ words, we learn about the purpose of God’s church. It is to be a house of prayer for all nations. It is the place where God’s people gather and pray for God’s world mission task. May God bless our church richly according to Jesus’ word. Our church may be used by God as a house of prayer for God’s salvation work in Canada and in whole world. When we read the Old Testaments, we learn that God’s people’s loved for God’s house very much. For example, even when Daniel was brought to Babylon as an exile, he prayed toward Jerusalem where God’s temple was three times a day kneeling down (Dan 6:10). Also in Psalm 8:10, a psalmist says, “Better one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.” Look at verse 17, The disciples were shocked when they saw Jesus’ unusual sudden action. However, they could understand Jesus’ action, when they remembered God’s word based Psalm, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” later. Here from Jesus disciples, we learn that we also must learn of Jesus based on God’s word. II. Jesus is God’s temple (18-25) Look at verse 18. When the religious leaders saw Jesus driving merchants and animals out of the temple our his holy anger, they should have repented their sins and come back to God. But they did not. Instead, as their pride was hurt by Jesus, they responded to Jesus with resentment. They said to Jesus, “What miraculous signs can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?” (18) What did Jesus say to him? Look at verse 19. Jesus said, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” Then the Jews replied, “It has been taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” In John 6:63, Jesus said, “The Sprit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are sprit, and they are life.” The religious leaders should have tried to understand Jesus’ words spiritually, but as physical as they were, they just failed to do so. When they heard Jesus’ words, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”, they thought Jesus crazy. They thought Jesus was committing sin of blasphemy as he was treating the temple so lightly. However, when Jesus said, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” , he was implying the new church which would be established through his death and resurrection. In Old Testament time, the temple was the center of lives of God’s people and in the temple, there was the most holy place which was separated from other places with a curtain. No one was allowed to enter the most holy except the high pries who was allowed to enter once a year to ask God’s grace of forgiveness upon his people. But Jesus established new church by destroying the curtain barrier by dying on the cross as God’s Paschal Lamb. Mark 15:37,38 says, “With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. The curtain in two from top to bottom was torn in two from top to bottom.” Now because of Jesus, we can come to God freely; we can come to him anytime and any place by depending on the grace of Jesus. Look at verse 23. Jesus performed many miracles in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast and many people believed him. But Jesus try them because he knew all men. Jesus knew that people’s faith based on signs is not real faith because they minds would change so quickly. The faith Jesus recognizes is faith that comes by studying the word of God. May God bless our John’s gospel study continually.