Jesus Clears the Temple (John 2:12-22)

Note: This was inspired by the devotions of Max Lucado.

He was with Mary when I saw him turn water into wine in Cana. This man whom people called the Christ was interesting. He had authority in his speech. Unlike the religious leaders, he practiced what he preached. I did not know if He was who he claimed to be, but I am hoping and praying that he would be the Messiah.

There were many people in Jerusalem that day. Men, women and children flocked to the city from all over the region because the Passover was nearing. We would again remember God's mighty hand that delivered us from Egypt. I was among those who went to Jerusalem. But unlike the Jews who swarmed the dusty roads, I was there for a specific reason. I heard that the man whom John the Baptist called the Christ was going to the feast as well. I wanted to see him. I wanted to witness his miracles and hear his teachings.

Like in any other Passover, Jerusalem came to life with throngs upon throngs of people busy with their preparations. Business was good as the demand for cattle, sheep and dove skyrocketed. Merchants were everywhere, and as usual they mushroomed in places where people converged. The temple was a good example.

I squeezed myself in the sea of people to reach the temple courts. Along the way I spotted Jesus with his followers. He was standing in the temple courts apparently observing the mess that surrounded him, indignation was all over his face. I watched from a distance as he brandished a make-shift whip out of cords. I couldn't hear what he was saying but I was shocked by what he did.

He overturned the tables of the money changers. He drove both men and beast out of the area, scattering coins and goods all over the place. People scampered away from the man; they were as shocked as I was. Just a few days ago he seemed so holy in his baptism in the Jordan River, but now he appeared so violent. Was this how the Messiah should act?

Turning around I heard two men panting while they talked about what just happened. They looked like merchants so I thought they might have been among those evicted from the temple courts.

"I can't find my sheep," the older man said. "I told you, someday someone would throw us out of there," his companion answered, eyes still fixed on the chaos. "What was that all about? We're just making a living," the older man brushed his partner's comment. "I remember that man shouting, 'Get out of here! How dare you turn my Father's house into a market!'," his companion said. "Father's house? Since when did someone own the Temple? It's God's. Who was he calling himself the Son of God?"

My mind paused to comprehend what I just heard. This man said God was his father? Wait a minute. That's irreverence. We can't simply call God, father. We're just not the same as God.

"All this talk!" the older man's voice brought me back to reality, "And he said he could rebuild that temple in three days if we destroyed it! What arrogance!" The two squeezed their way out of the crowd, still arguing along the way. I turned my head and craned my neck to get a better view of Jesus. He had stopped clearing the temple court. Every eye was glued on him, waiting for what would come next. I wanted to hear him defend himself, but he quietly exited through the crowd.

This is a very interesting character, I thought.


Again John achieved his purpose in the passage. He showed that Jesus was the fulfillment of the prophecies of the old. When Jesus cleared the temple, Psalm 69 spoke to them. Here we read, " zeal for your house consumes me." Jesus' zeal for the honor and glory of the Temple, then considered God's dwelling, moved him to clear it from the filth of greed and love of money. It was God's honor and His praise above anything.

Then, we read about Jesus' bold challenge, " Destroy this temple and I will raise it again in three days." This was to be the sign that Jesus had authority to defend God's honor and glory. Everyone who heard, including his followers, thought he was referring to the structure. They could not believe their ears because it took 46 long years to rebuild the temple.

The disciples, however, would realize at the resurrection, that Jesus was referring to his own body. "Destroy my body, take my life and I will come back alive after three days." Even this early in his ministry, Jesus was already speaking of the resurrection that will take place.

All these things prove that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Scripture. He is the Savior. He is God incarnate.

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