INTERNET BIBLE STUDIES
John Lesson 3
John Chapter 2:13--25
In the first part of Chapter 2, we saw Jesus perform his first miracle at the wedding in Cana by turning the water into wine. This week we pickup with the Lord confronting the moneychangers at the temple. Jesus wanted the temple to be a place where people came to worship God, but the religious leaders had allowed it to become a place of merchandise.
I. Moneychangers Confronted in the Temple
We see Christ coming to Capernaum and continuing there for a few days before going up to Jerusalem to the Passover. This was during the spring time of the year, probably in the month of April. We see Jesus coming to cleanse the temple, something He did twice. Once at the first of His ministry and again at the end of His ministry.
John 2:13 And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem,
I think the terminology of it being the Jews passover versus being the Lords Passover may be significant. The passover was ordained of God and called the Lords Passover (Exodus 12:1-27), but it seemed that things had reached a low where it was just the Jews passover where they gathered for a religious feast which had become meaningless to many. It is easy in religion to lose sight of our responsibilities towards the Lord, and turn worship into a meaningless ritual. When we come to Gods house, we are to come to worship the Lord with purity and whole heart.
John 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
The Jewish males were required to go to Jerusalem three times a year.
John 2:14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:
II. Temple is Cleansed
We see that Jesus found the temple in need of cleansing.
Luke 19:45 And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought;
Luke 19:46 Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves.
Jesus was God in the flesh, so you know how much zeal He had for the Temple. Even David related to the Lords House in tender and loving terms. Gods house should mean something to you and I also
Psa 69:9 For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.
Psa 69:10 When I wept, and chastened my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach.
. In the book "John" by John Calvin, he points out that Jesus was known to the disciples as the protector and restorer of the kingdom of God. Indeed, no one will ever learn who Christ is, or the purpose of his actions and sufferings, except through the guidance and teaching of the Scriptures. So far, then, as each of us desires to advance in the knowledge of Christ we shall need to meditate diligently and continually on Scriptures. For although God is sufficient for himself and can be satisfied with himself alone, yet he wishes his glory to be revealed in the church."
John 2:15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables;
John 2:16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.
John 2:17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.
Many view Jesus as a meek and mild man who never raised his voice nor took any type of physical action on Gods behalf. This verse shows that He was willing to use force to accomplish Gods Work if it was needed. You and I should never be people of short tempers or use force to hurt others for the cause of Christ, but this example by Jesus (the sinless, faultless Son of God who never did wrong), shows us that we should be willing to fight if need be for the cause of God. Jesus takes a scourge of small cords and effectively used them like a whip to drive out the money changers and those that were making Gods house into a house of merchandise. It is interesting to not that those here were selling animals and doves and changing money with only money that was temple money. No other kind could be used or offered. By changing the money, the men were making a good profit on the exchange of coins. J. Vernon McGee in his "Thru the Bible Commentary Series" states: "Why did they have such a system? Why did they do this? Because they were making religion easy. They would take the Roman coinage, which had an effigy of Caesar and the imprint of paganism on it, and they would exchange that for Jewish coinage which could be used in the temple. So they were there for the convenience of the worshippers. Also, they changed large coins into smaller ones. Not only did they make religion easy, but they made religion cheap." I would add that many religious denominations in America today are losing members left and right, while conservative churches as a whole are growing. Why is this? I believe it is this exact thing of making religion cheap. When the services are geared to entertain the congregation versus glorifying the Lord, God will not endorse that worship. When those who are leading the flock many times are involved in open sin, this is an outrage to our Lord and Savior. We must do things properly for God to bless us. Paul expressed this to the church at Corinth:
1 Cor 14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order.
III. Authority of Jesus Actions
John 2:18 Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign showest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?
The Jews were always looking for a sign from God. Sometimes the Lord showed them a sign, but many times He ignored them.
Mat 12:39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
Mat 12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
John 2:19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
This verse is an example where Christ spoke of one thing, and the Jews took it to mean another. Jesus was speaking of his body, not the physical Temple of worship. Jesus told the disciples that He sometimes taught in parables because they could not grasp the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Mat 13:13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
Mat 13:14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
John 2:20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?
John 2:21 But he spake of the temple of his body.
John 2:22 When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.
We see that the disciples did not at the time understand that Jesus spoke of His own body, but later, after the resurrection, they understood. You and I need to constantly be studying, learning, growing in the Word. What may not make sense today may come to light in another day. One thing is for sure, there was never a greater proof of who Jesus truly was than when we saw Him come out of the grave after three days and three nights. The resurrection proved Jesus was the Son of God, the divine second member of the Trinity.
IV. Some Jews come to Know Christ as Savior
John 2:23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.
John 2:24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,
John 2:25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.
We see that Jesus did not give the Jews the sign they requested, but still, some believed and were saved. It says that the miracles which He performed moved those to come to a saving faith. Those today who will come to know Jesus as Savior today will have to do it by faith and hearing the Gospel. The rich man in Hell asked that Abraham might send Lazarus back from the dead that his brothers might believe and not come into the place of torment. But we are told that if they wont hear the gospel, they would not believe if one came back from the dead.
Luke 16:30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
Luke 16:31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
Jesus did come back from the dead, and we are to believe Him. We have literally hundreds of witnesses that saw Jesus after His resurrection. We must believe in Jesus to be saved.
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Prov 4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
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