Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

John 2:14-19
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: John 2:14-16
vs14-16: What is surprising when we read this account of Jesus cleansing the temple is the lack of resistance by the merchants. For some reason, a large number of people allowed one man to walk in and totally disrupt their business activity. One would have expected a fight to break out or the temple police to intervene, but none of that happened. And though Jesus was certainly a strong young man, having worked for years as either a stonemason or a carpenter, no matter how strong or angry an individual may be, a group of furious merchants could have stopped Him. But none did. And I believe the reason is because they were ashamed of what they were doing.

Monday: John 2:14-16
vs14-16 (continued): Moving these stalls and tables into the Court of the Gentiles was a recent and still very unpopular decision. Annas, the high priest, had decided to do this, and Josephus (the historian) described him as a “great hoarder of money and very rich.” He moved these merchants onto the temple grounds as a means of generating personal revenue, and it quickly became a principle source of income for his family (Alfred Edersheim, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, E.R. Herrick and Co., 1886). In time that court would come to be called “the bazaar of the sons of Annas,” and after the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, Annas was thought to be the one who had caused the destruction of the temple. So what Jesus did was understood as a prophetic act. Everyone understood why He was doing it, and many, even among the religious leaders, were already troubled by a guilty conscience. It’s possible Jesus had a crowd of supporters cheering Him on.

Tuesday: John 2:17
v17: Jesus’ action was actually another “sign,” like turning water into wine, which confirmed the fact that He was the true Messiah. Among the most important things the prophets said the Messiah would do when He arrived was to turn Israel’s heart back to God. So when His disciples saw what happened in that courtyard, they thought of one of David’s psalms (Ps 69). It’s a lament in which David complains that he is being unjustly persecuted because of his faith. At one point he says, “For zeal for Your house has consumed me, and the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me” (Ps 69:9).

Wednesday: John 2:17
v17 (continued): David said he was being mocked because he passionately loved to worship God. He loved to be in God’s presence in the tabernacle which he had set up on Araunah’s threshing floor (2Sa 24:18-15). And now a thousand years later, Jesus, one of David’s descendants (with respect to His humanity), single-handedly cleared the courtyard. It was Passover, with tens of thousands of pilgrims filling the temple, and what Jesus did was a nation-shaking call to repentance. Israel had forgotten its assignment. The temple in Jerusalem had been designed so there would be space to welcome people who wanted to know God, but Israel had forgotten why it was there. As time went on, it appeared to be wasted space that could be used more productively. So the high priest filled it with buying and selling.

Thursday: John 2:18
v18: Nothing proves more the claim that selling in the Court of the Gentiles was an unpopular activity, th an the way the temple officials confronted Jesus. They knew why He did what He did. They understood what He did to be a prophetic rejection of their misuse of that court. Notice: There is no threat to arrest Jesus, no question as to why He did it. As He stood there with coins scattered all over the ground, tables lying on their side and probably straw and stalls strewn over acres of that stone platform, they simply asked, “What sign do you show us to prove that you have been sent by God to do these things?” (paraphrase). Apparently they wanted Him to produce a miracle to validate His claim that God was with Him.

Friday: John 2:18
v18 (continued): They may have had in mind something like Moses throwing down his staff and it turning into a serpent (Ex 4:1-5) or putting his hand into his cloak and drawing it out covered with leprosy (Ex 4:6-7). Ironically, the cleansing of the temple which Jesus had just performed was a very biblical sign of His Messiahship (v17), but these leaders were daring Him to perform some sort of “magic trick,” with the hope that He would try and fail and be discredited. Their goal was to undermine His spiritual authority to challenge their leadership. They were attacking Him for the same reason they had attacked John the Baptist (Jn 1:24-25). If Jesus were not able to produce a “magic trick” they would “expose” Him as a self-appointed religious zealot who had no right to do what He did. And they would immediately bring the animals and money-changers back in.

Saturday: John 2:19
v19: Jesus never did miracles for their own sake. He only did what the Father led Him to do (Jn 5:19, 30; 6:38; 8:28; 12:49; 14:10), which was always to fulfill promises concerning the Messiah or as an act of compassion to care for specific human need. So He had no intention of responding to this demand. He would not try to prove to these scoffers His authority, but He knew that a day would come when this very group of men who were standing in front of Him would see a miraculous sign that would prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that God was with Him. At a future Passover (two years?), just like the Passover they were participating in at that moment (v13), they would arrest Him. Remember: It was the temple police, not Roman soldiers who arrested Jesus in Gethsemane (Jn 18:3, 10, 12-13), and it was they, the religious leaders, not the Jewish people in general who would press for His crucifixion (Jn 18:28-32, 38-40; 19:6-7, 12-16). And by that act they would destroy the true temple of God (literal: sanctuary), which was the body of Jesus, for it was in Him, not in a stone building, that “all the fullness of God” (Col 1:19) dwelled in “bodily form” (Col 2:9). 

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