You can click HERE to read the passage.
Interestingly, this incident in the life if Jesus is recorded in all 4 of the gospels. In the other 3 (the synoptic gospels), the temple cleansing takes place soon after Jesus enters Jerusalem just prior to his crucifixion. In other words, at the end of His ministry. In the Gospel of John it is recorded as taking place at the beginning of His ministry. Why do you suppose that is? I’ll let you ponder that on your own – but I did think it was worth pointing out.
I have several random takeaways from this passage. I will pose them in the form of questions:
1. What do we do in our churches that prevent people who are seeking God from finding Him? (vs. 13-16) Jesus was really mad! Primarily because God’s house had been turned into a chaotic marketplace. Jewish pilgrims were coming to Jerusalem from all over – and instead of being able to make the required sacrifice, they were being fleeced by those more interested in making a quick shekel than in helping people find forgiveness and worship the One true God. It just makes me wonder what we might be doing that keep people from God. As well as what we aren’t doing that would encourage people to find Him.
2. Do I know God’s Word as thoroughly as I should? (v. 17) – I’m kind of amazed by the disciples reaction to what Jesus did. Whereas everybody else was outraged by His actions, the disciples weighed His actions against the Word of God. And they knew the Scriptures well enough that they were able to see “Messiah” written all over what He had done. It is always a good idea to interpret things that happen around us and to us in light if Scripture. But to do this means that we have to know the Word.
3. When Jesus looks at my heart what does He see? (s.23-25) – There were a lot of people that believed in Jesus because of the miracles they saw Him doing. But it was not the kind of persevering faith that would withstand persecution and difficulty. This is why Jesus did not “entrust Himself to them.” I have lived a fairly comfortable life. I have never experienced persecution for my faith. I have not even had to deal with a lot of difficulty and tragedy. I sometimes wonder how my faith would stand up if everything that I have was stripped away and I was forced to choose Jesus or death. I wonder what Jesus sees when He sees my heart.
Father, I’m very grateful for life and for the eternal life that you have given me in Christ. More and more would You instill within me a hunger and thirst for Your Word. And more and more would You root out the idols in my heart that keep me from following You wholeheartedly.
Next Week’s Passage: John 3:1-21