NLT Life Application Study Bible, Third Edition - Flipbook - Page 26
Matt 26:61; 27:40
John 10:38; 14:2,
1 Cor 3:16; 6:19
John 12:16; 14:26
John 7:31; 11:47-48
saw dealers at tables exchanging foreign money. 15Jesus made a whip from some ropes
and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the
money changers’ coins over the floor, and turned over their tables. 16Then, going over
to the people who sold doves, he told them, “Get these things out of here. Stop turning
my Father’s house into a marketplace!”
17Then his disciples remembered this prophecy from the Scriptures: “Passion for God’s
house will consume me.”*
18But the Jewish leaders demanded, “What are you doing? If God gave you authority
to do this, show us a miraculous sign to prove it.”
19“All right,” Jesus replied. “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
20“What!” they exclaimed. “It has taken forty-six years to build this Temple, and you
can rebuild it in three days?” 21But when J esus said “this temple,” he meant his own
body. 22After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered he had said this,
and they believed both the Scriptures and what J esus had said.
Nicodemus Visits Jesus at Night (24)
of the miraculous signs J esus did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration,
many began to trust in him. 24But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew all about
2:17 Or “Concern for God’s house will be my undoing.” Ps 69:9.
made this city his base of operations in Galilee, he condemned it for the
people’s unbelief (Matthew 11:23; Luke 10:15).
2:13 The Passover celebration took place yearly at the Temple in
Jerusalem. Every Jewish male was expected to make a pilgrimage to
Jerusalem during this time (Deuteronomy 16:16). This was a weeklong
festival—the Passover was one day, and the Festival of Unleavened Bread
lasted the rest of the week. The entire week commemorated the freeing
of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt (Exodus 12:1-13).
2:13 Jerusalem was both the religious and the political seat of Palestine,
and it was the place where the Messiah was expected to arrive. The
Temple was located there, and many Jewish families from all over the
world would travel to Jerusalem during the key festivals. The Temple
was on an imposing site, a hill overlooking the city. Solomon had built
the first Temple on this same site almost 1,000 years earlier (959 BC),
but his Temple had been destroyed by the Babylonians (2 Kings 25).
The Temple was rebuilt in 515 BC, and Herod the Great had enlarged
and remodeled it.
2:14-25 John records this first clearing, or cleansing, of the Temple.
A second clearing occurred at the end of Jesus’ ministry, about three
years later, and that event is recorded in Matthew 21:12-17; Mark 11:1219; and Luke 19:45-48.
2:14 The Temple area was always crowded during Passover with
thousands of out-of-town visitors. The religious leaders crowded it
even further by allowing money changers and merchants to set up
booths in the Court of the Gentiles. They rationalized this practice as a
convenience for the worshipers and as a way to make money for Temple
upkeep. But the religious leaders did not seem to care that the Court of
the Gentiles was so full of merchants that foreigners found it difficult
to worship. Worship was the main purpose for visiting the Temple. No
wonder Jesus was angry!
2:14 The Temple tax had to be paid in local currency, so foreigners had
to have their money changed. But the money changers often charged exorbitant exchange rates. The people were also required to make sacrifices
for sins. Because of the long journey, many could not bring their own
animals. Some who brought animals had them rejected for imperfections.
So animal merchants conducted a flourishing business in the Temple
courtyard. The price of sacrificial animals was much higher in the Temple
area than elsewhere. Jesus was angry at the dishonest, greedy practices
of the money changers and merchants, and he particularly disliked their
presence on the Temple grounds. They were making a mockery of God’s
house of worship. Our attitude toward the church is wrong if we see it
as a place for personal contacts or business advantage. Make sure you
attend church to worship God and enjoy spiritual fellowship with others.
2:15-16 Jesus was obviously angry at the merchants who were
exploiting those who had come to God’s house to worship. There is a
difference between uncontrolled rage and righteous indignation—yet
both are called anger. We must be very careful how we use the powerful
emotion of anger. It is right to be angry about injustice and sin; it is wrong
to be angry over trivial personal offenses.
2:15-16 Jesus made a whip and chased out the money changers.
Does his example permit us to use violence against wrongdoers? Certain
authority is granted to some, but not to all. For example, the authority to
use weapons and restrain people is granted to police officers, but not to
the general public. The authority to imprison people is granted to judges,
but not to individual citizens. Jesus had God’s authority, something we
cannot have. While we want to live like Jesus, we should never try to
claim his authority where it has not been given to us.
2:17 Jesus took the evil acts in the Temple as an insult against God, and
thus, he did not deal with them halfheartedly. He was consumed with
righteous anger against such flagrant disrespect for God.
2:19-20 The Jews understood Jesus to mean the Temple out of which
he had just driven the merchants and money changers. This was the
Temple Zerubbabel had built over 500 years earlier, but Herod the Great
had begun remodeling it, making it much larger and far more beautiful.
It had been 46 years since this remodeling had started (20 BC), and it
still wasn’t completely finished. They understood Jesus’ words to mean
that this imposing building could be torn down and rebuilt in three days,
and they were astonished.
2:21-22 Jesus was not talking about the Temple made of stones but
about his body. His listeners didn’t realize it, but Jesus was greater than
the Temple (Matthew 12:6). His words would take on meaning for his
disciples after his resurrection. That Jesus so perfectly fulfilled this prediction became strong proof for his claim to be God.
2:23-25 The Son of God knows all about human nature. Jesus was
well aware of the truth of Jeremiah 17:9, which states, “The human heart
is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really
knows how bad it is?” Jesus was discerning, and he knew that the faith
of some followers was superficial. Some of the same people claiming
to believe in him at this time would later yell, “Crucify him!” Believing
comes easily when it is exciting and everyone else agrees with you. But
keep your faith firm even when following Jesus isn’t popular.