About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
section in John concerns Jesus going to
12 states that Jesus went down to
that at this period of time Mary and Jesus' brothers were following Him.
We know that His brothers had not accepted Him as the Messiah, at
least not yet. That would
come later, after Jesus' resurrection.
verse 13 we see that Jesus visited
should know that Jesus would have visited the temple each year of His
life because Jews were to attend Passover in
need to understand something at this point concerning Jesus' ministry
years. The standard Sunday
school version of His ministry is that it lasted three years, but, no
where in the New Testament does it actually say that.
Many people get the idea that Jesus ministered for three years
based on three recorded visits to the temple at
further the point of Jesus' ministry, it's commonly accepted that He was
born in and around four to six BC. It's
also commonly accepted that He began His ministry at the age of 30.
If Jesus was born in 4 BC He would have entered His ministry at
the age of thirty in 26 AD. Most
all believe that Jesus' execution took place somewhere from 31 to 33 AD.
If He was executed in 32 AD and He had begun His ministry in 26
AD, His ministry would have lasted six years.
learn about the Passover you can read Exodus 12 and Deuteronomy 16:1
verse 14 we see the temple court where Jesus noticed men selling cattle,
sheep and doves. Others were
exchanging money. This
temple was the temple that King Hared had built for the Jews.
It had several courtyards. For
example, there was a courtyard for the Gentiles, for women, for priest,
and so on. In the court of
the Gentiles in Jesus' day became a short cut from one part of Jerusalem
common currency of the day was Roman currency.
The Jewish currency was no longer in existence.
That being said, one could only buy what they needed at the
temple, example sheep for sacrifice, in Jewish currency.
Therefore, there needed to be an exchange of currency before a
transaction could be made, thus the reason for the money changer tables.
Of course, there was a fee
charged to make this exchange of currency. The
fees went to the priests.
might wonder why sheep and goats were actually sold at the temple since
one could bring a sheep from home to use as a sacrifice.
First of all, the Law of Moses stated that the sheep to be
sacrificed had to be in perfect condition.
When people would bring what they thought was a perfect lamb or
sheep, the priests would finds some minor, obscure, little flaw that
would disqualify the sheep. This
would force the people to buy the sheep at the temple that weren't
really any better than the sheep these people would have brought.
This was simply a money making endeavor for the priests.
No wonder Jesus would become so upset.
verse 15 Jesus got real upset at the commerce He saw in the temple. He
took the time to actually make a whip that He used to drive the cattle
and businessmen out of the temple courts.
Animals would have went running in all directions.
Coins would have gone flying here there and everywhere.
It would have been total chaos.
This might not look like the Jesus that the world portrays today,
but it is the real Jesus. Jesus
was down right angry.
believe that we often have a wrong picture of Jesus.
He was not a weakling. He
was not a wimp. He was
probably quite muscular. His
work as a carpenter, hauling large pieces of wood, rock, and stone,
around was not an easy task. The
tables that He threw over were large wooden tables.
They weren't small, easy to tip over, tables.
should know that the priests became quite wealthy from selling the
animals that Jesus just drove out of the temple courts.
You might call them the Prosperity Preachers of that day.
Jesus' action would have angered them beyond measure.
It would not have only disrupted that day's income but they would
have accused Jesus of defiling the temple, something Jesus accused them
verse 16 we read that Jesus was upset because these men had made
"his Fatherís house into a market place."
The temple was to be a place of worship and prayer, not a place
of commerce. I find this
interesting. The temple that
Hared had constructed for the Jews was nothing like the temple that
Solomon had built that was on the pattern of the tabernacle that God
specified Moses to build. It
was actually Hared's temple, but even though an unrighteous man built
it, Jesus called it His Father's temple.
Christian New Testament times Godís temple is no longer a building.
It's people. It's the
church. It seems to me that
we ourselves, that is the church, have become a place of commerce as
well. We have copied the
business practices of the world in how we run the affairs of the church.
This should never be. Iím
not speaking of selling books or cd's in a church building.
A church building is only a building.
It is not holy. I
have no problems with selling books and other things in a church
building. God does not live in our church buildings, but, He does live
in us, and, when we commercialize ourselves and our ministries as we do,
that is making Godís New Testament house a place of commerce.
I believe Jesus is just as upset over that as He was over the
commerce in the temple here in John 2.
When I speak of us being commercialized I'm saying that we
operate the body of Christ more like a business than what the New
Testament teaches. We're not
a business. We're a group of
people who represent Jesus to the world.
We cannot copy the world as we represent Jesus.
verse 17 the disciples remembered the words of the Old Testament where
it says, "The zeal for your house will consume me."
That's found in Psalm 69:9. Jesus
had great zeal for the Old Testament temple.
You must remember that these were still Old Testament times.
The temple still meant something, but for us, the temple no
longer has the same significance. A
building is just a building. We,
the redeemed, are Godís temple.
believe the zeal for Godís New Testament temple consumes Jesus today.
If Jesus got so upset over the misuse of the Old Testament
temple, how much more upset and consumed must He be over any misuse of
the New Testament temple. This
is something that the western world church seems to not understand.
We must take this very seriously, lest Jesus does to us what He
did to the temple in John 2. Remember
what Jesus told those in the Laodicean community of believers in
Revelation 3. He was about
to spit it out of His mouth for the very same reason as He overthrew the
tables in John 2.
verse 18 the Jews were quite upset with the actions of Jesus so they
asked Him to show some kind of a sign to prove that He had authority to
do such things in the temple. The
word "authority" is key here and will always be throughout
Jesus' ministry. The Jewish
leadership could not deny Jesus' miracles, but they could deny the
authority by which He performed these miracles.
the word "demand" in verse 18.
We really can't imagine how angry the religious leaders were.
They were furious. The
word "demand" tells us that this was no quiet request.
This was a major dispute. It
was a heated argument.
verse 19 Jesus answers the question of the Jewish leadership with a
statement that they couldnít understand.
He told them that if they destroyed this temple, Heíd build it
again in three days. Well
this made no sense to the Jews. In
verse 20 they told Jesus that it took forty six years to build this
temple and He thought He could rebuild it in three days?
To the Jews Jesus made no sense at all.
began to build this temple in 19 or 20 BC.
If we're at the forty six year point now, this would make the
date of this time in and around 26 or 27 AD.
20 tells us that the religious leaders were clueless to know what Jesus
was talking about, and, that is to be expected.
They were at the temple. Their understanding of Jesus' use of the
word "temple" would be the temple they were attending at that
see in verse 20 that Jesus was not speaking of the temple that stood in
front of them. He spoke of
the temple of His body. God
lived in Jesus, so in the truest sense of the word, the real temple now
was Jesus and not the temple of brick and mortar in
21 clearly tells us that the temple Jesus was speaking of was the temple
of His body.
verse 22 John said that the disciples remembered these words after Jesus
rose from the dead and believed as a result.
Of course, the disciples already believed, at least to a certain
extent, but the remembering of these words made their trust in Jesus
even greater. So it is with
prophecy. When we see a
prophecy fulfilled, we trust Jesus more.
that in verse 23 John specifically states that this occasion was at the
time of Passover. This is
now the second time he does so.
verse 23 we note that during Jesusí stay in Jerusalem He did many
miracles. As a result many
people believed in Him. The
word "believe" from its Greek meaning means that at least to a
degree they gave themselves to Jesus.
verse 24 John specifically says that Jesus did not entrust Himself to
those who believed in Him. What
does this mean? Jesus gave
Himself to His disciples, but He did not give Himself to the general
public in the same way, to the same depth.
Why? John says
because Jesus knew the heart of man, and it wasnít good.
In short, Jesus didnít trust man. He never really fully trusted
the crowds that followed Him because they only followed Him for what
they could get from Him. The
reason why we should follow Jesus is not for what we can get from Him
but what we can give to Him.
this point I'd like to end this section with an article I wrote on John
2:23 to 25.
I think that some of us
view Jesus while He was on earth as one who gave His whole heart and
soul completely to everyone who crossed His path.
We might view Jesus in this light because He did give His human
life on the cross for every man and woman who has ever lived and ever
will live. With this in
mind, look at what the apostle John said about Jesus in John 2:23 to 25.
"Now while He (Jesus) was in
Jesus had just entered Jerusalem. The crowd was going crazy
over Him because of the miracles He had been performing.
In the minds of many in the crowd Jesus was the hottest new
superstar in town. Are you
old enough to remember February 7, 1964?
Throngs of teenage girls screamed, cried, and even fainted, at
the sight of the Beatles arriving in
Jesus wasn't fazed by all
this attention and adoration because He knew the sinful condition of
man's heart. Flattery and
fame meant absolutely nothing to Him.
These new found fans could turn on Him at the drop of a denarius.
A denarius is a Roman coin.
The Greek word
"pisteuo" is translated as "entrust" in this
is translated as "to believe, to have faith, to trust, and other
such related words in the New Testament.
In this context "pisteuo" means "to give one's
self to another in a trusting and meaningful relationship".
It's clear from this passage that Jesus did not give His heart
and soul completely to everyone who crossed His path as some of us might
have thought. Jesus did love
those in the crowd by giving up His human life on the cross, but refused
to enter into a meaningful relationship with them.
There was no way that He'd bare His heart and soul to those He
couldn't trust. Before He'd
even consider doing such a thing they'd have to experience the
redemption and reconciliation based on the forgiveness of sins that He
was about to provide for them.
Jesus understood the
meaning of Proverbs 4:23. The
NIV reads; "Above all things, guard your heart, for everything you
do flows from it." The
KJV reads; "Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it are
the issues of life." The
point of this proverb is simple. Whoever
or whatever is important and valuable in your life is a matter of the
heart. Maybe it's your wife,
your husband, your children, your career, your church, or, maybe it's
your car. The fact of the
matter is that whoever or whatever is important or valuable; you feel
its impact in your heart. Superficial
things don't tug at your heart's emotions as these meaningful things do.
That's why the proverb encourages us to guard our hearts.
In other words, keep a close watch on your heart.
Be careful who or what you let into it.
Be careful whom or what you expose it.
Not everyone will care for your heart as you do.
Even though Jesus loved
all men as He entered
There's something for us
to learn here. We are to
love those who cross our path, but that doesn't mean we hand our hearts
and souls over to every Tom, Dick, Mary, or Sue who crosses our path.
Like Jesus, we entrust ourselves in a meaningful relationship to
only those whom our heavenly Father has joined us.
Even then we'll feel some pain at times.
Most doctors will tell
you that they can't afford to allow the daily grind of sickness they see
in their patients to penetrate their hearts.
If they did, depression would prevent them from effectively
helping those in need. As
Christians we can't afford to allow sinful humanity to rip open our
hearts and turn them into a mangled mess.
If we do, we can't effectively help those in need of a Saviour.
Those in the crowd who
went crazy over Jesus were caught up in the excitement of miracles.
They weren't interested in having a meaningful relationship with
Jesus. For this reason Jesus
guarded His heart. He
refused to "entrust" Himself to them.
If this was so with Jesus, the Son of the Almighty God, it's
should definitely be so with us.