Harmony of the Gospels

 Harmony of the Gospels

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(6) First Cleansing of the Temple
(Psalms 69:9) John 2:13-22


And the Jew’s Passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. (John 2:13)

Jesus began His ministry in Cana of Galilee, went to Capernaum, and is now in Jerusalem.

Notice that John labels the feast of Passover as the “Jew’s Passover.”  This is no longer the “Lord’s Passover”, as it was called in Exodus 12:27, “That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the Lord’s Passover, …..”  It has become merely a religious feast, quite meaningless, just a ritual to go through.  The one of whom the Passover speaks, has now come, "…..For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.” (1 Corinthians 5:7)

Jesus has gone up to Jerusalem, because He keeps the Law.  The Law requires that all males go up to Jerusalem three times a year, at the time of the Feast of Passover, at the time of the Feast of Tabernacles and at the time of the Feast of Pentecost.  It would have been around mid-April.

Now we come to the cleansing of the temple.  He did this on two occasions.  One cleansing occurred at the beginning of His ministry, and the second cleansing was toward the end of His ministry.

And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and the changers of money setting.  (John 2:14)

They were selling animals and doves and they were exchanging money.  The moneychangers performed a service.  The only money that could be offered was temple money, so the moneychangers had a booth where Roman coins, for example, were exchanged for Jewish coins.  The reason for not allowing Roman coins was because they had the effigy of Caesar on them.  Now, the moneychangers made a good profit when the exchange was made.

I said that this was a service, and it was, but it also made religion easy.  They changed large coins into small ones, for convenience to the worshiper, but they also made religion cheap.

They were also selling animals.  It was a lot of work to raise the animals, and people got paid for doing that.  It was very easy for all of this to become a religious racket.  Today, we have the same problem.

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 changer’s money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my fathers house an house of merchandise.  And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up. (John 2:15-17)

In my opinion, Jesus was not the enemic-looking Christ, that artists portray.  I believe that He was a man’s man.

These verses tell us that the disciples remembered Psalm 69:9, “For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.”

Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign showest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?  Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.  Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and thou will rear it up in three days. (John 2:18-20)

At this time the temple was Herod’s temple.  It had been under construction for 46 years and was not finished yet.  The Jews thought that Jesus was talking about the building, but He was talking about His body.  They challenged His statement because it seemed impossible to them that anyone could rebuild the temple in three days.  They did not know that Jesus was referring to His death and resurrection.  When He was on trial for His life, His enemies would bring up this incident and that He said that He could rebuild the temple in three days.

But he spake of the temple of his body. (John 2:21)

The Jews did not know that He was talking about his body, and neither did His disciples.  It was not until after His resurrection that His disciples would remember what He said and would understand that He meant His body.

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. (John 2:22)

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