Monday, January 30, 2012

John 2:18-25

After Jesus had cleared out the outer court of the temple, the Jewish leaders demanded to know by what authority he had done such a thing. In fact, they asked for a miracle to prove his credentials:

Then the Jews demanded of him, “What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”

Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”

The Jews replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” But the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken. (John 2:18-22)

Jon Courson points out that they did not ask why He had turned over the tables and taken a whip to the money changers. Apparently they knew the place was corrupt - they just wanted to know who had given Him the authority to do it!! That cracks me up! So often when someone points out our sin, we don’t deny it, but rather we will want to know who gave that person the right to judge us! Forget that there is a problem - what gives them the right to point it out???

It looks like Jesus isn’t answering their question directly when he responds, but truly, when He says, “Destroy this temple and I will raise it up again in three days,” He is declaring His authority. He is the One with the resurrection power. Verse 22 tells us that after the resurrection, the disciples remembered that Jesus had made this claim and they believed.

The Jewish leaders completely misunderstood and looked at Him like He was crazy. It had taken Herod 46 years to construct this temple. Who was this man who thought he could build in it three days?

The last verses in this chapter show that Jesus did, indeed, display His authority:

Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many people saw the miraculous signs he was doing and believed in his name. But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men. He did not need man’s testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man. (vs. 23-25)

Even though many believed in Jesus because of these signs, He did not commit Himself to them. He knew their hearts and knew that they wanted His miracles, but they did not really want Him. Their “faith” was based on seeing these signs. Sometimes we can be like that. We’ll believe as long as He keeps answering our prayers in the way we expect and in our timeline. The minute things get tough we figure He has deserted us. That is why our faith needs to be based on the truth of His Word, and the assurance that He keeps His promises and loves us, even when things are tough and we are facing trials and persecutions.

While the people only sought what He could do for them, in the next chapter, we will meet someone who wanted to know more. Stay tuned!


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