Jesus Turns Over the Tables

After the wedding at Cana, Jesus, His mother, His disciples and other members of His family go to Capernaum for a few days (v. 12). It was a city He chose as headquarters during His earthly ministry. He was seldom at home, but if He had a home at all, it was Capernaum.

From there Jesus went up to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover (v. 13). Every male Jew twelve years of age and older was required to attend the Passover Feast. What He found at the temple was very disturbing to Him (v. 14). What had perhaps begun as an accommodation to supplying lambs for visiting Passover guests, and a place for these same people to exchange money to pay the temple tax had degenerated into a lucrative money making business.

Our Lord suddenly appeared in the temple and proceeded to clean house. He was careful not to destroy anyone’s property but He made it clear that He was in command. His anger was kindled by the abuse He saw going on in this place (vv. 15-16). The Jews were shocked by His action and demanded that He show the source of His authority for doing this by giving them a sign (vv. 17-18). Jesus answered by saying, “Destroy this temple (my body) and in three  days I will  raise it up” (v. 19). The Jews took Jesus literally and ignored the spiritual and true meaning of His statement. Herod’s temple was started in 20 B.C. and not completed until A.D. 64. How could one man “raise it up” in three days (vv. 20-22)? This statement by Jesus was meant to be a prediction of His own death and resurrection. Many believed on His name, when they saw the miracles, but they did not accept Him with faith (v. 23). They only accepted  Him as a powerful miracle worker (verses 24-25).


What does Jesus teach about His standards of holiness? What are the standards of holiness I have for my “temple” (my body)? I need to be careful about what excuse I use for getting angry).


John 2:13-25 (English Standard Version)

The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, "Take these things away; do not make my Father's house a house of trade." His disciples remembered that it was written, "Zeal for your house will consume me." So the Jews said to him, "What sign do you show us for doing these things?" Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." The Jews then said, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?" But he was speaking about the temple of his body. When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken. Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.

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