Nov 06

Part 9: The Everlasting Temple

Todd Pruitt |Series: The Gospel of John |John 2:13-22

John’s narrative moves from the wedding in Cana to the temple in Jerusalem during Passover. The wedding was a setting of celebration in which Jesus transformed the water of ceremonial purification into fine wine. In the temple, the conditions are quite different. Confrontation replaced celebration. Jesus was not merely a guest in the temple. This was his “Father’s house.” What Jesus saw in the temple was not a cause for celebration but of holy indignation.

The temple in Jerusalem was the heart of Judaism. It was the place where God promised to be especially present with his people. It was in the temple where God accepted sacrifices for the sins of the people and where he received their prayers and thanksgiving. There was nothing more important than the temple to the religious and national life of the people. During Passover, Jerusalem was inundated by Jews from all around the Mediterranean and Asia. It is estimated that as many as two million souls would descend upon Jerusalem during the season of Passover. As a result of the distances travelled by so many it was necessary for them to purchase animals for sacrifice in the city. And so an industry sprung up within the temple of currency exchange and animal sales. Temple leadership turned the Court of the Gentiles into a setting for commerce. But Jesus will soon bring the entire temple system to its fulfillment.

There is a blessed mystery described in this passage as the Jerusalem temple witnesses the entry of the true and everlasting Temple of God in the Person of Jesus Christ. It is noteworthy that Jesus makes his announcement, not in the Holy of Holies but in the Court of Gentiles signaling the cosmic scope of his redeeming work and the worldwide mission of the church.

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