A Puzzling Feast
Lord God, may my worship, my confession of sin and my devotion to You prepare me to serve You today.
Read JOHN 2:12–25
12 After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples. There they stayed for a few days.
Jesus Clears the Temple Courts
13 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” 17 His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”
18 The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”
19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”
20 They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” 21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 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.
23 Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. 24 But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. 25 He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
The Christian God is not aloof or distant but near and personal. We can meet this God—in Christ. We can make a home for him—in us.
In John’s Gospel, the unfolding revelation of Jesus and his mission is set against the backdrop of the Jewish calendar. The Jewish feasts are often the setting for Jesus’ actions and claims. The setting for the events in today’s reading is the Passover, one of three pilgrim festivals that require every male Jew to go to the Temple in Jerusalem. Jesus’ radical actions and fierce words not only challenge the often-cherished idea of a Jesus meek and mild but also provide a teaching opportunity. When the Jewish authorities challenge him about his actions and words, Jesus poses a riddle in verse 19 that even his disciples do not understand at the time. We learn, from John’s explanation in verse 21, that Jesus is speaking of his death and resurrection.
However, there is still more to it, because Jesus speaks of his body as the Temple. The Temple signifies God’s presence; it is the place where God meets his people. So Jesus’ riddle reveals that he himself is the new Temple and therefore the new place of God’s presence. The phrase “The Word became flesh and… We have seen his glory” (John 1:14) already hinted at this new reality. God’s personal presence is now to be experienced in Jesus.
“Where can we meet God?” remains a question for many. People are increasingly attracted to religious practices from the East and many try to connect to the spiritual world through questionable practices. The use of mediums, tarot cards, transcendental meditation and the practice of astrology, divination, palmistry, witchcraft and magic are all popular attempts at receiving revelation from realms that are not naturally accessible to us. All these efforts are unnecessary, dangerous and redundant. We can meet God in his Son, Jesus.
After Jesus returns to the Father, believers are called the Temple of God (1 Cor. 3:16; Eph. 2:19–22; John 14:23). How can people meet God through you?
Lord Jesus, I turn towards You in love and devotion. I long to draw near to You and be filled with Your fullness.
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