Support and Resources For Pastors and
Christian Ministry Professionals
Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor
Third Sunday In Lent
"Organized Religion" vs. Jesus, the Son of the Father
I. "Organized Religion"--vv13-17; Luke 19:45-48; John 11:44-48
Word Pictures in the New Testament
John 2:16: Make not my Father’s house a house of merchandise (me˘ poieite ton oikon tou patros mou oikon emporiou). "Stop making," it means, me˘ and the present active imperative. They had made it a market-house (emporiou, here only in NT, old word from emporos, merchant, one who goes on a journey for traffic). Note the clear-cut Messianic claim here ("My Father," as in Luke 2:49). Jerome says: "A certain fiery and starry light shone from his eyes and the majesty of Godhead gleamed in His face." John 2:17: remembered (emne˘sthe˘san). First aorist passive indicative of mimne˘sko˘, to remind, "were reminded." Westcott notes the double effect of this act as is true of Christ’s words and deeds all through John’s Gospel. The disciples are helped, the traders are angered.
That it is written the zeal of thine house (ho ze˘los tou oikou sou). Objective genitive. "The zeal for thy house."
Shall eat me up (kataphagetai me). Future middle indicative of katesthio˘, defective verb, to eat down ("up" we say), perfective use of kata-. This future phagomai is from the second aorist ephagon. It is a quotation from Psalm 69:9, frequently quoted in the N.T.
II. Jesus, the Son of the Father--vv18-22
A. The outward cause of Jesus’ crucifixion was "politics"--text; church: vv18-21; state: John 19:10-12
B. But he was the Lamb of God sacrificed from the beginning of the world--text, vv20-22; John 1:29, 18:17-22
Barnes Notes on the New Testament–John 2:18
In three days I will raise it up--the Jews had asked a "miracle" of him in proof of his authority, that is, a proof that he was the Messiah. He tells them that a full and decided proof of that would be his "resurrection from the dead." Though they would not be satisfied by any other miracle, yet by this they ought to be convinced that he came from heaven and was the long-expected Messiah. To the same evidence that he was the Christ he refers them on other occasions. See Matt12:38-39. Thus early did he foretell his death and resurrection, for at the beginning of his work he had a clear foresight of all that was to take place. This knowledge shows clearly that he came from heaven, and it evinces, also, the extent of his love that he was "willing" to come to save us, knowing clearly what it would cost him. Had he come "without" such an expectation of suffering, his love might have been far less; but when he fully knew all that was before him, when he saw that it would involve him in contempt and death, it shows compassion "worthy of a God" that he was willing to endure the load of all our sorrows, and die to save us from death everlasting. When Jesus says, "‘I’ will raise it up," it is proof, also, of divine power. A mere "man" could not say this. No deceased "man" can have such power over his body; and there must have been, therefore, in the person of Jesus a nature superior to human to which the term "I" could be applied, and which had power to raise the dead--that is, which was divine.
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THE MESSAGE FOR CHILDREN
Object: want ad page for jobs.
If you had to choose a job right now, what would it be? What job would you choose that makes you excited? (Allow for answers.)
A lot of people today choose one job when they are young and then have to choose another when they get older. That may happen to you too. Did you know that Jesus had two jobs? What was Jesus’ first job? Right! He worked with his foster father Joseph in the carpenter shop. This shop had a specialty. The Joseph and Jesus carpenter shop made farm equipment. One man claimed to have examined a wooden plow made in Joseph’s carpenter shop.
But Jesus didn’t stay in that business. When he was 30 years old, he told people that God’s Kingdom had come in him. In today’s Gospel reading he throws out the money changers and those selling sheep and cattle. Jesus was so serious about his Father’s House that he did what he had to do, even though it meant great danger for him. Caring for his Heavenly Father’s house someday would take him to the cross, but, after all, that’s why he came here. He came here as the Lamb of God to take our sins away.
Whatever you do in your job, make sure that you serve the Lord whose Son’s job was to lay down his life on the cross for the sins of the world.
“Laws requiring that only unblemished animals be used for sacrifices meant that most pilgrims purchased the animals for sacrifice after they arrived in Jerusalem” (Culpepper, p132). “At one time the animal merchants set up their stalls across the Kidron Valley on the slopes of the Mount of Olives, but at this point they were in the temple courts, doubtless in the Court of the Gentiles (the outermost court)” (Carson, p178).
Also, people coming from all over the Roman Empire for the high festivals would bring many different coins with them; “but the temple tax, had to be deposited in Tyrian coinage (because if its high purity of silver). The money-changers converted money to the approved currency, charging a percentage for their service” (Carson, p178).
“There is no evidence that the animal merchants and money-changers or the priestly authorities who allowed them to use the outer court were corrupt companions in graft. Jesus’ complaint…is that they should not be in the temple area at all” (Carson, p179).
It is interesting that the authorities do not at this time react to Jesus’ referral to the temple as “My Father’s house.” “The Jews who witnessed the incident posed a question that focused attention on the issue of Jesus’ authority rather than on the meaning of his action or his motivation for doing it” (Koester, p82).
“The authorities respond by asking what sign he could show them. Even the authorities speak in a Johannine idiom at this point, using the same word the narrator used in verse 11 to describe the Cana miracle” (Culpepper, p132).
“Indeed, if the authorities had eyes to see the cleansing of the temple was already a ‘sign,’ they should have thought through and deciphered in terms of Old Testament Scripture” (Carson, p182).
“Dodd suggests there is an allusion to Zechariah 14:21: ‘And on that day there will no longer be a merchant in the house of the Lord Almighty.’ Equally, John may be alluding to Malachi 3:1, 3: ‘Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple… He will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver.’ This means that this act of prophetic symbolism was a denunciation of worship that was not pure… At the same time, it leads into a related theme: the temple itself, the focal point where God and believers meet, where God accepts believers because of a bloody sacrifice, will be superseded by another ‘temple’, another sacrifice (vv18-22)” (Carson, p179).
“Jesus responds by pointing the authorities to the ultimate sign, his death and resurrection” (Culpepper, p132). “On the face of it, Jesus was inviting the authorities to destroy the temple and was promising to raise it again within three days of its destruction… He was offering them a powerful ‘miraculous sign’ to justify his authority for cleansing the temple” (Carson, p181).
The authorities as well as his disciples do not understand Jesus’ response, but the narrator pauses to make sure the reader understands saying, “But he was speaking about the temple of his body” (v21).
“First, the text suggests that the function of sacrifice, which was integral to the Jerusalem temple, is fulfilled and replaced by Jesus… Second, the temple in Jerusalem was the place where God made his name or glory to dwell… Jesus’ promise of a new temple suggests that God’s glory would be manifested not in a building but in a person, as it had been at Cana” (Koester, pp83-84).
“It was important that worship of God in its precincts be pure; it is even more important to recognize that the temple itself pointed forward to a better and final meeting-point between God and human beings. Jesus cleansed the temple; under this typological reading of the Old Testament, he also replaced it, fulfilling its purposes” (Carson, p182).
In verse 22, the narrator gives a later, post-Easter reflection on the significance of Jesus’ ministry in the light of his resurrection. “By temporarily disrupting the trade necessary for sacrifice, Jesus foreshadowed the permanent cessation of sacrificial worship in Jerusalem and its replacement by his own death… He became a sanctuary that transcended and replaced other places of worship (cf 4:21) and endured beyond the destruction of the Jerusalem temple to unite the community of those called to worship in Spirit and truth” (Koester, pp84-85).
Revelation 21:22: “And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.”
Point: The Father loves us as His children and comes to meet us in His Son, Jesus.
Problem: We don’t recognize the one who comes to us and, on account of that, our worship suffers.
Promise: Jesus continues to be faithful in bringing the love of the Father to us. By the power of the one he has sent, the Holy Spirit, we see and understand.
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This page was revised on: Monday, November 13, 2006 12:04:08 PM