Books of the Book: John

The Cleansing of the Temple

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Deyvy Rodriguez & Jon Paulien


Series Code: JBOTB

Program Code: JBOTB00007A

00:21 Hello friends and welcome again
00:22 to this program "Books of the Book."
00:24 We are studying the Gospel of John
00:26 and today we are picking up on Chapter 2,
00:28 the last part of Chapter 2 and we are in verses 12-25.
00:34 And with us is Dr. Jon Paulien,
00:36 he is the Dean of Religion at Loma Linda University.
00:41 And welcome again, Dr. Paulien.
00:42 Thank you. It's good to be with you.
00:44 You, I can just imagine you must be very busy.
00:47 You are a scholar, you've written several books.
00:51 Tell me what do you do on your time off?
00:55 That's kind of a painful question
00:57 because I am probably a very boring person, really.
01:00 I really enjoy scholarship
01:03 and I really enjoy studying the Bible
01:05 and if I just have spare time on my own,
01:08 I happily go back there and enjoy the time that I spent.
01:14 But a couple of times a month I force myself
01:17 to go out and play around the golf
01:19 and I do enjoy that too.
01:21 But I just, it's important to be with people,
01:26 spend some time, exercise, fresh air,
01:29 sunshine all of that.
01:31 I do enjoy exercise, do a lot of walking
01:34 but often I am reading when I walk
01:36 because that's a good way to get in some more understanding
01:41 and I like spending time with my family.
01:43 I have two adult children living with me,
01:46 they are in their mid 20s and finishing up education,
01:50 getting ready for life things like that so.
01:53 Yeah, that's sort of my boring life.
01:55 I do like to travel though in this ministry
01:58 and to get a chance of seeing--
01:59 So what I understand is your idea of fun is studying?
02:03 Well, you know, I guess there's a difference in fun and joy.
02:08 Fun is something that stops whenever the fun stops,
02:13 but joy is something you can have all the time
02:15 and study brings a lot of joy.
02:17 It may be just isn't so much fun,
02:18 but you can enjoy anything if you put time to it
02:21 and really get good added invest in it.
02:24 And if Bible study is a great need,
02:27 I would encourage people to really get into it
02:29 and you'll find it gets more and more--
02:31 the kind of things I am talking about here
02:33 may seem right over the top to many people,
02:36 but they came one at a time through careful study
02:40 and the more you learn, it's like a computer game
02:43 that when you break a couple of lower levels
02:45 it brings you into higher levels
02:47 that are even more interesting.
02:48 So I do really enjoy what I am doing.
02:51 And it's not like you are studying the stock market,
02:54 you are studying the word of God.
02:56 And as an administrator I am not studying for my job
02:59 so much anymore, so the study is something
03:01 I turn to for that alone time since it's very special to me.
03:05 All right, Well, speaking of study
03:07 what are we studying today?
03:09 John 2:12-25, it's the story of Jesus cleansing the temple.
03:15 Okay. So where shall we start.
03:18 Why don't we read the passage? Verse 12.
03:20 May be up to verse 22.
03:22 Okay, So from verses 12 to 22.
03:26 "After this He went down to Capernaum,
03:28 He, His mother, His brothers, and His disciples
03:30 and they did not stay there many days.
03:33 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand,
03:35 and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
03:38 And He found in the temple those who sold
03:39 oxen and sheep and doves,
03:41 and the money changers doing business.
03:44 When He had made a whip of cords,
03:47 He drove them all out of the temple,
03:49 with the sheep and the oxen, poured out the changers' money
03:53 and overturned the tables.
03:55 And He said to those who sold doves,
03:57 'Take these things away.
03:59 Do not make My Father's house a house of merchandise.'
04:03 Then His disciples remembered that it was written,
04:06 'Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.'
04:09 So when the Jews--so the Jews answered and said to Him,
04:12 'What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?'
04:17 Jesus answered and said to them, "Destroy this temple,
04:20 and in three days I will raise it up."
04:22 Then the Jews said, 'It has taken forty six years
04:26 to build this temple,
04:27 and You will raise it up in three days?'
04:30 But He was speaking of the temple of His body.
04:33 Therefore, when He had risen from the dead,
04:35 His disciples remembered that He had said this to them
04:39 and they believed the Scriptures
04:41 and the word which Jesus had said."
04:44 Now, to read until the 25th verse? Little bit later.
04:48 Okay. Yeah.
04:50 You notice it starts out in Capernaum.
04:53 Jesus is born and raised in Nazareth
04:55 which is up in the hill country of Galilee
04:58 and then Capernaum is a fishing village
05:01 right on the shore of the Sea of Galilee itself
05:03 and it's like 1700 feet, 600 meters between those two.
05:09 So Nazareth is like 400 meters high
05:14 and the Sea of Galilee is like 200 meters below sea level
05:18 so it's like a 600 meter difference between those.
05:21 So Jesus evidently and His family has moved
05:24 to Capernaum which is where Peter and John have lived
05:27 and exercised their life as fisherman.
05:31 So from Capernaum like most people would do in that day,
05:34 they went down to Jerusalem.
05:36 It's may be 150 kilometers for the Passover service.
05:41 Now tell us more about this temple?
05:45 This is what's called Herod's temple
05:47 and there's a little detail in the story
05:49 that mentions that it was 46 years under construction.
05:54 And we know when that construction began
05:56 it was Herod's, around 20 to 19 B.C.
06:03 was, I think it was Herod's 18th year
06:05 is when the construction started.
06:07 And you count 46 years from that you come to 28 A.D.
06:12 so this is Passover time around 28 A.D.
06:16 in our reckoning that this occurs.
06:20 There were a number of temples in Old Testament time,
06:22 you had the tent Tabernacle of Moses,
06:25 you had Solomon's temple, you had Ezekiel's temple
06:29 which he saw in vision and you had Zerubbabel's temple
06:33 that was built after return from Babylon
06:36 and that was a very poor copy of Solomon's.
06:39 Herod was trying to build a temple
06:41 just as magnificent as Solomon's temple.
06:45 Interestingly enough the construction wasn't finished
06:48 until 63 A.D., seven years before its destruction.
06:53 So it's 80 years to build this magnificent temple,
06:56 it must have been really something.
06:58 It wasn't completely finished then.
07:00 No, evidently it was not completely finished,
07:03 there may have been parts that weren't fully decorated
07:06 and still planned and so forth,
07:09 but the very platform for that temple
07:11 is some of the largest stones
07:13 anyone has ever found, that's amazing.
07:16 This is an interesting scene we read here
07:18 that, that in the temple there were animals in there.
07:23 We see that verse 14 says,
07:25 there were oxen and sheep and doves
07:28 but not only animals there,
07:29 but they were actually been sold,
07:31 so there seems to be some kind of business deal here,
07:34 some kind of money transactions.
07:36 And it says here, "The money changers doing business."
07:41 Jesus was not happy about that.
07:43 What's the deal here?
07:47 Why are they selling animals
07:50 and why does Jesus come in here and just drive them out?
07:54 Well, people are expected to bring animals
07:57 for sacrifices to the temple
07:59 and so that there would be some animals there as to be expected,
08:03 but what would often happen is,
08:06 the priest would reject the animals
08:08 that the people brought.
08:09 Maybe they would be injured in some way,
08:11 they weren't perfect,
08:12 they weren't the right color, etcetera
08:14 and they were making profit out of selling animals
08:18 to the people for their sacrifices.
08:21 And they might take a person's animal.
08:23 They might exchange it for a fee
08:24 and then sell that animal for fee later on.
08:27 And it was quite a financial racket.
08:30 The interesting thing about it is
08:32 you have two parts to the temple,
08:33 there's a temple building and the inner courts,
08:37 which is for the Jews only and there was a wall around those,
08:40 so that Gentiles couldn't go in.
08:42 Then there's the outer courts where the Gentiles could be,
08:45 the court of the Gentiles and so at least half of it
08:49 was for the Gentiles.
08:50 That's the only part of the temple complex
08:53 that Gentiles could go to,
08:54 that's the place where all this merchandising was going.
08:57 So if the Gentile want to come and pray they couldn't do it,
09:02 it was just crazy marketplace, you see.
09:05 So it was really, it was definitely hindering
09:08 the Gentiles from coming to the true God
09:10 and it was also distracting for the Jewish worshippers
09:14 as well to hear all these noises and chaos going on.
09:17 Was this part of their job
09:18 or was this more like corruption involved?
09:21 Definitely, corruption involved.
09:23 The priests were using this to make a lot of money.
09:26 Now I tell you when Jesus broke up that trade
09:29 it was a knife right into
09:31 the heart of their financial base.
09:34 So it was--in this case was actually a political act
09:37 that was threatening the very foundation of the system
09:41 that they had put into place.
09:43 Jesus' goal was never political.
09:47 Jesus didn't believe that political change was going
09:51 to change people's hearts but there were times
09:54 when political change was needed to open the way
09:57 for people to worship and to have freedom of worship
10:01 and Jesus seems to have acted in that way here.
10:05 So Herod builds this temple, it's a magnificent building,
10:10 but it's not serving its true purpose,
10:12 it's serving political purposes and financial purposes
10:16 and Jesus doesn't hesitate to speak out.
10:20 This helps us understand something special
10:23 about the Gospel of John.
10:25 This incident actually occurred, it's a real story.
10:29 So what was going on when Jesus did this?
10:33 It was a prophetic protest.
10:35 As a prophet He comes into the temple and He says,
10:38 "This is a house of prayer.
10:40 It should not be used for merchandise."
10:43 And so He is protesting
10:44 that the religious leaders of His day have undermined
10:48 the core of their faith by their actions
10:50 and He's seeking to change that.
10:52 But John, remember? Yeah.
10:55 The stories are never just stories.
11:00 It's not just well, this happened in Jesus' life
11:02 and then that happened.
11:03 For John, these are always parables.
11:05 They always have a deeper spiritual meaning.
11:08 So in Jesus' day there's a prophetic protest
11:12 against the corruption of the temple,
11:16 but for John, it has a deeper meaning.
11:20 Jesus is driving out the animals,
11:22 the sacrificial animals.
11:24 He's driving them out of the temple
11:26 and what's left in the temple to sacrifice
11:30 when He drives the animals out, His body.
11:35 Verse 19 to 21.
11:37 I am assuming because Jesus is the Lamb of God.
11:40 Exactly. That's already been told us in Chapter 1. Right.
11:44 But here it says, the temple is His body.
11:48 We'll see verses 19-21, Jesus answered them,
11:51 "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days."
11:55 It's another one of His misunderstanding text.
11:58 They think destroying these buildings
12:00 that took 46 years so far
12:03 and I will raise them up in three days.
12:05 The Jews replied,
12:06 "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple
12:08 and you are going to raise it in three days?"
12:11 Misunderstanding, they didn't get His point.
12:14 But the temple here, the narrator breaks in,
12:16 "The temple He had spoken of was His body."
12:21 And after He was raised from the dead
12:23 the disciples recalled what He had said
12:25 then they believed the scripture
12:27 and the words that Jesus had spoken.
12:29 So Jesus signals by His words
12:31 what John is going to make of the story.
12:34 Jesus is replacing the temple and its services with Himself.
12:38 His sacrifice on the cross would overturn all other sacrifices.
12:43 In other words, what the temple
12:44 was pointing to was actually Him.
12:47 The glory of the temple
12:49 was the presence of God inside a building.
12:52 The glory of Jesus
12:53 was the presence of God inside of Himself.
12:57 The coming of Jesus is all about God
13:00 and it's about the character of God.
13:02 He has come to show us what God is really like.
13:05 The temple was intended to do that, but it failed.
13:10 If all the people saw was this buying and selling,
13:13 then clearly temple is not achieving its purpose.
13:17 And so Jesus replaces that system
13:20 with a clearer system, His own body.
13:24 His own self.
13:25 He came to show us what God is like
13:27 and it's at the cross where the body of Jesus,
13:31 and the blood of Jesus is shed.
13:32 That's the place where it most clearly happens.
13:35 And the pride too was in the temple,
13:38 the material, temple,
13:39 rather than the spiritual focus on the Son of God.
13:44 That's right. That's the way religion works.
13:47 Human beings put together a religion to honor God
13:52 who has done something special in their lives,
13:54 but then overtime they forget the reason that it started
13:56 and they start preserving the structure and the system
14:00 and so religion often has a tendency
14:02 to wander away from its original purpose.
14:05 Okay, well, friends, we want to continue
14:08 to study this gospel after this break.
14:10 So stay with us.


Revised 2014-12-17