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: JBOTB00007B

00:01 And welcome back again.
00:02 We're studying the Gospel of John.
00:04 Particularly we're studying the cleansing of the temple
00:07 in the last part of Chapter 2.
00:09 And we are with Dr. Jon Paulien.
00:12 And this is very exciting
00:13 because he has a very detailed in-depth study on this gospel.
00:18 And, Dr. Paulien, we left off on how this story is leading to--
00:25 has a spiritual emphasis towards the cross.
00:29 It really connects with the wedding of Cana story.
00:32 So you can read the chapter as a whole.
00:35 And there's all sorts of hints
00:37 that John drops that all end up at the cross.
00:39 You have the third day in Chapter 2 verse 1.
00:42 You have the woman, you know,
00:45 marry who appears again at the cross.
00:47 You have the idea, my time hasn't come,
00:50 the disciples saw His glory.
00:53 You have the water turned into wine
00:55 which recalls the blood of Jesus.
00:58 Here in the temple story,
01:00 it says Jesus replaces the temple with His body.
01:03 He replaces the sacrificial animals with His body
01:06 which will be sacrificed on the cross,
01:08 so for the person who knows the Gospel of John 2
01:13 is full of foretastes of the cross
01:16 and it illustrates the point
01:18 I was making each of the stories in the Gospel of John
01:21 is like a parable that has deeper spiritual meaning.
01:25 And the cross for John is the place
01:29 where God is truly revealed.
01:31 People have a lot of different views of God,
01:34 but the truest view of God is the one we see in Jesus
01:38 in the Gospel of John.
01:39 He is revealing God's character
01:41 in His willingness to die for us,
01:45 in His willingness to be gracious and kind and patient
01:50 with difficult people, people who just never get it,
01:52 they don't understand, they oppose everything,
01:55 and yet He is patient with them
01:57 and He shows them what God is like.
02:01 Now speaking of God's character here in the story particularly,
02:04 we read that Jesus was not very happy or pleased
02:08 with these actions and it says that,
02:11 you know, that He had a whip,
02:15 doesn't say that He whipped him. Yeah.
02:16 But we often have this picture of Jesus,
02:20 you know, just whipping everybody
02:22 and just this feature of just angry at the people,
02:27 is that an accurate depiction of the character of Jesus?
02:31 I think it's really important to keep in mind
02:34 that God meets people where they are.
02:36 And children need a strong parent.
02:41 School teachers know that if you start the year
02:44 being sweet and nice, the kids may run all over you.
02:48 So parent or a teacher starts out sometime stern
02:53 and so on to set the boundaries, set the structure,
02:56 but when people are used to that structure,
02:59 when kids grow up and feel comfortable in that structure,
03:01 the parents then can back off
03:04 and if you have 30-year-old child
03:06 and you're still yelling at them and telling them what to do,
03:10 that's probably not appropriate anymore.
03:13 And I think God wants to grow people.
03:16 He doesn't want to be threatening.
03:18 He doesn't want to be judgmental and so on.
03:21 He wants to love us and receive love in return,
03:24 that's the ultimate goal.
03:26 God is love from beginning to end of the great controversy,
03:30 you know, throughout history, that's what it's all about.
03:33 And yet God meets people
03:35 where they need Him at different times.
03:37 And here, this temple needed cleansing.
03:42 It doesn't tell us Jesus hit anybody,
03:44 but apparently just a look in his face was enough to feel,
03:46 so that I'm getting out of here.
03:50 I've got to run.
03:52 And because the temple is cleansed,
03:54 now the children could come to Him
03:55 and it changed the whole atmosphere.
04:00 So going back to verse 19
04:03 where Jesus answered them and He says,
04:04 "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up."
04:08 And then verse 21, it's the narrator that he says,
04:12 "But he was speaking of the temple of His body."
04:15 So what is he talking about, his death and his resurrection?
04:19 Oh, yeah. That's a good point.
04:21 I'm glad you pointed that out because I was just saying
04:24 that there are so many foreshadows of the cross.
04:27 There is another one.
04:28 Destroy this temple, my body
04:31 and I will raise it up in three days.
04:32 That's a clear reference to the death
04:34 and resurrection of Jesus.
04:36 So John is pretty plainly hinting to us.
04:39 Hey, don't take this as a surface story,
04:42 go a little bit deeper and see that it's all about the cross,
04:46 see that there is a deeper significance to it.
04:49 So obviously Jesus was not there,
04:51 you know, pointing to the building saying,
04:54 you know, destroy this temple,
04:55 but rather He was referring to His--Himself.
04:58 It's the whole issue of misunderstanding.
05:00 We handle in the couple of programs ago
05:02 where the people in the story take Jesus literally
05:06 and don't catch the deeper spiritual meaning
05:08 that John is pointing them.
05:10 And the people-- and the people here,
05:12 the Jews just did not see that. Right.
05:16 They just--again their focus was on the building,
05:21 the material structure and Jesus was saying,
05:25 "You know, it's really about,
05:27 you know, again Me and the miracle is that
05:34 on the first day or on the third day."
05:38 You got it? Yeah.
05:39 "The body would be resurrected."
05:40 Well, it goes back to the old story
05:42 that the physical presence of Jesus
05:45 didn't have the impact
05:46 that the Holy Spirit did later on
05:48 in changing people's minds and hearts.
05:50 The people who are actually there often didn't get it.
05:52 And even the disciples didn't get it.
05:54 So we shouldn't feel disadvantaged
05:56 that we don't have the physical presence of Jesus
05:59 'cause the Holy Spirit can give us
06:00 an even deeper conviction than they had.
06:04 Let's go on to the last part of this chapter
06:06 'cause I think it's-- it's three verses
06:08 that are easily overlooked,
06:09 they're tremendously interesting.
06:11 Verse 23.
06:13 "Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover
06:16 during the Feast, many believed in his name
06:18 when they saw the signs which he did.
06:20 But Jesus did not commit Himself to them
06:23 because he knew all men,
06:25 and had no need that anyone should testify of man,
06:28 for He knew what was in man."
06:31 Now here's an interesting piece here.
06:33 This is what I call a dual-directional passage.
06:35 There's a lot of them in John.
06:37 The wedding of Cana is one of those too,
06:40 because we've already seen that it builds on Chapter 1
06:43 that series of days that ends in the wedding,
06:46 but it also sets the table for the temple cleansing
06:49 which are all cross related.
06:51 So the wedding of Cana kind of links two different things.
06:55 Here, this passage, verses 23-25 is the link
06:59 between the temple cleansing and the Nicodemus story
07:03 which we'll talk about in the next program in Chapter 3.
07:06 And here it says,
07:07 "A lot of people saw Jesus doing miraculous things in Jerusalem
07:12 and they believed in Him."
07:14 But here's a little piece that you don't get in translation.
07:18 It says in the Greek.
07:19 "Since they believed in His name,
07:22 but Jesus did not believe in them."
07:24 He uses the same word for belief.
07:27 The English translation usually changes it.
07:31 It's the idea, these people believed in Jesus,
07:34 but it was inadequate faith.
07:36 It wasn't a full rich deep faith.
07:39 They believed because of miracles.
07:41 They believed for that outward stuff
07:43 what we were just talking about.
07:44 You know, that they saw what Jesus did in the temple
07:47 and instead of seeing the spiritual meaning of it,
07:49 they just said, "Oh, you know,
07:51 he is gonna destroy this building
07:52 and build it in three days."
07:53 Now how did Jesus not believe in them
07:55 'cause I've not heard of that translation?
07:58 Well, the translation I have here
08:00 is He did not entrust himself to them.
08:03 You see, in the Greek, it's a play on words.
08:06 They believed in Him, but He doesn't believe in them,
08:08 kind of it's the surface meaning,
08:10 and what is He did not trust their faith.
08:13 He did not trust that their belief in Him.
08:15 It was only based in miracles.
08:17 They didn't know who He really was.
08:19 They didn't know that those miracles
08:21 would lead to the cross.
08:23 The cleansing of the temple would lead to the cross.
08:26 They didn't want to go to the cross.
08:28 They didn't want to take up their cross, you see.
08:30 So that they were believing in was a political Messiah
08:34 who would cleanse temples and defeat Roman armies
08:37 and bring them lots of money, you know, and fame and power.
08:42 Yeah, money, fame, power, relationships,
08:45 that's what people are all about,
08:47 that's not what Jesus came to bring.
08:49 He came to bring something deeper.
08:51 It's a picture of God and who He is,
08:55 and of a relationship with God that could change their lives.
08:59 So in John, there's three types of faith.
09:03 There's a faith that is inadequate.
09:08 And Nicodemus represents that kind of faith.
09:10 There's a partial faith, a good faith that's kind of immature,
09:16 that's what the disciples had after the wedding of Cana.
09:18 They say this guy is really special,
09:20 but they still don't know the cross.
09:22 Then there's full faith that understands
09:25 the whole picture of Jesus.
09:26 It's mature, it's lasting, it's unshakeable.
09:30 That's the faith of the Samaritan woman
09:33 in the end comes to demonstrate and many others in the gospel.
09:36 Mary, for example. Mary and Martha.
09:39 Yeah, but Jesus says, what the Bible says
09:42 that Jesus knew what was in men
09:43 and probably why He didn't trust them.
09:46 So does Jesus know what is in me,
09:48 what is in my heart I spoke?
09:50 Yes, that's right.
09:52 For the rabbis, here is something I wrote down here.
09:56 For the rabbis, there were seven things
09:58 that no human being could know.
10:00 The day of their death, the day of consolation,
10:03 in other words when God would bring about the end.
10:07 The depths of judgment, one's reward,
10:10 the time when the kingdom would be restored,
10:12 the time when the Romans would be destroyed
10:15 and what is within another.
10:18 The rabbi says, "It's impossible for a human being to know
10:21 what's inside another human being."
10:24 Yet Jesus knows that.
10:26 He has already shown that
10:28 with Nathaniel in the previous chapter.
10:30 He knew where Nathaniel was
10:32 and what he was thinking before Jesus ever met him.
10:36 He knew what was in them.
10:38 He didn't entrust himself to these people
10:40 'cause he knew their faiths were shallow,
10:42 it was just a sham, it was just something
10:45 they were excited about these miracles
10:47 and so they were gonna believe.
10:49 And perhaps that's a good place to draw a lesson,
10:53 as we come to the close of this chapter.
10:56 Jesus knows what's inside of us.
10:59 Now that maybe scary to someone.
11:01 Let me show you a different side of that.
11:03 If Jesus knows what's inside of you
11:07 then nothing you could tell Him would be a surprise.
11:12 And you see, confession of sin
11:15 is simply telling the truth about yourself.
11:20 It's simply saying, "Yep, I messed up.
11:23 Yeah, I've been going my own way."
11:26 It's telling what is actually true.
11:28 Now I've discovered
11:30 and people have sometimes confessed
11:32 that it's possible to even lie to God in prayer.
11:35 You know, you come to church and you're all upset,
11:38 the family's been a mess, you know, and so on,
11:40 and then suddenly you get to church,
11:42 "Oh, it's time for the opening prayer."
11:43 You have the opening prayer.
11:44 You run up there with a big smile on your face.
11:46 It's good to be here.
11:48 Let's thank the Lord for this wonderful day.
11:50 That's baloney, you know.
11:52 It's not in your heart whatsoever.
11:54 You see, so we can lie to God even in prayer
11:57 and it tells us, if Jesus knows us
12:00 it's safe to talk to Him about what's inside,
12:04 it safe to confess our sins.
12:06 He is not gonna turn on us for knowing the truth,
12:09 He already knows the truth.
12:12 So that's in my advantage. Yes.
12:15 Quickly, if that's the case,
12:17 why would I have to confess to God if He already knows?
12:19 Oh, because I need to, I need to come clean.
12:23 It's living a false life that is the thing
12:26 that keeps us away from God.
12:27 And when we confess our sins, when we open ourselves up,
12:30 we allow Him to cleanse us.
12:32 It's giving Him permission to enter our lives
12:35 and be part of it.
12:36 If you're holding back information from another person,
12:39 that's not a trusting relationship, is it?
12:41 So intimacy requires, we'd be totally honest with each other.
12:45 And that's what Jesus is inviting here.
12:48 He knows all about us.
12:49 He is inviting us to know all about Him
12:51 and to reveal ourselves to Him,
12:52 so we can have depth of relationship.
12:55 And that invitation from God is coming,
12:58 let us reason together and let's talk about this
13:01 and I will forgive your sins.
13:03 And, friends, I pray that you too
13:05 can come to Jesus as you are.
13:07 He knows who you are
13:09 and He's just more than willing to give you
13:11 that what you need.
13:13 May God bless you.


Revised 2014-12-17