Reading through the Gospels chronologically through Lent – Today’s Readings: John 2:1-4:26
As you read through the Gospels in these 40 days, make certain you watch Jesus closely. Be looking to answer questions like, “What did Jesus do?” Get inside His head. Ask, “What was Jesus thinking? What was in His heart?” Be looking for words or phrases that should catch your attention. What questions do you have as you read?
Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” 11 This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him. John 2:10-11 (NIV)
Jesus is not like “everyone else”. When Jesus does something He always does it with grace, abundance and love. He is the Lord of all Creation. He always gives His best.
Here is the second question: What was Jesus thinking when He cleans up the temple when he comes to Jerusalem to attend the Passover celebration? (John 2:12-21)
He was thinking, “This is not the way to treat the temple, my Father’s house”. In concern and love for the Father’s house, He does some spring clean. Unfortunately, three years later He finds the temple in the same condition again! And does the same thing. It was then that the religious authorities asked Jesus to prove His authority:
Then the Jews demanded of him, “What miraculous 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.” John 2:18-19 (NIV)
Here is a parallel that might help make greater sense of this passage and these events:
As they were mistreating the Temple in Jerusalem, so they treated Jesus three years later. Three years later, they would destroy the Temple of Christ’s body and three days after that, He would rise from the dead.
So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. John 2:15 (NIV)
Three years later, Jesus does the same. On Friday of that week, Jesus is no longer the one doing the whipping. He is the one being whipped:
Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified. Mark 15:15 (NIV)
How ironic. Jesus makes a whip out of chords to clear the Temple. Pilate orders that the temple of Christ’s body be whipped to satisfy the crowd for what Jesus did on Monday. Why? Why does it happen this way?
Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me;” Hebrews 10:5 (NIV)
A body to be whipped, pierced, bruised…
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5 (NIV)
He cleared the temple with a whip, He cleared the way to the Father with His Body, so that …
…your body (can be ) a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NIV)
You have been purchased and won from sin, death and the power of the devil,
…it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God. 1 Peter 1:18-21 (NIV)
I thank You, my Father, for Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, who has redeemed me, a lost and condemned person, purchased and won me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil; not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death that I may be His own and live under Him in His kingdom and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, in Jesus’ name. Amen.