John 2:12-25  Jesus manifests His authority at the Passover.

Introduction:  John wrote these things that we might believe that Jesus is the Christ and that believing we might have life through His name.  He has offered evidence that Jesus is the Christ. He has told us about His past and notice that I say His past and not His beginning.  John could not tell us of Jesus’ beginning for He had no beginning.  He told us about His great work in creation.  He told us about John the Baptist who the prophets said would come to prepare the way for the Lord.  He gives us the testimony of John the Baptist that Jesus is the Lamb of God.  He told us of the first followers of Jesus and of Nathanael’s proclamation that Jesus is the Son of God the King of Israel.  He has told of the first miracle of Jesus and how his disciples seeing it believed on Him all the more.  Now John will now point out the authority of Jesus as illustrated at the feast of the Passover when Jesus drives out the men and animals who have defiled His father’s house.   

I.  John 2:12  After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days.

    John 2:13  And the Jews' Passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem,

          Jesus goes to the city of Capernaum.  The name of this city means “the city of Nahum”.  This was the city of the prophet Nahum of the Old Testament.  He had prophesied the fall of the city of Nineveh some 100 years after Jonah had preached there and the people had repented.  Jesus will use this town as His headquarters while He ministers to the people in the region around Galilee.  Jesus took with Him His mother, His brothers, and His disciples.   They would all go to Jerusalem, as they had every year, for the feast of Passover.  Jesus had wanted His family to see where He would be staying while He was in Galilee.     

II.  John 2:14  And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:

          Jesus goes into the temple and finds inside the temple grounds what might well have looked like a livestock feed lot.  There were tied up together in the court yard small oxen less than a year old.  There were sheep tied up together in the court yard as well.  Next to these there were small baskets each containing a single dove.  Can you imagine the noise of the people as they bought animals to sacrifice?  Can you imagine the smell of these animals.  Can you imagine what a distraction this would have been to those who came there to worship and to pray?  This was a scene that Jesus had seen before.  It did not take Him by surprise.  He had made more than 20 trips to the feast of Passover with His family.  This time Jesus will do something about this outrage.  The money changers were there for the purpose of converting foreign currency into the shekel of the sanctuary.  This money would be needed by those who came to the temple so that they could pay the Temple tax.  All of the enterprises were for the purpose of making money.  The poor who could not afford an oxen or a sheep would buy a dove.  This was provided for in the law of Moses.  This service was quite convenient.  Those traveling from far away places would not have to worry about bringing a sacrifice with them and risk it sustaining injury along the way.  The animals offered for sale at the Temple were guaranteed to be acceptable to the priests.  This would cost much money but most were willing to pay the price.  This practice Jesus would describe as “a den of thieves”.  People in the business of religion for prophet do God and the people of God a great disservice. 

III.  John 2:15  And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables;

          Jesus, after seeing these things, took some of the cords and braded them into a whip.  These cords were there for the purpose of leading away the animals away after they had been purchased.  The concessionaires were busy selling their livestock and doves and the money changers were doing business as usual as Jesus is preparing His whip.  They have no idea what is about to happen to them.  This morning will not be like all the other Passover mornings which they had experienced.  Men frequently ignore God.  God has said that judgment is coming and men have refused to prepare themselves.  They will be conducting business as usual when Jesus comes again.  Judgment will fall upon them like a thief in the night.  They will suddenly be taken away.  Jesus is soon coming back.  Don’t let this day surprise you.  If they had only taken notice of Jesus they would have gathered their things and left the temple and returned with a sacrifice to offer to God and sought God’s forgiveness for their sin. 

          Jesus begins with the larger animals and their owners.  He drives these men out of the temple and the oxen and sheep with them.  Jesus used the whip to drive the oxen and the sheep out of the Temple.  He may have also threatened the men with the whip as well.  He turns His attention to the money changers who flee from Him and Jesus pours out their money onto the ground and overturned their tables.  When money is spilled on the floor my reaction is to pick it up.  I imagine that these money changers were frantically scooping up coins and hurrying away as quickly as they could. 


IV.  John 2:16  And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.

          Jesus now turns and speaks to those who sold doves.  Jesus could not drive out the doves for they were in baskets which were most likely stacked on two wheel hand carts.  Jesus tells them to take their birds and get out of the Temple.  He exclaims with a loud voice so as to be heard over the din “Make not My Father’s house an house of merchandise.”  The Temple was to be a house of prayer and worship not a Wal-Mart.

          This building, in which we meet, was dedicated for the use of worshiping the Lord God.  This building should be used for that purpose.  The activities here should always be honoring to God.  Weddings, Funerals, Worship services, Singing praises to God, preaching the Word of God, and messenger meetings of churches with which we associate are all activities which are acceptable and appropriate uses of this building.  We should not use this building for prophet.  We are not to charge admission.  We are not to sell items here such as bibles and other literature for prophet.  People should feel free to come to this place to worship and pray before God almighty.

John 2:17  And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.

          The disciples remember a verse of scripture upon seeing Jesus drive these from the Temple.  (Psalm 69:9)  David wrote by the inspiration of God that the Son of David would be consumed by Zeal for the house of the Lord.  Jesus certainly showed that Zeal here.  He was angered over the misuse of His Father’s house.  The Holy Spirit of God calls back to the minds of His disciples the words of the prophet David.  This is more evidence that Jesus is who He claims to be.  He is the only begotten Son of God.  This is indeed His Father’s house.  As foretold by the prophet He shows His Zeal to them.  These disciples have seen water turned to wine by Him.  They have heard Him speak words which only He could speak.  They have seen Him fulfill all righteousness.  He has done and will do all that the prophets foretold for He is indeed the Christ the Son of God.


V.  John 2:18  Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?

          The Jews question the authority of Jesus to do these things.  What right did He have to drive out the men and animals from the Temple.  Was not this the concern of the Temple officials only.  This seems to be a legitimate question but it is not.  They had heard the words of John concerning Jesus.  They knew Him to be the promised Messiah.  He had just stated that this was His father’s house.  He is the Son of God and has every right to say what will and will not be done in His Father’s house. 

          The Jews want a sign from Him that will prove that He is who He says He is.  They want proof.  Nathanael had all the proof he needed.  Peter had all the proof he needed.  Andrew and all the proof he needed.  Philip had all the proof He needed.  The unnamed follower of Jesus who was companion to Andrew had all the proof he needed.  Jesus will give them a sign and it will be all they need.  It will be exactly what they need.  But they will not believe.


VI.  John 2:19  Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.

John 2:20  Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?

John 2:21  But he spake of the temple of his body.

          Jesus gives them the sign which they required.  He told them, in effect, “kill me and I will rise again from the dead in three days”.   Jesus words it in such a way that if they had wanted to know what He meant they could have know.  Jesus did not say “THE Temple”.  He used a relative pronoun which denotes nearness.  He said “THIS Temple”.  When ever a relative pronoun is used it automatically indicates a choice.  The question should have been raised “this rather than what other?”  There was more than one Temple on this scene.  There was the temple of the body which each person possessed and there was the building which housed the Ark of the Covenant.  When Jesus said “This Temple  they should have asked “which Temple?”.   The concluded that He spoke of the building but He spake of the temple of His body.  Jesus will later be asked for a sign but He said that no sign would be given except the sign of Jonah.  For as Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights so must the Son of man be in the heart of the earth.  The leaders of the Jews remembered His saying and thus had a guard posted to watch His tomb.


VII.  John 2:22  When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.

          The disciples of Jesus did not understand the words of Jesus until He rose again.  At this point they believed the prophecy and the words of Jesus.  The Jewish leaders would see this sign but would still not believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.


VIII.  John 2:23  Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the feast [day], many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.

          The Passover lasted for eight days.  During this time Jesus preformed some miracles.  What these miracles were is not recorded for us here.  Most likely Jesus healed the sick and caused the lame to walk and the blind to see.  As a result of these miracles many believed in His name.  That is to say they believed that He was the promised Messiah.  The problem is that most did not understand that the Messiah is the savior.  They saw the Messiah as a conquering King.  They did not see their need of a Savior.   They did not see themselves as sinners and did not repent before God in confession and faith and throw themselves upon the mercy of God in order that they might be saved.  They simply believe Him to be there promised King.


IX.  John 2:24  But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all [men],

John 2:25  And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.

                   Because the people would not accept Jesus as their savior Jesus did not commit Himself to them.  He did not take control and show Himself a great leader among them.  They were desiring to proclaim Him as their King but Jesus came to save not to rule.  Jesus knew all men of His day.  Everyone in the crowd Jesus knew.  He knew every thought of every man.  He knew those who were saved and He knew those who were not saved.  He knew every man who ever lived all the way back to Adam.  Jesus knows every man who has lived since that time even until now.  Jesus knows you and He knows me.  He knows what I feel and what I think.  He knows my pain and my sorrow and my Joy.  He knows what motivates me.  He knows how to get my attention.  He knows what I hold dear and He knows what I abhor.  He knows where I am now and where I will be in the future.  He knows when I will die and what I will have to endure until that time.  Jesus knows what is in me.  He knows my sin nature and He knows that new creature which I became the day I repented and believed in Him.  He knows my weaknesses and my strengths.  Armed with this assurance I can put all my burdens on Him and leave them there.  I don’t have to worry about the future for I know He knows.  I don’t have to worry about Jesus understanding my problems for He knows what is in man.  I will live my life for Jesus and serve Him each day. 

          You need to know that Jesus knows all about you.  He knows you better than you know yourself.  Nothing can be hidden from Him.  The amazing thing to me is that knowing me He still loves me.  Knowing what a sinner I am He still died for me.  He still paid my sin debt.

          Jesus knows you.  Do you Know Jesus?  Have you experienced His marvelous saving grace?  Do you know Him as one who is worthy of your trust.  Do you know Him as your Lord, savior and King?