Bible Study – John Chapter 2 Verses 16-23
John 2:16 – And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house a house of merchandise. Jesus never used force to drive any into the Temple, but only to drive those out that profaned it. After driving out the money changers, He poured out the changer’s money. In pouring out the money, He showed His contempt of it. In overthrowing the tables, He showed His displeasure against those that make religion a matter of worldly gain. After showing them His displeasure, He instructed them not to make His Father’s house a house of merchandise. Merchandise is a good thing in the exchange, but not in the temple, it was sacrilege; it was to make the business of religion subservient to a secular interest. God’s temple was being misused by people who turned it into a marketplace, They forgot, or didn’t care that God’s house is a place of worship, not a place for making a profit. The cleansing of the temple was the first public presentation of Jesus to Israel; He presented Himself as the Messiah. The Messiah’s ministry began in the temple, He came to purify it. My Father’s house was a distinct claim to messiahship.
John 2:17 – And his disciples remembered that it was written, The ZEAL OF THINE HOUSE HATH EATEN ME UP. All the graces that were to be found among the Old Testament saints were eminently in Christ, and particularly this zeal for the house of God. Zeal for the house of God forbids us to consult our own credit, ease, and safety when they come in competition with Christ’s service, and sometimes carries on our souls in our duty so far and so fast that our bodies cannot keep pace with them. Jesus took the evil acts in the Temple as an insult against God, thus He did not deal with them halfheartedly. He was “eaten up” with righteous anger against such flagrant disrespect for God. When entering the house of God, we should reverence it as the House of God. Today’s Christian come into the house of God with their earpiece for their phones, they’re continually checking their emails and checking messages on Facebook, this is disrespecting the house of God as well as whoever is ministering. God speaks His Word through His messengers that’s the pastor, evangelist whoever is speaking on that particular day. We come into the house of God to worship and to hear what He is saying to us through His messenger, not to check our messages!
John 2:18 – Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign showed thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? The Jews apparently refer to the religious authorities of Israel who also understood that Jesus was representing Himself as the Messiah, therefore, they asked for a sign. That is the multitude of the people with their leaders. When they could object nothing against the thing itself, they questioned His authority to do it.
John 2:19 – Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Jesus’ answer to this demand, a sign is something to come, the truth of which must appear by the event. The Jews understood Jesus to mean the Temple out of which He had just driven the merchants and money changers. They understood Jesus’ words to mean that this imposing building could be torn down and rebuilt in three days, and they were startled. The sign that He gives them is His own death and resurrection. He refers them to that which would be. He foretells His death and resurrection, not in plain terms, but figurative expression. Jesus was not talking about the physical building, He was referring to His body. “I will raise it up”, Jesus didn’t say I will build it up again, He was referring to His resurrection, three days after His death. The sign Jesus gave the Jews was the sign of His death and resurrection.
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. Herod the Great began restoring the temple in 20 B.C. The work was not finished at the time of this conversation, in fact, it was not completed until around A.D. 64, under Herod Agrippa. It had been forty-six years since this remodeling had started, and they assumed He was speaking of the physical building. Although the religious leader had been foretold of the Messiah’s coming and His death through the Old Testament teaching, but yet they didn’t understand who He was, and the purpose of His coming to the Temple as well as Him telling them of His death and resurrection.
John 2:21- But He spake of the temple of his body. Jesus wasn’t talking about the literal Temple, but about Himself. His listeners didn’t realize it, but He was greater than the Temple. Him being like the Temple was built by immediate divine direction. Like the Temple, He was a holy house; He is called the “Holy thing” (And the angel answered and said unto her, the Holy Ghost shall upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God – Luke 1:35). He was like the Temple, the habitation of God’s glory; there the eternal Word dwelt, He is Emmanuel, God with us. Worshippers should look towards that house, reverence it, and approach God through Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
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. This saying of Christ revived in the memories of His disciples when He was risen from the dead, and why then? Because then the Spirit was poured out to bring things to their remembrance which Jesus had said to them. That very day that Jesus rose from the dead He opened their understanding because then this saying of Jesus was fulfilled. The disciples understood that Jesus was the Messiah, but they did not understand that He was speaking of the resurrection of His body until it actually happened. Jesus’s fulfilling His prediction became the strongest proof for His claim to be God.
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. John’s purpose in recording Jesus’ miracles was for people to believe and have eternal life. When Jesus was in Jerusalem at the passover, He preached and worked miracles. The time was a holy time, the feast-day, and Jesus took that opportunity of preaching when the concourse of people was great.