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Scripture

Gospel of John 10

John 10

I Am the Good Shepherd

10:1 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.

So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”

19 There was again a division among the Jews because of these words. 20 Many of them said, “He has a demon, and is insane; why listen to him?” 21 Others said, “These are not the words of one who is oppressed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”

I and the Father Are One

22 At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. 24 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me,1 is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

31 The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” 33 The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.” 34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? 35 If he called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken—36 do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? 37 If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; 38 but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” 39 Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands.

40 He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing at first, and there he remained. 41 And many came to him. And they said, “John did no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true.” 42 And many believed in him there.

Footnotes

[1] 10:29 Some manuscripts What my Father has given to me

(ESV)

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Scripture

Gospel of John 9

John 9

Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind

9:1 As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.

The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar were saying, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” Some said, “It is he.” Others said, “No, but he is like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” 10 So they said to him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” 11 He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed and received my sight.” 12 They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”

13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. 14 Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 15 So the Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, “He put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” 16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them. 17 So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.”

18 The Jews1 did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight 19 and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” 20 His parents answered, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. 21 But how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” 22 (His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess Jesus2 to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue.) 23 Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”

24 So for the second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, “Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.” 25 He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” 26 They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 27 He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” 28 And they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29 We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” 30 The man answered, “Why, this is an amazing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. 32 Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” 34 They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out.

35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”3 36 He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” 37 Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.” 38 He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. 39 Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” 40 Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, “Are we also blind?” 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt;4 but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.

Footnotes

[1] 9:18 Greek Ioudaioi probably refers here to Jewish religious leaders, and others under their influence, in that time; also verse 22

[2] 9:22 Greek him

[3] 9:35 Some manuscripts the Son of God

[4] 9:41 Greek you would not have sin

(ESV)

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Scripture

Gospel of John 8

John 8

8:1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”]]

I Am the Light of the World

12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” 13 So the Pharisees said to him, “You are bearing witness about yourself; your testimony is not true.” 14 Jesus answered, “Even if I do bear witness about myself, my testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. 16 Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father1 who sent me. 17 In your Law it is written that the testimony of two people is true. 18 I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me.” 19 They said to him therefore, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” 20 These words he spoke in the treasury, as he taught in the temple; but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.

21 So he said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.” 22 So the Jews said, “Will he kill himself, since he says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” 23 He said to them, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.” 25 So they said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been telling you from the beginning. 26 I have much to say about you and much to judge, but he who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.” 27 They did not understand that he had been speaking to them about the Father. 28 So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. 29 And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him.” 30 As he was saying these things, many believed in him.

The Truth Will Set You Free

31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”

34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave2 to sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. 38 I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.”

You Are of Your Father the Devil

39 They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, 40 but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. 41 You are doing the works your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. 43 Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. 46 Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? 47 Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”

Before Abraham Was, I Am

48 The Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” 49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. 50 Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51 Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” 52 The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’ 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?” 54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’3 55 But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” 57 So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?”4 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.

Footnotes

[1] 8:16 Some manuscripts he

[2] 8:34 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface; also verse 35

[3] 8:54 Some manuscripts your God

[4] 8:57 Some manuscripts has Abraham seen you?

(ESV)

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Scripture

Gospel of John 7

John 7

Jesus at the Feast of Booths

7:1 After this Jesus went about in Galilee. He would not go about in Judea, because the Jews1 were seeking to kill him. Now the Jews’ Feast of Booths was at hand. So his brothers2 said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples also may see the works you are doing. For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” For not even his brothers believed in him. Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always here. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil. You go up to the feast. I am not3 going up to this feast, for my time has not yet fully come.” After saying this, he remained in Galilee.

10 But after his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly but in private. 11 The Jews were looking for him at the feast, and saying, “Where is he?” 12 And there was much muttering about him among the people. While some said, “He is a good man,” others said, “No, he is leading the people astray.” 13 Yet for fear of the Jews no one spoke openly of him.

14 About the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and began teaching. 15 The Jews therefore marveled, saying, “How is it that this man has learning,4 when he has never studied?” 16 So Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. 17 If anyone’s will is to do God’s5 will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. 18 The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood. 19 Has not Moses given you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why do you seek to kill me?” 20 The crowd answered, “You have a demon! Who is seeking to kill you?” 21 Jesus answered them, “I did one work, and you all marvel at it. 22 Moses gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. 23 If on the Sabbath a man receives circumcision, so that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me because on the Sabbath I made a man’s whole body well? 24 Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”

Can This Be the Christ?

25 Some of the people of Jerusalem therefore said, “Is not this the man whom they seek to kill? 26 And here he is, speaking openly, and they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Christ? 27 But we know where this man comes from, and when the Christ appears, no one will know where he comes from.” 28 So Jesus proclaimed, as he taught in the temple, “You know me, and you know where I come from. But I have not come of my own accord. He who sent me is true, and him you do not know. 29 I know him, for I come from him, and he sent me.” 30 So they were seeking to arrest him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come. 31 Yet many of the people believed in him. They said, “When the Christ appears, will he do more signs than this man has done?”

Officers Sent to Arrest Jesus

32 The Pharisees heard the crowd muttering these things about him, and the chief priests and Pharisees sent officers to arrest him. 33 Jesus then said, “I will be with you a little longer, and then I am going to him who sent me. 34 You will seek me and you will not find me. Where I am you cannot come.” 35 The Jews said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we will not find him? Does he intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks? 36 What does he mean by saying, ‘You will seek me and you will not find me,’ and, ‘Where I am you cannot come’?”

Rivers of Living Water

37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as6 the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Division Among the People

40 When they heard these words, some of the people said, “This really is the Prophet.” 41 Others said, “This is the Christ.” But some said, “Is the Christ to come from Galilee? 42 Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the offspring of David, and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David was?” 43 So there was a division among the people over him. 44 Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.

45 The officers then came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why did you not bring him?” 46 The officers answered, “No one ever spoke like this man!” 47 The Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived? 48 Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him? 49 But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed.” 50 Nicodemus, who had gone to him before, and who was one of them, said to them, 51 “Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?” 52 They replied, “Are you from Galilee too? Search and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.”

[The earliest manuscripts do not include 7:53–8:11.]7

The Woman Caught in Adultery

53 [[They went each to his own house,

Footnotes

[1] 7:1 Or Judeans; Greek Ioudaioi probably refers here to Jewish religious leaders, and others under their influence, in that time

[2] 7:3 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 5, 10

[3] 7:8 Some manuscripts add yet

[4] 7:15 Or this man knows his letters

[5] 7:17 Greek his

[6] 7:38 Or let him come to me, and let him who believes in me drink. As

[7] 7:53 Some manuscripts do not include 7:53–8:11; others add the passage here or after 7:36 or after 21:25 or after Luke 21:38, with variations in the text

(ESV)

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Scripture

Going Deeper

John 2-6 (8.13.22)

I am excited to walk with you through a famous and often misunderstood passage about Jesus confronting the money changers in the temple. Look with me at John chapter 2.

John 2:13-14 The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there.

At the annual Passover week, faithful Jewish worshipers would come from remote parts of the Holy Land to gather for the Passover. They didn’t have SUV’s and travel trailers, so many found it a convenience to be able to purchase the animals used for sacrifice right there at the temple. Even with our modern-day travel means, I believe it still would have been most convenient not to transport living animals in the back of the van. Traders were smart to supply this huge demand, and what began as selling the needed items and animals outside the gates moved to the streets of Jerusalem, and eventually, they crept nearer and nearer to the sacred precincts of the courts of the temple itself. We can think of a modern-day example of this like buying t-shirts or concessions at a concert or a game. So, we get why there was a market for the animals, given that they were needed for sacrifice, but why the money-changers?

Every Jew had to pay to the temple treasury an annual tax of a half shekel, and this tax could be paid only in sacred currency. No foreign coin, with its emblem of submission to an alien king, was allowed to pollute the temple. With that, there came to be a need of money-changers, not only for the Jew who had come up to the feast from a remote part of the empire, but even for the inhabitants of Palestine, as the Roman coinage had displaced the shekel of ordinary use.

Here is the problem:

Cattle-dealers and money-changers were notorious for making a quick buck on ignorant travelers passing through. The poor were shamefully cheated, and the worship of God was hindered and impoverished instead of being facilitated and enriched. The worshiper who came to the temple seeking quiet and fellowship with God had to push his way through the hoards of the dealers and biding and merchant chants. Surely whatever devotional mindset one had was tampered with by the wrangling and shouting of a cattle market or auction floor.

The problem is everybody had become so used to it that it didn’t stand out as wrong and offensive to the people of God. This is not unlike the modern church today. The biggest, most attended churches in our country are often self-serving, “man-uplifting,” “God-belittling,” “word-manipulating” houses of profit. Big business has taken over much of the church and turned it into a moneymaking, people-entertaining, man-exalting house of trade.

In these churches:

  • Little repentance of sin is happening;
  • The word of God is not taught fully and/or with God-fearing conviction;
  • Few disciples are being made and sent out;
  • And people have no staying power or commitment, but instead they come and go as fast as the church can get the next campaign or event up and running.

Just like it was in Jesus’ day at the temple, few modern Christians can discern the difference and they just accept it as normal.

But not Jesus; He couldn’t stand what the house of worship had become. This was the temple. Remember, this is still the old system: This is where you went to interact with God. This is where the Holy of Holies was–where God’s presence was. But our faith is not dependent on the house of God like it was before Christ–like it was at the temple. The temple is where the people of God went to interact with God through the sacrificial system He put in place, through the priest and the animal sacrifice. So, we need to be sure we understand the weight of what this place and space represented in this time. We need to see what bothered Jesus so much. The idolatry and love affair with making money had become why all these people woke up and went there–not to worship God, but to make a profit.

Jesus was bold enough to stand up and say, “Enough! This is all wrong.”

John 2:15 And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables.

Now, to do this–to upset an entire courtyard of merchants–He was going to need a little force and a loud voice.

John 2:15 And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen.

The whip is not to hurt people but to herd people and their many animals–to herd them out.

How do you move a herd of sheep and oxen? With a whip! And if you are going to move the people out, people who have a lot to lose, people who worked so hard to secure their spot to sell, you would need some influence. A whip will help.

John 2:15b And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables.

I know of no more direct way to rid yourself of a person who is addicted to money than to mess with his money. This is what Jesus did. He is taking their treasure and dumping it on the floor and turning their shrines of idolatry upside down.

There are two ways to see Jesus here:

  1. As mean, rude, out of control, and out of line

Or

  • As loving and full of mercy.

In no other instance do we see Jesus interact with anyone in this way—in a physical way. Think about all of Jesus’ interactions and all the times He faced incredible disrespect and opposition. He never got physical or loud like He does here. So, how do we digest this—as out of line or as a loving response? Let me ask you, when a father yells across the room at his daughter who is about to dump a pot of bowling water on herself as she reaches to grab the handle on the stove, is he being out of line or full or love? It is loving, right?

When a humble, peaceable, gentle man discovers that his house has been broken into and his family is in danger of evil, rape, and murder, and he grabs a bat or a gun to stop the evil attack, is he out of line or full of love? It is loving and right to restrain the evil and protect the defenseless!

So, when the Son of God is in His Father’s house and thieves and swindlers and idolaters have set up shop to advance their own kingdom and not God’s kingdom, is the Son right to defend what is sacred and holy and to protect the children of God from being taken or manipulated by these crooks?

Here is what we also must remember: God is love and mercy, but He is also just and wrath. He is the good and right and the ultimate Judge. His verdict is right. If He declares these guys guilty and doing wrong, then they are—without a shadow of doubt. Why? Because God says so, and God is never wrong.

While the physical actions of Jesus are very unique (He doesn’t get physical with anybody in all the other accounts we have), it makes sense why this is a somewhat shocking scene, but you need to see how right it is. You need to remember, this is Jesus, who was without sin. Not one valid accusation was ever made against Him at his trials when they arrested him. Why? Because He never sinned. This means Jesus handled an incredibly intense situation just right. He didn’t cross the line. Oh, how we need the discipline of Jesus in and through us when faced with extreme moments like this—to do what is right but to not sin.

Look at:

John 2:16 And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away …”

To those He didn’t need to engage physically, He didn’t. This shows us that He did whatever was needed and nothing more. To the pigeon dealers, He simply said, “Take them away.” Christ rebuked all, yet none were injured, and nothing was lost. What an amazing example for us to follow. Temperance and prudence at work to perfection. Another thing to remember is this was how often Jesus handled the worst of situations with a still, calm voice—not getting riled up, not exploding or sinfully boiling over. Just trusting His sovereign Father to work all things to His perfection. There is a perfect combination of engaging but not over-engaging.

  • Men, we need this as we lead our homes.
  • Parents, we need this as we lead our children.
  • Wives, you need this as you submit to your husbands.
  • Any of you who work for someone else or with someone else, you need this.

Oh, how we need the discipline of Jesus in and through us when faced with extreme moments like this—to do what is right but to not sin.

Let’s look at what Jesus said as He cleared the courts:

John 2:16 “… do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.”

See how this points out the deity of Christ! First, He identifies Himself with the temple, terming it “My Father’s house,” therefore affirming His divine Sonship. Nobody in all of the history of the temple would have dreamed of calling the House of God their father’s house—not Moses, David, or Solomon ever referred to the tabernacle or the temple as his “Father’s house.” Why? Because only the Son of God alone could do this. Only through Jesus can the Father be known.

Matthew 11:27 “… no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

Now, here is the thing we must not miss here. Verse 15 says, “And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple” (John 2:15). You have to realize, the masses of hundreds, if not, thousands of people in this area during the annual Passover who filled the courtyard didn’t know who Jesus was. It’s not like He was a high-ranking official of the temple. We know there is no higher ranking official of the temple than the Son of God. So, when He says “My Father’s house,” He is pronouncing that authority. But to the masses, He would have just been another guy. Not only does this ramp up what Jesus is making known about Himself, but it also points out that there is no way in any human explanation that one guy with a whip clears hundreds if not thousands of people from the temple—especially when these people have their livelihood on the line. It would have only taken a few angry men to grab Him, bind Him, and toss Him out after a good beating. So, do you see the miracle here? Do you see the hand of God at work? We often don’t attribute this as a miraculous event, but it is! I pray we see it with a fuller view and that it causes us to worship Jesus as God and worthy of our praise.

Jesus says, “do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” Referring to God as His Father would have been more reason to beat Him down. Why? Because until Jesus, no one talked about God this way. It is not abstract to us because we, the church, are God’s adopted sons and daughters, and so He is our Father, too. Jesus later teaches His disciples to refer to God in prayer by saying, “Our Father in Heaven.” But when the Jews hear Jesus speak this way, it causes them to boil in anger because to them, it looks like a man is putting himself at the same level as God.

Later, in John 5:18 we’ll read, “This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.”

This is a great miracle. God was surely at work in causing unexpected obedience from the crowd to listen to Jesus and to leave without riot or pushback. Also, it was miraculous for Jesus not to be arrested right there for disturbing the peace and for what would have been blasphemous in Jewish ears, by proclaiming Himself as the Son of God.

But, Jesus is the Son of God. He is doing the will of the Father. I want us to see the power of God to accomplish His work in this amazing event. Praise God for Jesus’ example of faith and passion about the name of His Father. He will not stand for God’s worship to be trampled on by the agenda and idolatry of man. This leads us to the next verse and the disciples’ response to Jesus in all of this.

John 2:17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

Jesus’ disciples remembered Psalm 69:9: “For zeal for your house has consumed me, and the reproaches of those who reproach you have fallen on me.”

Psalm 69 was written by David, and David was calling the people to true worship. That’s the scene. David was calling the people to true worship, and what he was getting back was resistance and hatred and hostility. The people were in the same condition then that they are in Jesus’ time.

Like David, Jesus is filled with zeal for his Father’s house. He is upset that the House of God had become simply a means to a profit. Instead, God’s house is supposed to be about knowing and loving and treasuring God the Father. We have to see this today, too. We have to ask, “Am I like Jesus who has a right zeal for God, or am I like a merchant who really focuses my days on only the things of this world—on my profit and my stuff?” We have to see that the true treasure that satisfies is not a daily profit, but it is God Himself. The point of the temple is that God holds the supreme place. He is the supreme treasure. Do you get this? Does your life reflect the truth that God is far superior to any temporary profit or fame or satisfaction?

What Jesus saw that day in the temple was not an isolated instance of questionable worship support. It was the outworking of greed cloaked with religion. “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me” (Matthew 15:8–9).

Jesus is saying, “My Father is not being worshipped. Money is being worshipped—in my Father’s house.” This flies in the face of why Jesus came into the world. He came to display the infinite worth of His Father and to vindicate His Father’s honor—and to free us from the killing effects of the love of money.

Now, God doesn’t just want our routine worship or weekly sacrifice, either. He wants lives that are sacrificial, obedient, honoring Him. He doesn’t want Sunday followers but sold out soldiers for His name’s sake. He wants sacrifice in life and heart and not just religious routine.

Why is this good news? It is good news because zeal for God’s house did consume Jesus.

This was not a one-time flair of zeal for God’s glory. It was His mission. The good news is that Jesus’ zeal for right and lasting worship of God did consume Him. It consumed Him on the cross.

Hear this today:

1. Jesus was consumed, so we don’t have to be.

Meaning He paid our debt, so we don’t have to pay it for eternity, but we get to dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Do you know this? Have you trusted your life to Jesus so that this applies to you?

2. Jesus was consumed, so we can have zeal for God’s glory too.

We would only live for our own fame and sin and selfishness if not for the saving work of Jesus in our place. If not for new life in Christ, we would remain just like the merchants and money-changers who pursued idols of the heart and money while in the shadow of the temple that houses the only One who can truly satisfy.

I pray this is a true blessing to you and that God brings real conviction for growth and maturity in your faith. I am praying for you as you continue to study the Gospel of John as we finish this year’s Bible reading plan and prepare to start a new one.

By His grace and for His glory,

-Shepherd

Soldiers for Jesus MC

Chaplain Council