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John7 – the real temple

With this he descended into Capernaum, he and his mother and his brothers and his disciples, and they stayed there not many days. And the Passover of the Judeans was near, and Jesus ascended into Jerusalem. 
Shortly after the wedding in Cana of Galilee (around AD 30) (so John, the first-century AD biographer of Jesus, records) the group went down to Capernaum and from there to Jerusalem, their capital city. It was Passover so Jerusalem would have been crowded with pilgrims.

And he found in the temple those selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers seated. 

Central to Jerusalem was Herod’s Temple to the LORD Almighty. It is called the Second Temple because it replaced Solomon’s Temple which had been destroyed by the Babylonians in 585. It’s modest replacement (in 516 BC) was completely overhauled and vastly extended from 20 BC onwards.

And having made a whip from cords he outplaced everyone out of the temple, not only the sheep but also the oxen, and he poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned the tables. And to those selling the doves he said, “Lift these from here! Do not make the house of my Father a house of business!” 

The Temple to the LORD Almighty was at that time “a house of business” with traders selling and bankers providing bureau de change services. The animals were for Temple sacrifices and their availability to travelers saved carrying such from afar. Both sellers and currency service providers were profiting for themselves within the Temple complex. Pity the consumers!

‘Do other men for what they do you. That’s the true business concept.’ (Charles Dickens, writer, 1812-1870)
His disciples remembered that it is written, “The zeal of your house will consume me.” 

Jesus’ disciples then recalled a sentence from a Psalm (69) written about 1,000 years earlier by their then King David who was a prolific song-writer. The song is one of David in severe distress and gives the reason for his awful plight: “Zeal for your house has consumed me.”

Jesus is not yet in such distress. But the disciples think that Jesus’ “zeal” for his father’s house is such that it “will”, inevitably, “consume” him to his own death. Maybe what followed confirmed their thoughts. 

So the Judeans answered and said to him, “What sign do you show to us, in that you are doing these things?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Release this sanctuary-dwelling! And in three days I will raise it up.” So the Judeans said, “This sanctuary-dwelling was forty-six years being built, and will you raise it up in three days?” 

Sure enough, “the Judeans" ask for a “sign” from Jesus which would, in some way, justify his (to them) abominable conduct. “Undo this sanctuary-dwelling!” This is an instruction to them: “Undo” is in the imperative tense.

Within months they would “undo” Jesus by arranging his Roman crucifixion. “And in three days I will raise it up!” Jesus rose from the dead after “three days” in the grave.  The whole Temple would itself be destroyed in AD 70.

In fact that one was stating concerning the sanctuary-dwelling of his body. So when he was raised up from dead ones, his disciples remembered that he was stating this, and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus said. 

Later Jesus’ disciples, remembering this, “believed the Scripture” (Psalm 69) and the “sign” Jesus had given that he, the real temple, would be destroyed and after three days would rise from the dead. 

‘More in number than the hairs of my head are those who hate me without cause; mighty are those who would destroy me, those who attack me with lies.’ (From Psalm 69)
In fact when he was in Jerusalem in the Passover, in the festival, many believed into his name observing his signs which he was doing. In fact Jesus himself was not himself believing in them, through he himself knowing everyone. And in that he did not have need that anyone may testify concerning mankind, through he himself knowing what was in the man. 

This Passover feast became very special for some who “observed the signs which he was doing”. But Jesus “himself” (used three times) was different – he “himself” didn’t “believe” in any human beings. None. Are you like that?

Sinner Syvret

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