John 2 – Jesus Goes Postal

In Commentary & Questions, Faith, John by Matt0 Comments

Hope that title doesn’t offend you.  Here’s the passage from John chapter 2…

13When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15So 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. 16To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!”

17His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

18Then the Jews demanded of him, “What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”

19Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”

– John 2:13-19

After reading this a few times, I realize that Jesus might have gotten a little more mad than I thought.  First, He made a whip.  Now, do you think he did that just to crack it a few times to scare people away?  Or do you think he may have actually used it?  Well, maybe just the sheep and cattle.  I doubt it though.  I think it would take a pretty crazy demonstration of rage to clear out the whole place…after all, he was pretty outnumbered.  But I’m struggling for the meaning here, and it’s only because my education of what the temple represented is very lacking.  So my question is, can this story be a metaphor for the temple today, represented in the church and rather even the temple being our own bodies?  Would Jesus react this way to our sinful practices.  I know he detests sin, but I want to get to the bottom of this one.

One thing is for sure…he did it with authority.  I like John’s account because he references the temple as “My Father’s house”.  This may be the first time that he publicly declares himself to be God.  Interesting stuff.