Bible Study - John 2:12-25
Pastor Pautz Title: Whipping Fair Trade & Broken Buildings - Your Holy Temple
Invocation & Opening Prayer
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.
A little bit of Christ’s biography. Matthew tells us He lived in Nazareth from the time He returned from Egypt until entering office. Joseph probably passed during His time in Nazareth (Matthew 2:21-23). After entering His office, He moved to Capernaum (Matthew 4:13). Lots of speculation (Ruth 3:10f), however, I consider Jesus’ brothers to be His cousins but correct or not it does not add or subtract from the faith. Capernaum was Jesus’ home to which He returned after travelling throughout Galilee. He labored as a pastor with God’s Word. The summary of His work is given in Acts 10:37-38.
2:13 And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, 14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:
So after His first miracle to reveal His divinity at the Wedding in Cana and moving from Nazareth to Capernaum where Jesus used as a home parish from which He preached and taught for three years until He entered Jerusalem Palm Sunday for His Passion. And we know what caused Jesus’ reaction to what He saw in the temple. In the Old Testament, God gave guidelines for the care of the temple priests and beyond that the people gave many voluntary gifts to the priests. However, by this time, all that generosity was not enough. They started selling sacrificial animals for profit and then make the sacrifice on the people’s behalf for a price. This is similar to Roman indulgences. This is similar for unbecoming synod salaries and expensive programs while not supporting seminarians and teachers and missionaries. Then what about our congregation? The greatest expense is support for me and my family for which I am thankful. I have been presenting to you several articles from Rev. Heath Curtis. I agree with his presentation of Biblical stewardship and encourage you to read them and pray concerning them. First, it is geared toward families starting with the Law and then the Gospel to become more generous. Second, it offers a Gospel approach to establishing a congregational budget. To summarize, the people would be asked to pledge an estimated offering for the budget year. The pledges would be given to the Board of Finance (who already discretely count and record all offerings). This would establish the total budget number for the new year. This number would then be based on the generosity of the people. The Board of Stewardship would submit a line line item budget in consultation with the various church boards. The Church Council would edit and recommend it to the voters for approval. There would be no follow up with pledges. No one can know what will happen in the new year. Some will keep their pledge and other won’t. Some will give more than their pledge and other would give less. That is ok. So, the Board of Finance would ask for a pledge but they would not keep track of whether the pledges were kept or not.
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
Why does the Lord use force in this situation when beforehand He has only used on word of mouth? Jesus connects all that is in the Old Testament to all that is in the New Testament. In the Old Testament, acting as a prophet, Jesus should have used more than drive them out with His fists and a whip, He should have stoned the money changers (Leviticus 20:2). Jesus is the Lord of the Sabaoth. Sometimes He follows the Law of Moses very closely but never as one oppressed by it. Jesus did not have to go to the Jerusalem Temple the three specified times per year, but when He did, He went willingly and gladly. So, here, Jesus is acting as a disciple of Moses but this is not an action to be copied. The violence and force that is to be exercised in the church today is the sword of Jesus’ mouth (it is a sword that never entered His mouth but comes out of His mouth which is His Word) Revelation 1:16; 11:4; 19:20-21. However, the fisted sword should remain with the state and the worded sword should remain with the state. Today, as in times past, the church wants to use both swords. The church properly uses the worded-sword when it speaks God’s Word to give and strengthen faith in Jesus. However, it wants to use the fisted-sword by compelling people to give more money for purposes other the Word and Sacrament. Also, the state wants to use both swords. The state properly uses the fisted-sword when it stops evil in accordance with natural law. However, it wants to also use the worded-sword by compelling the church what to believe and how to practice that belief in the public square. Both church and state need our prayers.
17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, “The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.”
This is evidence that the people knew the Holy Scripture well. There were many synagogues where especially the Psalms were being taught, sung and heard. Luther, “We know, of course, what type of people Christ’s disciples were—not learned men, not high priests, Pharisees, and scribes, but poor beggars and fishermen, lowly folk, Peter, Andrew, and Bartholomew. But still they were able to learn the Psalter; they heard it read, sung, and preached. Simply by listening to Holy Scripture they familiarized themselves with it; and they learned it so well that they remembered the words and pondered them.” We do too. Let us continue.
18 Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?
If someone came to Our Savior and insisted he was the new pastor and also dismissed the Church Council because he was going to take care of things, especially the redesign of the sanctuary, it would be ok to ask the same thing the Jews asked Jesus.
19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
Jesus will die for this comment. Luther “In Matt. 21:23–27 we find a more detailed account of this happening. When the Lord, on the eve of His suffering and after His entry into Jerusalem, created such a sensation that the chief priests and elders came to Him with the query: “By what authority are You doing these things, and who gave You this authority?” Jesus answered them: “I also will ask you a question; and if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. The Baptism of John, whence was it? From heaven or from men?” And now as they also request a sign from Him, He asks them again, thereby perplexing and confusing them so that they are at a loss for a reply. For “they argued with one another: If we say: From heaven, He will say to us: Why, then, did you not believe him? But if we say: From men, we are afraid of the multitude; for all hold that John was a prophet. So they answered Jesus: We do not know. And He said to them: Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things. If you had listened to the word and preaching of John, you would know by what authority and power I do this.” Jesus cornered in the Matthew account.
20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? 21 But he spake of the temple of his body. 21 But he spake of the temple of his body.
These men are under Isaiah’s 6:9-10 curse. Seeing they do not see, hearing they do not hear.
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.
What did they believe? The scripture. The writings. They believed the Word of Jesus which the Holy Spirit recorded for them. Ie. The Holy Bible.
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. 24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, 25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.
Summary: Jesus is God.
Closing Prayer - The Lord’s Prayer.