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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: F.E. Marsh :: Readings 201-250 (Incorruptible - Kept)

F.E. Marsh :: 234. Jesus Cleansing the Temple

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JOHN 2:13-25

IT was perfectly right for the people to get their money exchanged, and to buy and sell sheep, oxen, and doves, but it was wrong for these things to be done in the house of the Lord. The priests were also to blame in allowing these things to be within the precincts of the Temple.

  1. Desecration is the first thought to which I direct attention. The Temple was set apart for God’s worship and service, therefore to put it to a common use was to defile the house of God. Is not this an illustration of how sin has defiled man? God made man upright, like a beautiful temple, but by his inventions he has defiled the holy place of God. Our whole nature should be for the Lord. The outer court of the body with all its members, the inner court of the soul with all its affections, and the holy place of the spirit with all its capabilities. If we are self-centred we are desecrating the sacred shrine that has already been polluted by sin. If any one allows the idol of selfishness to be erected in his heart, he is a worse idolater than the heathen who bows down to blocks of wood and stone.
  2. Expulsion (John 2:15). “He drove them all out.” When Christ comes into the hearts and lives of those who believe in Him, He turns out all that is opposed to His will, and will keep every unholy thing out, as we allow Him to be Governor of our being, by sanctifying Him as Lord in our hearts (1 Peter 3:15, R.V.) A working man in the East End of London, in giving his experience, said, “When the Lord Jesus came into my heart, He turned out all the bad lodgers”; yes, and He will keep them out as well if we allow Him. We could not pray a better prayer than the little girl who said, “Please, Lord Jesus, come and live in my heart.” Some time after she thanked the Lord for having come in, in the following words, “Lord Jesus, I thank Thee that Thou hast come to live in my heart. Now, Lord, please shut the door.”
  3. Question (John 2:18). The Jews questioned Christ as to His authority for acting as He 999:They were blinded by prejudice, for as Trapp remarks, “They might have seen sign enough, in His so powerfully ejecting those money-changers. The disciples call it zeal, the Jews rashness.” The Jews were always asking for signs (Matt. 12:38; 16:4), and this was the one thing that kept them out of the power and blessing of the Gospel (1 Cor. 1:22).
  4. Prediction (John 2:19-21). Christ predicts His resurrection in His reply to the Jews. Godet remarks, “This answer of Jesus is sudden, like a flash of lightning. It springs from an immeasurable depth; it illuminates regions then completely unexplored by any other consciousness than His own. The words, ‘Destroy this temple,’ characterise the present and future conduct of the Jews in its innermost significance, and the words, ’In three days I will raise it up,’ display all the grandeur of the Person and of the future work of Jesus.
  5. Recollection (John 2:22). In the meantime they murmured not, much less opposed; we can do nothing against the truth, when at the worst, “but for the truth” (2 Cor. 13:8). “They laid up what they understood not; and as the waters cast up the dead, so did their memories that which seemed dead therein, by the help of the Holy Ghost,” remarks Trapp. A good memory is a blessing, if we call to mind what the Lord has done (Deut. 8:2), but it is a bane if it is the “Son, remember” to bring back to memory the evil things one has done, or the good things not done (Luke 16:25).
  6. Profession (John 2:23). These believers are only make-believes. They have got the King’s head stamped on the coin of their profession, but the coin is made of base metal, therefore they are counterfeits. There was a great difference in the faith of the disciples mentioned in John 2:11, and the mere faith of assent to Christ’s power in these, as Godet remarks, “This faith had nothing inward and moral; it resulted solely from the impression of astonishment produced upon them by these wonders. Signs may, indeed, strengthen and develop true faith, where it is already formed, by displaying to it freely the riches of its object (John 2:11). They may even, sometimes, excite attention, but not produce real faith. Faith is a moral act which attaches itself to the moral being of Jesus.”
  7. Penetration (John 2:24-25). The Holy Spirit seems to play upon the word “believe,” as the word “commit” in John 2:24, is the same as is translated “believe” in the other ninety-nine times in John’s Gospel. Christ did not commit (believe in) Himself to them, as they did not commit themselves to Him. As Luthardt says, “As they did not give themselves morally to Him, neither did He give Himself morally to them.”
    In John 1 we behold Christ discerning a man who was true in heart, and to whom Christ committed Himself (John 1:48), but here He does not commit Himself because He knew that these disciples were not true to Him.
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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