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John 2:13-25

The Word of God

The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money-changers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. He told those who were selling the doves, ‘Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a market-place!’ His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘Zeal for your house will consume me.’ The Jews then said to him, ‘What sign can you show us for doing this?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’ The Jews then said, ‘This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?’ But he was speaking of the temple of his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.

When he was in Jerusalem during the Passover festival, many believed in his name because they saw the signs that he was doing. But Jesus on his part would not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to testify about anyone; for he himself knew what was in everyone.

John 2:13-25
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Jesus was not satisfied with the respect the people were showing in the Temple. This was a sacred place where God in a particular way was present. All should be in touch with him there, reverencing him and talking to him. Commercial trading was unfitting in such a place. The Son of God made an effort to cleanse the area.
    • Jesus knew that he was the real temple of God – the Lord being fully present in him. He deserved greater attention than this sacred building. He was aware too that, if he were humanly killed, he would rise from the dead. The temple of his body was indestructible.
    • Those present did not really see through Jesus, but he knew the hearts of them all. He was aware of what was bright and dark in each. “For he himself knew what was in everyone.”
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • I imagine myself visiting the Temple when Jesus enters. I am accustomed to the moneychangers, and to the hucksters who convenience worshippers by selling cattle, sheep and doves for the ritual sacrifices. The fury of Jesus startles and upsets me, makes me think. Surely these guys are making an honest few bob?
    • But this is the house of God. When money creeps in, it tends to take over. Is there any of the Christian sacraments untouched by commercialism? Christening parties, First Communion money, Confirmation discos, wedding feasts…They are meant to be the touch of God at key moments in our lives; but can God get a hearing amid the clatter of coins?
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Jesus loved the temple. He felt at home there because it was his father’s house. It was a sacred space for him. But like the Sacred Space community he could also meet God anywhere, because he carried God within. I can think of my workplace or kitchen as my temple, and when I enter the Sacred Space site, I can think of myself as being drawn into the world of God. This will make me happy.
    • ‘Jesus knew what was in everyone.’ Jesus, you gaze on me endlessly and lovingly, and I thank you for that. But what do you see in me? Tell me things about myself that will help me to grow in your likeness! Make my heart more still, so that I can hear your voice.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • What was it that roused Jesus? fury? Not just that money changed hands and animals were sold for sacrifice in the Temple; but the fact that the merchants were selling animals at a far higher price in the Temple than would be paid outside, and changing money at a rate that brought undue profit to the money-changers. The hucksters and money-changers were profiteering from people's piety, exercising a kind of monopoly that battened on the good will of the worshippers. Trade had taken over from prayer.
    • Lord, when I look at First Communion outfits, Christening and Confirmation parties, and the manic expenditure on weddings, I feel we need you to come back and purge the worship of God from the distractions of getting and spending. Your anger spelled out a message: money and religion are a dangerous mix.
    • Jesus signed his death warrant when he cast commerce out of the temple. He stood up for the truth about God and about religion and the poor, as the business people of the temple were exploiting the poor with high prices. Lent gives us new insights into how Jesus lived his life, always within the shadow of his death. Even this scene at the start of the gospel has us remembering that this would lead him to death and to glory. The glory of God here is Jesus fully alive to the exploitation of the poor, the mistreatment of the house of God, and fully alive to the faith that was beginning to grow in his disciples.
    • Our prayer today might remember all who suffer and are endangered in their commitment to justice and right religion.