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Review: John 2:12-25


  • Goal in Bible Study: We want to follow the flow of what the text is saying, thus avoiding taking Scripture out of context, and rightly understand what John, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is saying to his original intended audience. From that point, once we understand what the text is saying in its original context, we then look for universal principles and teaching that we then apply to our own heart, our own sin, our own lives in a way appropriate to the text (repentance, encouragement, conviction, joy, sorrow, etc.
  • We honor God’s Word by seeking to understand what he says and then responding accordingly, seeing his Word change our lives.

John 2:12-17:

  • The Passover, ‘Behold the Lamb’: Jesus was the ultimate fulfillment of the Passover lamb that we read about in the Old Testament [Ex.11-12], he is identified as such by John the Baptizer [John 1:29]
  • Herod’s Temple: Jesus is enraged by the way that money-loving businessmen have invaded the Temple, specifically, the Court of the Gentiles where the nations were to gather, drawing near to the God of Israel. The Gentiles (non-Israelites) were displaced by the businessmen. The businessmen were displaced by Jesus, who came as the Passover Lamb to die for the sake of the world.
  • Is this JESUS? Many people have a misconstrued image of Jesus Christ as a mild, weak, effeminate man, but this popular conception of Jesus lacks biblical credibility. In this scene we see one of many instances were Jesus’ actions affirm that Jesus is masculinity at its finest.

Biblical Manhood: A Call to Men

  • Gender Distinction: The Bible is crystal clear that men and women are different in function (but equal in value). [Gen 1-3]
  • Christ and the Church: The Bible teaches that the pattern for godly masculinity is Jesus’ loving leadership of his church, and that the pattern for godly femininity is the church’s submission to Jesus’ loving leadership [Eph. 5:22-33].
  • The Men: Men should look to Jesus in the passage for a snapshot of masculinity at its finest. They should behold the courage and righteous fury of Jesus as he drives out the animals and people with a whip of cords, fighting for God’s honor and clearing the Court of the Gentiles. Men should admire Jesus and see him as their hero, the man that they want to be like and strive to be like. They should hold this passage about the strength and courage of Jesus in tension with Jesus tenderness towards women and children, but most don’t and the proper response is deep conviction, repentance, and change.
  • The Ladies: A man who is becoming increasingly like Jesus is the only kind of man that any Christian woman should ever even consider dating and, eventually, marrying. Paul says we should not be unequally yoked in relationships [2 Cor 6:14]

John 2:18-22:

  • Sign, what sign? Oh, that sign? The Jews as Jesus to answer for himself, demanding a sign to give proof of his authority to clear the Court of the Gentiles. What a strange question considering that the clearing itself was a sign of prophetic scope and content.
  • The Temple: Jesus speaks to the Jews of a sign involving the Temple. The significance of the Temple is that it is where God dwells and where people go to meet with God for worship and repentance, among other things. Jesus is the fulfillment of the Temple, as is seen in this passage. The Temple Jesus refers to is his own body, which will fill the tomb for the three days following his crucifixion and preceding his glorious resurrection. That is the exclamation point that proves the all encompassing authority of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
  • Post-Resurrection Belief: At the close of this passage, John tells us that following the resurrection the disciples remembered what Jesus had said and they believed.

John 2: 23-25:

  • Passover Bookend: This is the first recorded Passover that Jesus attended, and it marks an important point in the Gospel of John. Jesus has initiated his ministry, initiated his public teaching and miracle working, a ministry that will result in his murder (see John 18-19).
  • 2:22 vs. 2:23: Do you believe or do you believe? This section containing what might be considered the beginning of Jesus’ ministry comes to a close with a significant juxtaposition of beliefs. In verse 22, there is a genuine belief unto salvation on the part of the Disciples, followed in verse 23 with a lesser belief in Jesus on the part of “many” solely based on Jesus miraculous works. In both instances the same word is used in the Greek, but Jesus’ response to the belief of the ‘many’ shows us that their belief was insufficient, for Jesus (who we see is able to perceive the heart of men, knowing them) does not entrust himself (literally “believe in” in the Greek) to the many.
  • Crisis of Belief: This should stop the conscientious reader dead in our tracks with a life-or-death question…”Do I believe like the Disciples or do I believe like the many?” or another way of putting it could be…”On the Day of Judgement will Jesus believe me? Will he find my faith to be genuine or insincere?” You see, if our faith in Jesus is solely limited to what he can do for us in this life, rather than who he is, what he has done, and what he will continue to be and do through in eternity, then our belief is no genuine belief and we are in grave danger.
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