BSF Study Questions John Lesson 3, Day 4: John 2:18-22

Summary of passage:  After the turning over the moneylenders’ tables, Jesus was asked for a sign by the Jews of his authority.  Jesus told them to destroy this temple and he would raise it again in 3 days.  The Jews thought he meant the Temple in Jerusalem but Jesus meant his body as a temple and that he would rise again in 3 days.  Only after his death was Jesus’ words understood.

Questions:

9a)  Jesus just proved he had the authority to drive the moneylenders out of the temple by doing it.  Here, the people demanded a sign, they didn’t ask for one.  Only prophets could do so; hence, they doubted Jesus as the Messiah.  The proof was in the act itself.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I’ve asked for a sign in terms of making a decision but never a sign to confirm His authority over me.

10a)  Jesus points to his resurrection as proof of his authority, which the people did not understand until after the fact.    They believe he is speaking of the physical temple in Jerusalem where God dwells.  He completely ignored their request and instead offered a challenge:  Destroy me and I’ll rise again.  In essence telling them they can’t destroy him for he is God.

b)  Witnesses claimed Jesus had said, “I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in 3 days.”  Jesus actually said was if you destroy the temple (himself), he will rise again in 3 days.  They twisted the usage of the word temple and added the pronoun “I”.  Jesus would not destroy anything; the people themselves are the destroyers.

Conclusions:  Good dissection of the passage.  Not much to add except in 9a.  No one knew Jesus because this is at the beginning of his ministry.  It’s not wrong to ask for a sign nor is it rebellious.  I think Jews were genuinely confused by Jesus’ behavior, given only the magistrates had such authority to drive people from the temple.  It’s right to question those who claim they are prophets.  What went wrong here is 1) they demanded a sign instead of asked for one  2) the people missed the fact that by Jesus doing what he did (something incredible and the mere execution of it proved he had a divine commission) he had just proved himself with this miracle.  So the people are asking for a miracle on top of a miracle.  That is where the rebellion piece kicks in.  They are doubting Jesus as the Messiah.

End Notes:  Jesus claimed the power to raise Himself from the dead, and He repeated the claim in John 10:18.  The New Testament also claims that God the Father raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 6:4 and Galatians 1:1), and that the Holy Spirit raised Him from the dead (Romans 1:4 and 8:11).  The resurrection of Jesus Christ was a work of each Person of the Trinity, each working together as One–The Triune God.  Cool!

Jesus purposely avoids answering the question and instead answers with another statement which he explains to his disciples is frequent in the book of John.  It’s also classic rhetoric in ancient Greek society to answer a question with a question made popular by the ancient philosophers such as Socrates, Aristotle, and Plato.

“The Scripture” the disciples believed is Psalm 16:10:  “…because you will not abandon me to the grave nor will you let your Holy One see decay.”

After Jesus’ death, it became clear how the physical body is a temple when inhabited by the Holy Spirit.  We see this in Ephesians 2:19-22, 1 Peter 2:5, and 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.  Another example of how God reveals us things when He is ready, and how there are things we do not and cannot understand–only God does.