John 2:16-20
John 2:16 (KJB)
And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.
Hence - From this place
Merchandise - Emporium, merchandise mart, or market
How would you like to arrive at church in the morning and before you enter the sanctuary, you would have to walk through a maze of people selling things on tables. In other words, every Sunday your church has a flea market inside the building. This is what had caused anger in Jesus because they had made the temple of God which was supposed to be a holy place into a market. (Lev 19:30 KJV) Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD. God had commanded them that they were to reverence His sanctuary and He commanded them twice again in Leviticus 26:2. Apparently the commercializing in the temple was going on for hundreds of years before this time. (Ezek 5:11 KJV) Wherefore, as I live, saith the Lord GOD; Surely, because thou hast defiled my sanctuary with all thy detestable things, and with all thine abominations, therefore will I also diminish thee; neither shall mine eye spare, neither will I have any pity. In the time of Ezekiel, God was already warning them about defiling the sanctuary. It seems that the leaders did not intervene in what Jesus did because they knew what was happening in the temple and how corrupt they were. If they would have intervened, it could have caused a riot between those who were cheating and the ones being cheated. So they did not make any attempts to stop Jesus but I can guarantee you that this was the beginning of the war between Jesus and the Pharisees because they were making big money and were not going to allow anyone to stand in their way.
John 2:17 (KJB)
And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.
Zeal - Fervor
Hath eaten up - Consumed or devoured
(Psa 69:9 KJV) For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me. The disciples had remembered the 69th Psalm concerning the house of the Lord and how much David wanted to build the house for the Lord. In John 2:17, the zeal of the house which consumed the Lord was the fact that it was turned from a sanctuary which was to be reverenced, into a merchandise mart, a common market. The temple no longer had the spiritual emphasis it did in the time of Solomon and the time of the Tabernacle. It was at the Temple and Tabernacle where God met with His people and gave them instructions. Now it was nothing more than a showpiece for profit. This is how many of the churches are today, just showpieces because when you walk inside it is nothing more than a rock concert on stage.
John 2:18 (KJB)
Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign showest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?
Sign - Token or miracle
Now even though Jesus was not interfered with, nevertheless His actions did not go unnoticed. Obviously the temple guards had reported the situation which was occurring at the time to the temple leaders. The term “the Jews” refers to the leaders and not to the people in general. So the leaders came out and confronted Jesus and the first thing they asked for was a sign. (1 Cor 1:22 KJV) For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: The Apostle Paul even wrote that the Jews require a sign. In the history of the Prophets of Israel, many of them had done signs which confirmed who they were. Elijah and the 450 prophets of Baal. Moses and the ten plagues. Elisha and Naaman who was healed from leprosy. Ezekiel laying on his left side 390 days and on his right side 40 days. So the first thing the Jews wanted was a sign to confirm who Jesus was? Was He a true prophet? Was He the Messiah? Or was He just a false prophet? I wonder if His disciples, who were with Him at Cana and saw the first miracle, had said anything to the leaders?
John 2:19 (KJB)
Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
Here Jesus gives the sign which will not be fulfilled for another three years. He says to them that if they destroy this temple, He will raise it up in three days. Of course, they were standing in the Temple and the first thing that came to mind was the physical temple. It probably took them by surprise that the sign they were being offered, in their minds, would be an impossible task. This is because their minds were not attuned to heavenly things recorded in the Scriptures. They were strictly looking at things from a worldly perspective. If they wanted to know what Jesus meant by that phrase they would have investigated Isaiah 53:10. (Isa 53:10 KJV) Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. This verse speaks about the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. Verses 8 & 9 speak about His death and burial. If He remained dead, then how could He see His seed, which are all the believers? “The pleasure of the Lord” is going to prosper in His hand which means that there are going to be many believers. The Lord’s pleasure is to save His Elect and bring them to Heaven.
John 2:20 (KJB)
Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?
I can just see the sneers on their faces when they answered Jesus concerning the Temple. Here is a case where the spiritual is not understood by the carnal. (1 Cor 2:13-14 KJV) Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. {14} But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. This is why we must never become angry with unbelievers if they do not understand spiritual sayings from the Scriptures. They have not been qualified to understand them just as the Jews were not qualified to understand spiritually what the Lord Jesus Christ was saying. Throughout the ministry of Jesus, He used the term, “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” 3 times in Matthew, 3 times in Mark, and twice in Luke. That phrase speaks of having spiritual ears and only those who are saved will have them. The Jews did not have the spiritual ears but Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathaea did.