3rd Sunday of Lent
March 23, 2003
Exodus 20:1-17 II:
13 The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
14 In the temple, he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the
money changers seated at their tables.
15 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.
16 He told those who were selling the doves, "Take these things out of
here! Stop making my Father's house a marketplace!"
17 His disciples remembered that it was written, "Zeal for your house will
18 The Jews then said to him, "What sign can you show us for doing this?"
19 Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will
raise it up."
20 The Jews then said, "This temple has been under construction for
forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?"
21 But he was speaking of the temple of his body.
22 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
23 When he was in Jerusalem during the Passover festival, many believed in
his name because they saw the signs that he was doing.
24 But Jesus on his part would not entrust himself to them,
25 because he knew all people and needed no one to testify about anyone; for he himself knew
what was in everyone.
- (v.14) The temple cleansing incident occurred in the outer court, the
court of the Gentiles, of the Jerusalem Temple. The cattle, sheep, and
doves were sold for sacrifice. Roman money, the dinarii, was changed into
Jewish money to pay the temple tax, which was a half-shekel (Mt 17:27).
- The presence of the animals and the money changers constituted a
desecration to the temple: "Stop making my Father's house a marketplace" (v.16).
- The evangelist composed this passage by putting together three incidents:
the temple cleansing, the request for sign, and the temple destruction
prophesy. In the Synoptic Gospels, these incidents were located in separate
narratives, and the temple cleansing was the immediate cause for Jesus'
- This passage contained two sections:
a) Jesus' action, vv. 14-15; Jesus' words, v.16; "remembering" of the
b) The Jews's action, v.18, Jesus's words, v.19; misunderstanding of the Jews
and comment by the evangelist, vv.20-21; "remembering" of the disciples v.22.
- (v.17,22) "Remembered" is a special term in John, indicating a process
by which John's community came to see how Jesus fulfilled the Scripture.
They came to understand his zeal's for "[his] Father's house" (v.16), his
suffering and death (v.19), and his resurrection (v.21).
One Main Point
Faith in Jesus: The disciples remembered what Jesus said and done, and "they
believed in the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken." (v.22).
- Imagine that you are a high priest in the Jerusalem Temple, and you are
witnessing the temple cleansing incident. What do you see? What do you
hear? How do you feel?
- After the resurrection, the disciples came to believe in Jesus. What
experiences do you have to believe in Jesus?
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A synthesis by the Vietnamese Christian Life (Dong Hanh) Community