THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
LESSON FIVE

The Presentation of Christ in Judea

The Cleansing of the Temple

I    John 2:12-17
     12. After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they
           continued there not many days.
     13. And the Jews' Passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
     14. And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:
     15. And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep,
           and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables;
     16. And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house
           an house of merchandise.
     17. And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.
     [A]  After the marriage at Cana in Galilee, Jesus, his mother, his brothers, and his disciples left and traveled
           to Capernaum.
             [1]  Capernaum
                     [a]   It was located on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, about one days journey from Cana.
                     [b]   It was the location Jesus chose to be his base while he was ministering in Galilee
                     [c]  
 In Matthew 9:1 - he it is called his own city
                             1.   And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city.
                     [d]   It was a large and populous city,
                     [e]  What little rest Jesus had while ministering in Galilee was there.
             [2]  Who was with Jesus?
                     [a]  His Mother
                     [b]  His brethren
                     [c]  His disciples
             [3]  Who was Jesus’ Mother?
                     [a]  Mary, who was the wife of Joseph
             [4]   Who were these brethren that John speaks of?
                     [a]  The Catholic Church says they were Jesus’ cousins, not his half brothers
                     [b]  Yet we know that Jesus had half brothers,
                     [c]  Turn in your bibles to
Matthew 13:55-56
                             55. Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James,
                                   and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?
                             56. And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?
                             [1]  Therefore even though we don’t know the names of his sisters, we do know the names of
                                     his brothers, or as they are called here, his brethren
                             [2]  What were their names?
             [5]  Why would the Roman Catholic Church say that these brethren who were with Mary and Jesus were
                     not his brothers?
                     [a]  Questions:
                             [1]  Again, who was Mary?
                             [2]  Was Jesus the only child Mary ever had
                             [3]  Did  Joseph ever have sexual relations with Mary?
                             [4]  Was Mary the wife of God?
                     [b]  This is the reason why the Catholic Church makes the claim that these brethren were not
                             Jesus’ brothers. It is because of their claim that the only child Mary every had was Jesus, and
                             that she remained a virgin until she was taken up into heaven by God. It is also because of
                             their claim that Mary was the wife of God,   and she was immaculate, meaning without sin,
                             without any unrighteousness in her. Even that goes against what the bible teaches, when it
                             says there is none righteous, no not one, and that we have all sinned and come shout of the
                             glory of God. This is the reason that Mary is held up before them, and why the Catholic
                             Church has considered making her the fourth member of the Godhead, God the father, God
                             the Son, God the holy Spirit, and Mary the Mother of God.

     [B]  Verse 13
             [1] Questions:
                     [a]  What was the feast of the Passover?
                     [b]  What did the Passover represent?
             [2]   The Passover was the first of the three great annual festivals of the Israelites celebrated in the
                     month Nisan (March-April, from the 14th to the 21st. (Strictly speaking the Passover only applied
                     to the paschal supper and the feast of unleavened bread followed, which was celebrated to the
                     21st.)         
             [3] The feast was instituted by God to commemorate the deliverance of the Israelites from their Egyptian
                     bondage and the sparing of their firstborn when he smote the first-born of the Egyptians. The
                     deliverance from Egypt was regarded as the starting-point of the Hebrew nation. The Israelites
                     were then raised from the condition of bondmen under a foreign tyrant to that of a free people
                     owing allegiance to no one but Jehovah. The Exodus was thus looked upon as the birth of the
                     nation; the Passover was its annual birthday feast. It was the yearly memorial of the dedication of
                     the people to God who had saved their first-born from the destroyer, in order that they might be
                     made holy to himself.
             [4]   First celebration of the Passover. --On the tenth day of the month, the head of each family was to
                     select from the flock either a lamb or a kid, a male of the first year, without blemish. If his family
                     was too small to eat the whole of the lamb, he was permitted to invite his nearest neighbor to join
                     the party. On the fourteenth day of the month he was to kill his lamb, while the sun was setting. He
                     was then to take blood in a basin and with a sprig of hyssop to sprinkle it on the two side-posts
                     and the lintel of the door of the house. The lamb was then thoroughly roasted, whole. It was
                     expressly forbidden that it should be boiled, or that a bone of it should be broken. Unleavened
                     bread and bitter herbs were to be eaten with the flesh. No male who was uncircumcised was to join
                     the company. Each one was to have his loins girt, to hold a staff in his hand, and to have shoes on
                     his feet. He was to eat in haste, and it would seem that he was to stand during the meal. The          
                     number of the party was to be calculated as nearly as  possible, so that all the flesh of the lamb
                     might be eaten; but if any portion of it happened to remain, it was to be burned in the morning. No
                     morsel of it was to be carried out of the house. The lambs were selected, on the fourteenth they
                     were slain and the blood sprinkled, and in the following evening, after the fifteenth day of the had  
                     commenced the first paschal meal was eaten. At midnight the firstborn of the Egyptians were
                     smitten. The king and his people were now urgent that the Israelites 0should start immediately,
                     and readily bestowed on them supplies for the journey.
             [5]  Besides the private family festival, there were public and national sacrifices offered each of the
                     seven days of unleavened bread.
             [6]  There is so much more that I could tell you about the Passover, but it would take too long, so I
                     won't, what you need to know is that all of God’s people were commanded by god to participate in
                     the Passover, so as to remember what God did for them when he brought them out of Egypt.
             [7]  The Passover was about to begin, so Jesus stayed only a short time in Capernaum and then
                     headed off to Jerusalem and the temple to celebrate the Passover there

     [C]  Verse 14
             [1]  Questions  
                     [a]   What did Jesus see when he went into the temple?
                     [b]   What was wrong with what was going on?
                     [c]   Is this any different than what is taking place in many of the churches today?
                     [d]  What are some of the ways that man is hurting God’s house today?
             [2]  The bible tells us that our bodies are the temple of God
                     [a]  With this thought in mind, what does that tell us, we should be doing with our own bodies?        
                     [b]  In what ways do we destroy the temple of God today?

     [D]  Verse 15
             [1]  Jesus made a whip out of small cords - Was Jesus angry?
             [2]  Did he sin when he drove the people out of the temple and overturned the tables?
             [3]  What does the bible means when it says, be angry but sin not?

     [E]  Verse 16
             [1]  What did Jesus tell the people about what he has done?
             [2]  With these thoughts in mind, is it OK to buy and sell in the house of God?
             [3]  What is God’s house for?

     [F]   Verse 17
             [1]  What the Disciples remembered was a verse from Psalm 69:9
                     9.   For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that              
                           reproached thee are fallen upon me.
             [2]  I think it would be good if more of us would get the zeal of God’s house in us. It’s a shame the way
                     people throw trash around, the way they put gum under the benches, the way they allow their
                     children to act it the house of God.
             [3]  I’m not saying that we should make a whip and drive people out, but I do think that there ought to be
                     a respect for the place God has given us to worship.
             [4]  When it comes to our spiritual temple, our bodies, then we should drive out whatever things that are
                     in us, so that God can have full control, of our lives. We should diligently strive to keep anything
                     out of our body that will hurt us. We should covenant with our eyes not to see anything that is
                     degrading to us. After all, we are the temple of Almighty God, and we cannot allow the things of the
                     world to ruin his place, can we?

     [G]   How many times did Jesus clean the temple?
             [1]  In the book of Matthew and Mark, Jesus cleanses the temple when he entered Jerusalem right
                     before he was crucified.
             [2]  He cleansed the temple when he started his ministry, and when he ended it
             [3]  This shows us that we too, need to check up on things ever so often and we too need to re-            
                     cleanse the temple and make sure things are as they should be.

II.  
John 2:18-25
     18. Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest
           these things?
     19. Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
     20. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?
     21. But he spake of the temple of his body.
     22. When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them;
           and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.
     23. Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they
           saw the miracles which he did.
     24. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,
     25. And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.

     [A]  Verse 18
             [1]  Herein lies something that happened over and over with Jesus - it seems that there was always
                     someone who wanted him to give them a sign that he was whom he claimed to be.
             [2]  In this particular case, Jesus had just finished cleansing the temple, now the people wanted a sign
                     to show them by what authority he did it.
             [3]  Are people still looking for a sign?
             [4]  Is Christ giving us signs?
             [5]  Even when the signs are present, do people believe or do they want more?

     [B]  Verse 19
             [1]  The sign Jesus told them was, destroy this temple and I will raise it up in three days
             [2]  When Jesus made this statement, he was apparently standing in the temple - therefore the          
                     people immediately thought he was talking about the temple at Jerusalem.        

     [C]  Verse 20
             [1]  The people were confused, and considered Jesus to be crazy,
                     [a]  How could he build the temple in three days when it had taken their ancestors forty-six years to
                             build the temple?

     [D]   Verse 21
             [1]  Jesus wasn’t speaking of the temple at Jerusalem, what was he speaking of?
             [2]  How can we explain what he was saying - destroy this temple and I will build it up in three days?
             [3]   How can we explain “I will build it up” How did Jesus raise himself from the dead?

     [E]  Verse 22
             [1]  When did the Disciples understand what Jesus was talking about?
             [2]  Like many of the things that Jesus talked about, the disciples had no clue as to what he was saying
                     or what he meant, until after he was crucified and arose from the dead, and they had seen him
                     with their own eyes. How much harder is it for people today to believe, when they disciples didn’t
                     understand?
             [3]  Do you remember the words that Jesus said to the disciples when he came to them the second time,
                     and showed Thomas his hands and feet, and the hole in his side?
                
     John 20:29
                     29. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are
                           they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
                     [a]  What does this verse say to us?
                     [b]  What signs should we expect to receive from God?
                     [c]   If we receiver no signs, should we believe?

     [F]  
Verse 23-25
             [1] Here again is what I have been trying to say, many believed because they saw a miracle, not
                     because of what he said.
             [2]  When one believes only because there is signs, or because of the feelings they get in a              
                     particular service, their faith is shaken when those things do not happen.
                     [a]  For instance, I feel the presence of God in this place when we worship. I feel the presence of
                             God tonight. I feel the presence of God around me always.         
                     [b]  On the other hand, there are some who unless there is speaking in tongues, shouting, and
                              certain types of music playing, doesn’t feel the presence of God.
                     [c]  Some think unless they are getting the warm fuzzes when they are worshipping, God is not
                              there.
                     [d]  I ask you, where is God?
                     [e]  When does Jesus and the Holy Spirit come into our worship?
                   
          Matthew 18:20
                             20. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
             [3]  Jesus knew the hearts of man and knew that they were fickle in their beliefs. Those same people
                     who were praising him today would turn against him tomorrow.        
                     [a]  It is no different today, folks who are turned on to God today, will curse him tomorrow, if things
                             don’t go the way they want them to go.
                     [b]  When troubles come and we are devastated by them, that is a time to turn to God and draw
                             nearer to him, instead of running away from him, yet this is what many do.          
                     [c]  God is my refuge and my strength, a very present help in danger and the trials of life.
                     [d]  Have you ever thought of all the things that God does for you, to protect you from having
                             problems - I believe he does so all the time. There are untold numbers of things that God
                             does to protect us in any given day. If we had any idea of what he was doing we would be on
                             our knees constantly thanking him and   praising his Holy Name, yet for many, the first sign of
                             hardship and they are cursing God, and asking WHY?
                     [e]  I ask you, Why does God allow us to suffer?