Not in My Father's House: The Cleansing-Authority of Him Who's Risen

Brian Mahon - 10/24/2021


Call to worship: Malachi 2:17-3:6

Text: John 2:13-22


It's Passover. An obedient Jewish man, Jesus goes up to Jerusalem to celebrate the historical deliverance typified in the Exodus and fulfilled in Him, the Lamb of God. He enters the temple. He doesn't like what He finds. His Father's house, a direct allusion to His Sonship, has been made a convenience store. Worship as it's supposed to be has been (literally and spiritually) muddied by religious-trading. The purpose of the temple is obviously not being fulfilled. We know that by the response of the owner of that 'house.' He drives out all that's contrary to the biblical worship of God. His disciples see the fulfillment of Psalm 69:9 in it. It confirms that He is the Christ. But the religious leaders are not sold. Ironically, in asking for a sign, they admit the sight of something different about Jesus. Still, their question presupposes an unwillingness to believe. They feel their authority threatened. It has been. They want to know where Jesus comes by such an action. He speaks of the sign of signs: His death and resurrection. Their dull hearts find nothing but supposed arrogance in this. They don't understand Him. He's speaking about His body. His disciples understand this only after He has been raised from the dead. By it, their true faith is strengthened in Jesus as the Christ of Scripture. He has all authority to govern the worship of God. Indeed, He is the fulfillment of the temple and all that it stood for in the Scriptures. In Him, we come to God, meet with God, worship God, become a living stone in the new-age house of God.

Sermon Outline:

  1. Jesus can cleanse this temple (2:13-17).
    • The Lamb to Jerusalem, 2:13.
    • The Son in the temple, 2:14-16.
    • Jesus to His disciples, 2:17.
  2. Because Jesus will raise the Temple: Himself (2:18-22).
    • Authority challenged: seeking a sign, 2:18.
    • Authority declared: giving the Sign of signs, 2:19.
    • Authority dismissed: sign criticized, 2:20-21.
    • Authority confirmed: sign achieved and activated, 2:22.


Discussion Questions:

  1. Read John 2:13-22. What is the significance of the Passover setting? What does Passover commemorate? Why would Jesus attend? How will He fulfill it? Think on John 1:29.
  2. In 2:14-16, what does Jesus find in the temple? What is His attitude towards it? What is His action? Is it right? Why or why not? If you could summarize the main problem as Jesus sees it, what would it be? How does that relate to our worship of God as a church?
  3. In 2:17, what does this scene call to mind for Jesus' disciples? The quote is from Psalm 69:9. Where will this zeal for God's house ultimately lead Jesus? How do the religious leaders respond to His actions (2:18)? With indifference? With faith? With what? What does asking for a sign teach us about these folks? Consider 1 Corinthians 1:18-25. Why are they asking for a sign?
  4. In 2:19, how does Jesus respond? What sign will He give for His authoritative actions in the temple? How do they (mis)understand His words (2:20)? How does John, in hindsight, understand them (2:21)? How does the death and resurrection of Jesus relate to His authority to direct the affairs of God's House? What does it say about Him? What does He say about Himself? Who or what is He?
  5. Was the sign He gave achieved (2:22)? What does it confirm? What did it do for His disciples? Why is it important that the Scripture confirm the resurrection? If people will not believe the Scripture, will they believe even if someone should rise from the dead (Luke 16:31)? What does His resurrection as the Temple of God mean for souls and, particularly, for we who have believed?
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