Tuesday after Quasimodogeniti
Scripture: St. John 2:12-25 (NKJV)
2:12 After this He went down to Capernaum, He, His mother, His brothers, and His disciples; and they did not stay there many days.
13 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the moneychangers doing business. 15 When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. 16 And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!”
17 Then His disciples remembered that it was written,
“Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.”
18 So the Jews answered and said to Him, “What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?”
19 Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
20 Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” 21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22 Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said.
23 Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did. 24 But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, 25 and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.
The house of God, the temple in Jerusalem, was the one place on Earth where God promised to hear prayer and to accept sacrifices for sin. So Jesus, the faithful Shepherd, could not allow the house of God to be desecrated with profane buying and selling and with the din and filth of animals for sale. It was nothing but a distraction from the prayers which were to be offered there, and from the animals which the priests were sacrificing for the sins of the people. Zeal for His Father’s house—and for the people who needed the service of that house—consumed Him.
The sign of His authority over that house was fulfilled on Easter Sunday. The Jews did, indeed, destroy the house of God, the body of Jesus, but He raised it up in three days.
The temple was a temporary symbol, pointing to Christ. God dwells in the body of Jesus, sacrificed for sin once for all and now alive forever and ever. Where Jesus is—that is where God promises to hear prayer. Where Jesus is—that is where God continually views the once-for-all sacrifice made for sin and has promised to show mercy for His sake.
Where is Jesus? He is present for us where He has promised to be: in every assembly throughout the world where His Gospel is preached and His Sacraments rightly administered. The faithful pastor will be zealous for God’s house and see to it that Christ is proclaimed purely, with no buying and selling of God’s favor, and with no din of false doctrine or mundane distractions to obscure the Son of God.
We pray: Gracious Father, hear our prayers and be merciful to us as we approach You only through Jesus, trusting in His merits. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.