Reflective Bible Study.
Focus Passage: John 2:13-25 (NIrV)During one of the times Jesus was challenged by the Jewish leaders, Jesus shared a response that was intentionally given to be misunderstood in the moment. During this event, if the Jewish leaders had truly understood Jesus’ words, Jesus may not have ministered for three years before His crucifixion – these leaders may have tried to execute Him on the spot. Tension was high immediately following Jesus chasing the people out of the temple courtyard early on in Jesus’ ministry. This was before He was well known and infamous among the religious leaders – but following His outburst in the temple, the temple leaders are furious with Jesus. The Jewish leaders race in to witness the scene and they challenge Jesus by asking Him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do this?” (v. 18) In His response, Jesus shares a different angle than they were expecting to hear, and Jesus intentionally does this. Jesus answered them by saying, “When you destroy this temple, I will raise it up again in three days.” (v. 19) Jesus’ response tells us that at the beginning of His ministry, He was well aware of the future resurrection that would come. Jesus even knew the timeframe was three days. In His response, Jesus gives them the sign they should be looking for, but they don’t understand what He was referring to. The Jewish leaders replied, “It has taken 46 years to build this temple. Are you going to raise it up in three days?” (v. 20) In my mind, I imagine Jesus leaving silently at that final question. John, the writer of this event wants us to realize the meaning of these words, so he adds the next two verses as a note to the reader. John explains, “But the temple Jesus had spoken about was his body. His disciples later remembered what he had said. That was after he had been raised from the dead. Then they believed the Scripture. They also believed the words that Jesus had spoken.” (v. 21-22) I imagine if these religious leaders actually had understood what Jesus’ words meant, one of these religious leaders may have tried to test Jesus’ words on the spot by killing Him to see if He would stay dead. At the very least, if they had understood Jesus’ words to them, they may have looked for ways to kill Him earlier on in His ministry instead of simply trying to discredit Him. However, with all that said, the interesting observation I see is in John’s explanation and note for us. It was only after Jesus’ actual death and resurrection that the disciples finally understood this. Prior to the crucifixion and resurrection, the disciples had written off and/or forgotten this early statement Jesus made, but after Jesus had returned to life, it dawned on them that Jesus actually had predicted what would happen years before. The big thing I see in this explanation is that it is easier to see and understand how God has been working when looking at the past. Depending on the past for our present faith is crucial. Understanding that God has directed our past and led us to our present helps us realize that He is trustworthy and He is still working in our situations today. Whether we feel Him or not is not what is important. What is important for us is that we trust Him with our present and future like we have seen Him help in our past. This thought was inspired by studying the Walking With Jesus “Reflective Bible Study” package. To discover insights like this in your own study time, click here and give Reflective Bible Study a try today! Read this article on the web on it's official page: Trusting God with our Present: John 2:13-25