When the Passover Feast, celebrated each spring by the Jews, was about to take place, Jesus traveled up to Jerusalem. He found the Temple teeming with people selling cattle and sheep and doves. The loan sharks were also there in full strength.
Jesus put together a whip out of strips of leather and chased them out of the Temple, stampeding the sheep and cattle, upending the tables of the loan sharks, spilling coins left and right. He told the dove merchants, “Get your things out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a shopping mall!” That’s when his disciples remembered the Scripture, “Zeal for your house consumes me.”
But the Jews were upset. They asked, “What credentials can you present to justify this?” Jesus answered, “Tear down this Temple and in three days I’ll put it back together.”
They were indignant: “It took forty-six years to build this Temple, and you’re going to rebuild it in three days?” But Jesus was talking about his body as the Temple. Later, after he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered he had said this. They then put two and two together and believed both what was written in Scripture and what Jesus had said.
During the time he was in Jerusalem, those days of the Passover Feast, many people noticed the signs he was displaying and, seeing they pointed straight to God, entrusted their lives to him. But Jesus didn’t entrust his life to them. He knew them inside and out, knew how untrustworthy they were. He didn’t need any help in seeing right through them. // John 2:13-25, The Message
I have said this before and I will say it again, these devotionals are not sermons. So you get my fresh take on a particular passage. I limit myself to how much I write. A passage like this is really hard to hold myself to the limit. I want to dig into all the things. I want to share all the things. But, I can’t. So if you have questions hit me up and let’s talk about them!
Today what really stood out to me were these two sentences, “Later, after he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered he had said this. They then put two and two together and believed both what was written in Scripture and what Jesus had said.”
I had never noticed them before. They leapt off the page and smacked me in the forehead.
First, it shows some humility. John was saying that they totally didn’t understand what Jesus was doing at the beginning of his ministry. I love that they were confused by this whole scene.
Second, it gives me insight into how the early church made sense of everything they had experienced after Jesus’ death and resurrection.
This helps me wrap my mind around the reality that there will be things that we walk through in life and have no idea why or what purpose they serve. Yet, afterwards we can look back and see how they shaped us and made us into the people that we are today. When we get some distance from a particular situation we are able to see it through the lens of the wisdom that we gained from the experience.
The disciples, who would become apostles, looked back through the resurrection and the crucifixion on the life of Jesus and saw it with new meaning and new purpose.
What are some of things that you’ve gone through in your life that as you look back on them gained purpose and meaning? How do you understand your personal story and see in it how there has been a purpose? How has your story made you who you are?
When we take time to answer these kinds of questions, they help us identify the hand of the divine in our lives. Every few years I take some time to think through my story and it always leaves me grateful.