My Father’s House: clarity

Jesus-money-changers-giottoClarity. 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 22 Therefore, when he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they came to believe the scripture and the word Jesus had spoken.

Verse 21 makes the second level of meaning of Jesus’ words is now made explicit. The Evangelist tells the reader that Jesus speaks of “the temple of his body.” Since for Judaism the Temple is the locus of God’s presence on earth, v. 21 suggests that Jesus’ body is now the locus of God. Verse 21 recalls 1:51 where the Son of Man replaces Jacob’s ladder as the locus of God’s interaction with the world. Continue reading

My Father’s House: misunderstanding

Jesus-money-changers-giottoWhich Temple? 17 His disciples recalled the words of scripture, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” In v. 17, the focus shifts to the disciples and their recollection of these events. They are interpretive witnesses (see v. 22). John, like many other NT writes sees Psalm 69:10 as pointing to Jesus’ death (e.g., Matt 27:34, 48; Mark 15:23, 36; John 19:28; Rom 15:3). Verse 17 alters Ps 69:10 slightly, however, and that alteration is theologically significant. In the Hebrew and Greek versions of Ps 69:10, the verb “consume” refers to past events, but in the disciples’ recollection of the verse, the verb is translated as a future tense (“will consume me”). Psalm 69:10 thus functions as a prophecy of the time when Jesus will be consumed—that is, his crucifixion. This use of Ps 69:10 gives the temple cleansing a christological emphasis. In the synoptic Gospels, the OT quotations draw attention to the Temple, but Ps 69:9 fixes the reader’s attention on Jesus. John’s temple story is ultimately about Jesus’ fate, not the Temple’s. Continue reading

My Father’s House: what clutters

Jesus-money-changers-giotto13 Since the Passover of the Jews was near, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, as well as the money-changers seated there.

The Temple and Money Changers. The “temple” signifies the whole of the Temple precincts, including the various courts as well as the holy place. It is most certain that the area of action occurred in one of the courtyards. It is certain that the selling mentioned took place in the outer courtyard, the court of the Gentiles. The reason for the practice was, of course, the convenience of having at hand a supply of animals required for the prescribed sacrifices. Continue reading

Cleansing the house: clarity

Jesus-money-changers-giottoClarity. 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 22 Therefore, when he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they came to believe the scripture and the word Jesus had spoken.

Verse 21 makes the second level of meaning of Jesus’ words is now made explicit. The Evangelist tells the reader that Jesus speaks of “the temple of his body.” Since for Judaism the Temple is the locus of God’s presence on earth, v. 21 suggests that Jesus’ body is now the locus of God. Verse 21 recalls 1:51 where the Son of Man replaces Jacob’s ladder as the locus of God’s interaction with the world. Continue reading

Cleansing the house: misunderstanding

Jesus-money-changers-giottoWhich Temple? 17 His disciples recalled the words of scripture, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” In v. 17, the focus shifts to the disciples and their recollection of these events. They are interpretive witnesses (see v. 22). John, like many other NT writes sees Psalm 69:10 as pointing to Jesus’ death (e.g., Matt 27:34, 48; Mark 15:23, 36; John 19:28; Rom 15:3). Verse 17 alters Ps 69:10 slightly, however, and that alteration is theologically significant. In the Hebrew and Greek versions of Ps 69:10, the verb “consume” refers to past events, but in the disciples’ recollection of the verse, the verb is translated as a future tense (“will consume me”). Psalm 69:10 thus functions as a prophecy of the time when Jesus will be consumed—that is, his crucifixion. This use of Ps 69:10 gives the temple cleansing a christological emphasis. In the synoptic Gospels, the OT quotations draw attention to the Temple, but Ps 69:9 fixes the reader’s attention on Jesus. John’s temple story is ultimately about Jesus’ fate, not the Temple’s. Continue reading

Cleansing the house: what clutters

Jesus-money-changers-giotto13 Since the Passover of the Jews was near, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, as well as the money-changers seated there.

The Temple and Money Changers. The “temple” signifies the whole of the Temple precincts, including the various courts as well as the holy place. It is most certain that the area of action occurred in one of the courtyards. It is certain that the selling mentioned took place in the outer courtyard, the court of the Gentiles. The reason for the practice was, of course, the convenience of having at hand a supply of animals required for the prescribed sacrifices. Continue reading