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4. JESUS WITH A WHIP (John 2:13-22)

BACKGROUND: The temple was, for the Jews, the most important place on earth, even more important than their own homes. King Solomon had built the first temple; Ezra the second. The temple of Jesusí day was a magnificent building raised by King Herod the Great. After the crucifixion of Jesus it stood in Jerusalem for only thirty to forty years.
  1. Read verses 14-16. What surprises you most in Jesusí behavior?
    • It takes some time to make a whip out of cords. How do you think Jesus looked like while doing this job (verse 15)?
    • Imagine what kinds of noises might have been heard in the temple during the moments described in verse 15.
       
  2. Why didnít anyone try to stop Jesus while he was overturning tables and brandishing his whip?
    • What exactly was Jesus so indignant about?
       
  3. Do you think that even in our own time Godís temple/church can become a market place? Give your reasons.
    • Sacrifices were offered in the temple in order that those offering them could have their sins forgiven. How might this system have been corrupted to the point that it didnít correspond to Godís original purpose?
       
  4. Why does the God of the Bible hate ceremonies that are performed only for the sake of appearances?
    • If you consider your own worship, prayer, service etc., how much of it is only for the sake of appearance?
    • From what things should the temple of your heart be cleaned by Jesus today? (You can answer in your own heart.)
       
  5. What is the difference between Jesusí anger and ours (verses 16-17)?
     
  6. In this passage Jesus draws a parallel between the temple and his own body (verses 19-21). Why did God have to raise one more temple on this earth? (Which functions of the temple did Jesus fulfill in his own body while hanging on the cross?)
     
  7. Think of various reasons why God may have let the Romans destroy Herodís temple thirty or forty years after the crucifixion of Jesus. (Why isnít the temple in Jerusalem needed any more?)
     
  8. The image of the body of Jesus as a temple does not only refer to his sacrifice on the cross but also to the Christian church, his temple on the earth now (1 Cor.12:27). Do you think the church in our day needs a reformation of the kind that Jesus set about creating in the temple in Jerusalem? Give your reasons.
    • In what situations must the leader of the church brandish a whip?

GLAD TIDINGS: Jesus has become a temple for your sake Ė a temple where your sins have been atoned for. And not only the temple but also the sacrifice: the Lamb of God who carried away the sins of the world.

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