Post image for 14 Feb 2009: John 2:13–17

14 Feb 2009: John 2:13–17

by Stephen Hebert on Saturday - 14 February 2009

in Biblical Studies, New Testament

In 1 Corinthians 6:19 Paul tells us that our bodies are temples because the Holy Spirit dwells inside. This is a beautiful idea really. When you bring that notion to bear on what Jesus does in John 2 when he cleanses the Temple, a powerful metaphor for Christian living is created.

Hebert Translation Nestle-Aland 27
The Passover of the Jews was near and Jesus went up into Jerusalem. And in the Temple he found those selling oxen and sheep and doves and the money-changers sitting. And making a whip out of chords, he drove all of them out of the Temple, even the sheep and the oxen, and he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned the tables. And to those selling doves he said: “Take these things away from here. Do not make my father’s house into a market.” His disciples remembered that it was written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”1 Καὶ ἐγγὺς ἦν τὸ πάσχα τῶν Ἰουδαίων, καὶ ἀνέβη εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα ὁ Ἰησοῦς. Καὶ εὗρεν ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ τοὺς πωλοῦντας βόας καὶ πρόβατα καὶ περιστερὰς καὶ τοὺς κερματιστὰς καθημένους, καὶ ποιήσας φραγέλλιον ἐκ σχοινίων πάντας ἐξέβαλεν ἐκ τοῦ ἱεροῦ τά τε πρόβατα καὶ τοὺς βόας, καὶ τῶν κολλυβιστῶν ἐξέχεεν τὸ κέρμα καὶ τὰς τραπέζας ἀνέτρεψεν, καὶ τοῖς τὰς περιστερὰς πωλοῦσιν εἶπεν· ἄρατε ταῦτα ἐντεῦθεν, μὴ ποιεῖτε τὸν οἶκον τοῦ πατρός μου οἶκον ἐμπορίου. ἐμνήσθησαν οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ ὅτι γεγραμμένον ἐστίν· ὁ ζῆλος τοῦ οἴκου σου καταφάγεταί με.

Jesus goes up into Jerusalem, goes immediately to the Temple, and opens up a can. You have to like this fiery Jesus.

As I was reading this, in my confessional way, I was thinking about the idea of my body being the temple that Jesus is cleansing. In my heart seeds greed and judgment, and Jesus comes in and turns over my tables and drives out of all of the bad guys.

Is this a silly notion? Perhaps. Does that make it untrue? I don’t think so.

When we are abiding in Christ, living in him, allowing the Holy Spirit to fill us, we rarely have problems choosing between right and wrong. A lot of decisions seem far more cut and dry.

Why is that?

I believe that it is because Jesus cleanses our hearts. Not only does he absolve us of sin through the cross, but he also asks us to start living sinless lives. But there is no way that I can do that on my own — I need help. I need the cleansing, healing power of Jesus to come into the temple of my body and do his worst.


  1. Psalm 69:9

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