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OneBook: The Gospel of John

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  1. Introduction

    Welcome to the OneBook Daily-Weekly
  2. Week One - Jesus Changes Water into Wine and Clears the Temple Courts
    Week One: Introduction
  3. Week One: Day One - Wedding Faux Pas
  4. Week One: Day Two - Saving The Best for Last
  5. Week One: Day Three - Trailing Clouds of Glory
  6. Week One: Day Four - Temple Tantrum
  7. Week One: Day Five - A Temple Raised in Record Time
  8. Week One: Gathering
  9. Week Two - Jesus Teaches Nicodemus
    Week Two: Introduction
  10. Week Two: Day One - Night Vision
  11. Week Two: Day Two - Twice Born
  12. Week Two: Day Three - Lifted Up
  13. Week Two: Day Four - Love's Gift
  14. Week Two: Day Five - Final Verdict
  15. Week Two: Gathering
  16. Week Three - Jesus Talks with a Samaritan Woman
    Week Three: Introduction
  17. Week Three: Day One - Oh, Well
  18. Week Three: Day Two - Thirst Quencher
  19. Week Three: Day Three - All Will Be Revealed
  20. Week Three: Day Four - Food for Thought
  21. Week Three: Day Five - The Test of Testimony
  22. Week Three: Gathering
  23. Week Four - Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind
    Week Four: Introduction
  24. Week Four: Day One - Born Blind
  25. Week Four: Day Two - Holy Spit!
  26. Week Four: Day Three - Prophet and Loss
  27. Week Four: Day Four - Passing the Buck
  28. Week Four: Day Five - Redeemer to the Rescue
  29. Week Four: Gathering
  30. Week Five - The Good Shepherd and His Sheep
    Week Five: Introduction
  31. Week Five: Day One - Sheep-Stealing
  32. Week Five: Day Two - Calling Them by Name
  33. Week Five: Day Three - Abandon Doubt, All Ye Who Enter Here
  34. Week Five: Day Four - The Owner Versus the Hired Hand
  35. Week Five: Day Five - Other Sheep Not of This Fold
  36. Week Five: Gathering
  37. Week Six - Lazarus Raised from the Dead
    Week Six: Introduction
  38. Week Six: Day One - A Dire Situation
  39. Week Six: Day Two - Martha Confronts Jesus
  40. Week Six: Day Three - Mary, Did You Know?
  41. Week Six: Day Four - An Heir-Raising Incident
  42. Week Six: Day Five - The Plot Thickens and Sickens
  43. Week Six: Gathering
  44. Week Seven - Jesus' Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem
    Week Seven: Introduction
  45. Week Seven: Day One - A Prophetic Anointing
  46. Week Seven: Day Two - When Love Comes to Town
  47. Week Seven: Day Three - The Greeks Come Calling
  48. Week Seven: Day Four - A Voice from on High
  49. Week Seven: Day Five - Crowd Control
  50. Week Seven: Gathering
  51. Week Eight - The Last Supper
    Week Eight: Introduction
  52. Week Eight: Day One - Prime Time
  53. Week Eight: Day Two - Peter Puts His Foot in His Mouth
  54. Week Eight: Day Three - The Imitation of Christ
  55. Week Eight: Day Four - "Lord, Is It I?"
  56. Week Eight: Day Five - Simon Says
  57. Week Eight: Gathering
  58. Week Nine - Farewell Discourse
    Week Nine: Introduction
  59. Week Nine: Day One - The Genuine Divine Vine
  60. Week Nine: Day Two - The Love Command
  61. Week Nine: Day Three - Hate Crimes
  62. Week Nine: Day Four - The Advocate
  63. Week Nine: Day Five - Unbearable Truths
  64. Week Nine: Gathering
  65. Week Ten - The Death of Jesus
    Week Ten: Introduction
  66. Week Ten: Day One - The King and the Governor
  67. Week Ten: Day Two - The Son of Abba and the Son of God
  68. Week Ten : Day Three - No King but Caesar
  69. Week Ten: Day Four - The Title and the Robe
  70. Week Ten: Day Five - The Last Will and Testament of the King
  71. Week Ten: Gathering
  72. Week Eleven - Jesus' Resurrection and Appearances
    Week Eleven: Introduction
  73. Week Eleven: Day One - Tomb Raiders
  74. Week Eleven: Day Two - Mary, Mary Extraordinary
  75. Week Eleven: Day Three - The First Sunday Night Appearance
  76. Week Eleven: Day Four - Just Another Sunday Night, Until...
  77. Week Eleven: Day Five - The Purpose of This Good News
  78. Week Eleven: Gathering
  79. Week Twelve - Jesus' Appearance by the Sea of Galilee
    Week Twelve: Introduction
  80. Week Twelve: Day One - Let's Go Fishing
  81. Week Twelve: Day Two - The Light Dawns
  82. Week Twelve: Day Three - Breakfast by the Sea
  83. Week Twelve: Day Four - Do You Really Love Me?
  84. Week Twelve: Day Five - Don't Look Back
  85. Week Twelve: Gathering
Lesson 6 of 85
In Progress

Week One: Day Four – Temple Tantrum

John 2:13–17 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” 17His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

Understanding the Word. The story of Jesus’ cleansing of the temple requires some background information to be fully understood. The court where they were selling sacrificial animals and changing money was the outer court of the temple, otherwise known as the Court of the Gentiles. This was the only place in the temple non-Jews were allowed to come and pray or offer sacrifices, and it was a relatively new thing for the Jewish temple officials to make available animals for sale in the temple precincts. Previously, such animals had only been sold in places like the Mount of Olives, but apparently the Jewish officials figured out a way to make a little more money for the temple treasury (especially important since the building of the temple proper was still continuing all the way up to the Jewish war in the AD 60s). Jesus sees this as a defiling of the temple, turning it into a marketplace. This reminds me of the church I once visited who had a senior minister who thought it was a good idea to install an ATM machine in the vestibule of the sanctuary “in case people forgot to bring money to give to the church.” I was present at the meeting the Monday after this item was installed and, needless to say, the huge negative reaction to a mechanical but literal money changer in the temple led to its immediate removal.

The money changers were needed because the proper coin for paying the temple tax was the Tyrian shekel, which had the purest silver in it. This coin had a picture of Herakles (Hercules) on one side, and the royal eagle on the other, neither of which images would have failed to offend devout Jews. Nevertheless, these were the coins that the Jewish authorities required for the tax.

Jesus’ reaction to these activities is dramatic, but we need to bear in mind it was not actually a cleansing of all the temple, which would have involved other courts as well and presumably the temple treasury itself, with its pagan coins. This is what is called a prophetic sign act, rather than a true full cleansing. It symbolized not only the need for reform, but it prob- ably symbolized the coming judgment of God on Herod’s temple, which Jesus clearly predicts in Mark 13, where he says it will happen within a generation (i.e., forty years). In fact, the temple became the temple of doom exactly forty years after Jesus’ death in AD 30.

We are told that later the disciples remembered Psalm 69:9—“Zeal for your house consumes me”—which is spoken by God in the psalm. Here, it is used of Jesus himself to explain his actions. The implication is that Jesus is acting for God, or better said, as God himself. The theme of memory is important in this gospel. We are told in John 14–17 that the Spirit gradually leads disciples into all truth, and so here we see an instance of where the event happened at one point, but the spiritual understanding of its significance did not come until after Pentecost. This is true of many of the things that Jesus said and did, and perhaps we should not be too hard on the disciples. After all, they did not yet have the Holy Spirit during Jesus’ ministry; they were only Christians under construction, learners in the school of Jesus.


  1. Do you think this action of Jesus was inconsistent with his teachings about nonviolence in the Sermon on the Mount? If not, why not? Is there a difference between using force and acting violently toward another human being?
  2. Why were the animal salesmen and the money changers situated in the temple precincts? What court did they occupy?
  3. When is zeal for God’s house a good thing and when can it go too far?