Boy, just getting in under the wire here. I can’t say I recall ever doing a Bible study at the end of the day – morning is my sweet spot. It is now late and I’m tired and my desire (and path of least resistance) is to let it go, skip today. Who will notice or care?
However, I made a 30-day commitment with myself to do a SOAP entry every day in October and remembering that original desire (goal) gives me the extra motivation to get it done at any cost.
And I’m grateful that I’m now sitting down to dive for it is this level of steadfast commitment that is needed to succeed in every endeavor throughout our entire life. It’s not a strength of mine, and it’s a good muscle to strengthen.
John 2:12-25 (ESV)
12 After this he went down to Capernaum, with his mother and his brothers and his disciples, and they stayed there for a few days.
Jesus Cleanses the Temple
13 The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. 15 And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. 16 And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” 17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”
18 So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 22 When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.
Jesus Knows What Is in Man
23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. 24 But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people 25 and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.
- And they stayed there a few days
- He drove them all out of the temple
- His disciples remembered that it was written
- It has taken 46 years to build this temple, and you will raise it up in three?
- the disciples remembered… and they believed the Scripture and the Word Jesus had spoken
- they trusted him, but he did not trust them, for he already knew what mankind was like (NLT)
- This first one sparked a memory of when a close friend had passed away and several of us stayed with his widow for 3 days and nights. It was such a heavy time of grief but I also remember the laughter. The only way we get through this is in community; the suffering is made easier and the celebrations are made sweeter. How am I moving towards building deeper intimate communities around me?
- What a drastic contrast! From a loving supportive community to now a different kind of community, filled with greedy money-changers and an immoral marketplace, all under the approval of the “religious elite”. Their motives are dark, self-serving, filled with justifications for their oppression of the common people who are there simply in faith to the religion and God they love. Jesus, as man, did not use miracles to confront this evil, he used righteous anger, courage, and boldness to stand up for the oppressed and confront the evil practices. How often (or ever) do I rely on God’s Spirit within me to boldly stand up for the meek and oppressed?
- This is the first of two times it is said that “his disciples remembered”. Do I remember what I read in the Bible? Do I remember the lessons of my trusted pastors and esteemed colleagues and elders in ministry? Do I remember all the blessings, protection, grace and guidance I have received over the years? Our strongest and most embraced memories should be that of God’s mercy and goodness and not that of the places and times that evil took a swipe at us.
- It took 46 years for man to build the temple and only 3 days for God. How often do I rely on my own plans and timelines thinking “it is my best” when it pales in comparison to what God could do if only I leaned on Him with greater faith and patience?
- they remembered and believed… Nuff said!
- This last one I’ve chosen to reflect on is interesting. He came to die for mankind, and in this place, there are many who believed, yet “he didn’t trust them”. God has always known our hearts, he knows MY heart, and yet he still went to the Cross, he still loves me, he still wants us as ambassadors of grace, truth, compassion, protection, and restoration, as best we can with what he gives us. Am I filled with such immense gratitude that I can think of nothing else than how to serve, honor, worship, obey and glorify Him?
Abba Father, the price was too high, but You paid it anyway. I do remember all that You have done for me, I remember Your word when I’m faced with temptations and Your power within me when I’m faced with unbeatable odds. I trust You in the seasons of longsuffering and now know that You were with me long before I even fully believed you were real. I confess however I still rely on my own understanding and believe in my own strength far too often. Thank You that You promise to finish what You started in me and that You stand in the gap where in my weaknesses I fail.
As I reflect on this, I realize that remembering the good is the shortest path to gratitude, and gratitude is the foundation for peace, joy, and love. May we all remember the goodness of God this, and every day.
Blessings in Christ,