27 January 2022
The Passover was a festival to commemorate the liberation of the Israelites, who had been enslaved for about 450 years in Egypt about 1200 years ago from the time of Jesus (about 3200 years ago from now). Through the Passover, they remembered and thanked God’s great work. Egypt, which did not apply the blood of the lamb to the gate of the house, had the judgment of God, and Israel, who had the blood of the lamb applied to the gate of the house, the judgment of God was passed. This divine work allowed Israel to escape from Egypt. This was both a personal salvation and a national salvation.
12 After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples. There they stayed for a few days.
Jesus Clears the Temple Courts
13 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 So 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. 16 To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” 17 His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.” 18 The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” 20 They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” 21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken. 23 Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. 24 But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. 25 He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person. （John 2: 12-25)
As the Passover approached, Jesus went to Jerusalem (verse 12). John the Baptist saw Jesus and said, ” Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world ” (John 1:29). Through the blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, the punishment for our sins has passed.
Many, like Jesus, came to Jerusalem for the Passover. It was to sacrifice. Looking inside the palace, there were cows, sheep, pigeon sellers and currency exchangers doing business (verse 14). They were trying to sell animals to those who had come to Jerusalem to sacrifice. Jesus burned his holy anger. Then he drove the animals out of the palace, sprinkled the money of the exchanger, knocked down the table (verse 15), and was told. “Take it from here. Do not make my father’s house a business house” (verse 16).
“Cleansing of the Temple of Christ” / Antonio Vassilacchi / 1592 / Church of San Pietro (Italy)
In modern terms, biblically speaking, the palace is a church, ourselves, the palace of the Holy Spirit. Jesus wants to get rid of the bad things from us, and wants to get rid of them. God first removes the bad (old things) from inside us. Then he builds and creates good things (new things) in us.
Seeing that Jesus, the disciples remembered the Bible saying, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” (verse 17). This is a quote from Psalm 69: 9 by David. Efforts to live right before God will not always be justified in this world. But we must burn holy anger at God’s disappointment, just as Jesus was angry at God’s disappointment.
David was the one who longed for living in the house of God, that is, worshiping God above all else. Not everyone was pleased with the true appearance of David. His wife, Michal, who saw David dancing powerfully and praising God, despised her husband, David. She said, “It’s terrible that you, the king, dance.”
People are not always happy to be pleased before God. Rather, the reality is that people often do not like it, especially in Japan. I don’t think it’s easy not to comply with people’s thoughts and the flow of the world. But our standards are not in the world. Our standard is the Bible, the Word of God.
There are four Gospels, but all the Gospels contain the events of the Holy Temple of Jesus.
Matthew 21:13 “It says, ‘My house is called the house of prayer,’ and yet you are in the nest of robbers, ” It is the quote Isaiah 56: 7.
Mark 11:17 “Isn’t it written that’ my house is called the house of prayer for all the people’, yet you have made it a nest of robbers? “
Luke 19:46 ” It says, ‘My house must be a house of prayer.’ Yet you have made it a nest of robbers. “
“Christ driving merchants out of the temple” / Jacob Jordaens / 1645-1650 / Louvre Museum (Paris)
The church is “The House Of Prayer”. “The House of Prayer” movement is taking place worldwide in modern churches. This work is deeply linked to the modern Holy Spirit movement. In the last 20 years, the work of the “house of prayer” has become global. 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, non-stop prayers and worship services, spiritual battles, and intercessory prayers are offered. This prayer house movement is bringing revival to the world. Kansas City in the United States, Jerusalem, Indonesia, Taiwan, etc. Its main purpose is to bring the presence of God to the church and the region, the revival of the church, the evangelization of the world, the peace of Israel, and so on. And to change the spiritual atmosphere.
The annual salvation of Japanese people is said to be about 4,000. There are 2,000 Japanese living in Japan and 2,000 Japanese living overseas. Even though the population living in Japan is completely different, the number of people living in Japan and those living overseas is the same. Obviously, Japanese people living overseas are more likely to be led to salvation than Japanese people living in Japan. It’s the difference in spiritual air.
When I was studying in New Zealand, I had my service church for two months in summer training. The church there was about 300 people, but one of the tasks was that New Zealanders made Japanese students homestay. And on Sundays they come to worship with their homestay family. There is also a New Zealander who has worked as a missionary in Osaka for many years, who translates in English, so my senior pastor asked me to send a message in Japanese. The place was New Zealand, but I sent a message in Japanese. After that, I was invited to lunch by their host family who took care of Japanese students. There were some Japanese young people around the age of 20. I was 27 years old at the time, and I was asked to evangelize them, so I thought it would be difficult to be honest, but I tried. Then, their reaction was very good, so I was surprised. If when they heard me in Japan, I thought it wouldn’t have happened. This is a difference in the spiritual atmosphere of the country in New Zealand and Japan.
When praying, I think it would be good to start from yourself and expand with your family, your church, your workplace, and your friends. Geographically, starting from the area where we live, to schools, places of work, prefectures, Japan, and the world. Jesus wants us to pray for all the people. We can pray especially for the countries that are associated with us. Also, if we see the news and are moved, we should pray for that country.
The Jews say. “Show us the sign” (verse 18) Jesus replies. “Destroy this temple. I will build it in three days.” (Verse 19) I understand that the Jews took Jesus’ answer literally and were referring to the temple in Jerusalem. This temple began to be built during the time of King Herod, around 19 BC. It is estimated that this conversation between Jesus and the Jews was around 27 AD, as it was said that it took 46 years to build at this point. At this stage the temple is still under construction and was completed in 64 AD.
But because Jesus was talking about his body (verse 21), this was a prophecy of his resurrection. He said, “Kill my body. I’ll rebuild it three days later. I’ll be resurrected from death.” The disciples, including John, remembered the words of this prophecy when Jesus was resurrected and believed in the Bible and what Jesus said (verse 22).
Through Jesus Christ, the temple ritual was abandoned. In the Old Testament, they could only approach God in the temple, but in the New Testament, the resurrection of Jesus makes the Lord everywhere, so we can worship him wherever we are.
The church is the house of prayer. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit. The Lord Jesus wants us to pray. When Jesus was crucified, he wanted the disciples to wake up and pray with him at Gethsemane, but the disciples fell asleep. We need to be spiritually awake. Prayer causes a miracle of God. Don’t give up, let’s keep praying. Let’s bless the world through prayer.