Our Gospel is John 2:13-22, taken today from the New International Version (NIV).
When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 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. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.” The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 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.
The reality of His death and resurrection was something Jesus shared with those who followed Him many times before it actually happened. He knew that this would be difficult for them (and us) to accept and understand. It was necessary for us to see that God is more powerful than that which we fear most, and that His promises are eternal.
Jesus told His disciples “the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again” (Mark 8:31) but they didn’t want to believe this would happen. This isn’t how earthly kingdoms worked. They wanted a different outcome and were afraid to lose their friend and teacher.
Jesus said these things to prepare us for the crucifixion and to help us believe that all He taught was true. Our knowledge and power are challenged by this and that is exactly what Jesus intended. Through His death and resurrection we are shown God’s power and love, and the offer of salvation given to us all.
Gracious God, we have a hard time giving up our expectations and our limited view. Help us to see the eternal gift You offer us through Jesus that we may be saved. Amen.