Jesus Cleanses the Temple
13 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. 15 When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. 16 And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” 17 Then His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.”[b]
18 So the Jews answered and said to Him, “What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?”
19 Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
20 Then the Jews 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 of the temple of His body. 22 Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said.
It took His resurrection to for them to finally understand; until then, though they walked with Him, they seemed to be in a perpetual fog. Jesus understood they were unlearned in the way of study, but they were simple men with a practical understanding of the world, so having no other point of reference, it could only be through faith for them to continue walking with Him.
Verse after verse, we see their failings, doubt, desire for power, and inability to figure out what Jesus actually meant. Occasionally, there were breaks in the clouds (John 16:25-29)
Jesus Christ Has Overcome the World
25 “These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; but the time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but I will tell you plainly about the Father. 26 In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you;27 for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God. 28 I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father.”
29 His disciples said to Him, “See, now You are speaking plainly, and using no figure of speech!”
But most of the time, He was teaching above their ability to understand. They were afraid to ask Him questions, or thought He was referencing bread, or water, or again, the practical needs of a mortal man. The key was that they believed He was from G-d, because of what they saw Him doing.
Even when the tomb was empty and He appeared to them, He again had to help their unbelief: (Luke 24:36-40)
Jesus Appears to His Disciples
36 Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, “Peace to you.” 37 But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit. 38 And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts?39 Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”
40 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet.
and again, He opens the Scriptures: Luke 24:44-47
The Scriptures Opened
44 Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” 45 And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.
46 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
The apostle Paul tells us:
12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. (1 Corinthians 13:12).
In the meantime, we have more than the disciples possessed. Indeed, we have their own blessed witness, and the words of the risen Lord himself, to help us abide until He returns.
Until then, let us remember what Jesus said to Thomas (John 20:29)
29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Therefore I pray:
We thank You, Lord Jesus, for your atoning work, for choosing us out of the world, for revealing the will of the Father for our lives, and for calling us to bear fruit for the glory of the kingdom.
Bring to mind that it also brings the persecutions and resistance of Heaven’s enemy, and the closer we walk with You, the stronger they become.
We pray Your protection on us and our loved ones, Lord, and for that which the Father allows to come through to sift us, we ask that You gird us up.
Let us not be negligent or fearful of our duty to take up the sword of the Word of G-d, that we might not be led astray by false teachers, that no weapon formed against us prospers, that the tongues of those who speak against be brought to shame, and that the very devil himself is forced to flee.
We praise Your holy name today, Lord, in thankfulness and joy that You counted us worthy to reveal the Father’s will to reconcile our sinful hearts. We thank You for encouraging us through our clouds of witnesses, and those loved ones who’ve gone before us.
We believe, though we see through a dark glass. We believe the tomb is empty, and Heaven is full of Your glory. We believe in the power of the Holy Spirit that raised You and others from their graves. We believe You are a fair and just judge, and our only way to Heaven.
We believe You are sent of the Father to save us, and believe we will dwell with You in His presence, now and forevermore.
And so today, Lord Jesus, we respond in awe and reverence as Thomas did when humbled by Your mercy and gentle rebuke:
My Lord, and my G-d.
Let it be to us as You have said.