So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 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. John 2:18-22 ESV
The Jews wanted to know who Jesus thought He was, causing the ruckus in the temple that He did. They wanted a sign to show them that He had the authority to do the things He had done. So, He tells them that there will be a sign. But as usual they misunderstand the meaning of His response. When He talks about raising up the temple, they assume He is speaking about the temple building itself. Once again they are given the chance to believe in Jesus and what He says and does, but they miss His point.
Obviously the disciples didn’t quite get it at the time either. It was only after Jesus resurrection that they grasped the scope of what Jesus had said. Then they believed, that He had the power to rebuild the “temple”. The Jews had always believed that the temple was the house of God, but they could not grasp the fact that the body of Jesus was the temple or house of God. Such a thing was beyond their comprehension.
Jesus did give them the sign that they had asked for when He was resurrected on the third day. The “temple” had been raised. Certainly the Jews that were in attendance on the day of pentecost for Peter’s sermon, finally realized what had really happened when they had Jesus crucified. They thought they had destroyed Jesus, but he was raised again. Imagine the excitement the disciples felt when they recognized the sign that Jews had been seeking. Jesus did just what He said he would do!
Here in John’s gospel many years later he finds it significant enough to share this event with his readers as he writes to convince them that Jesus is the Messiah. This passage is one more point in Johns introduction of his gospel. John did an incredible job helping his readers to understand the divinity of Christ.
So today,let’s help others to see the same thing. Let’s help others to see that God put on flesh so He could reconcile us to Himself. Let’s help others to see Jesus.
© 2013 Leo J. Woodman