Jesus' Precepts and Deeds through His Three Years of Teaching

The cleansing of the temple

- Chapter 14 -
The Lord's prophetic allegory about the destruction of the temple and its re-erection in three days.


(John 2:18) The Jews challenged Jesus: "What sign can you show us as authority your action?"

As I was still talking with the faint-hearted disciples, some Jews came up to Me and said, 'You have now performed a mighty act. Men and cattle fled from your hand like chaff in a storm, and no one returned to pick up his scattered money. Who are you, and what mark of authority (by the emperor, they meant) can you present to us which gave you the right to do this?! -don't you know the inflexible severity of the laws which could destroy you because of this?'

(John 2:19) Jesus replied: "Destroy this temple and on the third day I will raise it again!"

Say I, 'Unless I knew them, but did not fear them, I would not have done I t. -But you demand of Me an official authority and I tell you that I do not have that. But do destroy this temple and on the third day it will be raised again, perfected.'

(John 2:20) Then the Jews said: "It has taken 46 years to build this temple, and you want to raise it again alone in three days?"


(John 2:21) But they did not know that the temple He was speaking of was His body.

This My decisive statement amazed the Jews and they did not quite know what to say. After a while one of them remembered that the building of the temple had taken 46 years and provided many thousands of hands with permanent work. So this historically versed Jew turns to Me and says, 'Young man! Did you realise what a foolish thing you have just said? Look, all of 46 years were needed for the building of this temple and many thousands of hands were fully employed, and you want to do that quite alone without the help of others? Oh, oh, oh, what a testimony you have given yourself, and that even in the temple where one should speak particularly sensibly.
Your earlier action has surprised us very much and we, as elders of Jerusalem, were already beginning to deliberate out of what power you performed this really most commendable act, whether a worldly or prophetic one, and so we also questioned you about it. If you had told us in wise words, which we do understand, that you are a prophet awakened by God and did this through the might of God, we would have believed you. However, contrary to all expectation, you gave us instead of wise words an indescribably outrageous, boastful and foolish answer without even a grain of truth, and we now regard you as a person who may have learned a little bit of magic in some pagan school and now wished to show off here in the City of David, being either in the pay of Rome or secretly hired by the Pharisees, priests and Levites, for these would have reaped the best temple-harvest today thanks to your act of magic. We truly regret to have been so mistaken in our judgment of you.'
Say I thereupon, 'I too regret with all My heart that I had to find you so terribly blind and deaf. For the blind do not see anything and the deaf and dumb do not perceive anything. I work a sign before your eyes which prior to Me no one has worked and speak the fullest truth and you accuse Me of being either a foolish braggart with some knowledge of pagan magic wishing to show off here before you or being a magician in the pay of Rome or in the despicable pay of the temple-priests. Oh, what an insulting accusation! -Look, over there is a considerable crowd of men who have followed Me here from Galilee. They have recognised Me, although you maintain that the Galileans are the worst kind of Jews with the least faith, but these still recognised Me and are following Me. How then could you not recognise Me!'
Say the Jews, 'We did not want to recognise you and therefore questioned you, for we are neither blind nor deaf as you think. But you have us an answer which with one's natural reason one cannot interpret other than we told you openly We are of good will, why then, should you be a prophet, do you fail to recognise this? We are wealthy and honorable citizens of Jerusalem. If you were a true prophet, it would be good for you to be in our midst, but you do not realise this and are therefore not a prophet, just a magician who desecrates the temple much more than those who were earlier driven out by you.'
Say I, 'Go and discuss this with those who have come with Me; they will tell you Who I am.'
Now the Jews go to the disciples and talk to them and they tell them what they heard of Me on the Jordan, the witness of John and what thy have seen and experienced at My side, but admit that they do not understand what I had said to the Jews.

(John 2:22) After His resurrection His disciples recalled what He had said and they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.

For they themselves understood it only following My most extraordinary resurrection after three days and at the same time also the Scripture which had said this of Me.
Hearing all this from the disciples, the Jews returned to Me and said, 'According to all that which we have now heard from your most sincere followers you would evidently be the Promised. -The witness of John, whom we know, speaks mightily for you and so do your deeds. Your words, however, are exactly the opposite to all the other points. -How can the Messiah be a God in his deeds, but a fool in his speech. -Do explain this to us and we all shall accept and support you in every possible way.'
Say I, 'what could you give me that you had not fist received from My Father Who is in heaven? But if you did receive it, how can you now speak as if you had not? What do you want to give Me that is not already Mine, for I and the Father are not two, but one. I tell you: Nothing but he will is yours, everything else is Mine. Give me your will in the proper love of your hearts and believe that I and the Father are fully one, then you will have given Me everything I can ask of you.'
Say the Jews, 'So show us a sign an we shall believe that you are the Promised One.
Say I, 'Why do you want a sign? Oh you wicked generation! Don't you know that signs do not awaken anyone, but judge him? But I did not come to judge you, but that you may gain eternal life if you believe in Me in your hears. There will indeed by many signs, and some of them you will be seeing; however, these will not give you life, but death for along time.'