The Cleansing Of The Temple Analysis

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For the faithful Jew, the place to celebrate the great moments of their faith was Jerusalem. In the Jewish liturgical year, the Passover was unsurpassed; little wonder Jesus was there. Jerusalem was also the centre of power – religious and secular; events here have an altogether greater significance.

The author places “The Cleansing of the Temple” at this point in his Gospel – it is a very different account from what we read in the other Gospels. Jesus goes up to Jerusalem as an individual (The “Entry into Jerusalem” is told later); his response to what he sees is powerful and prophetic: prophetic, because it stood in the tradition of the prophets of old, who challenged the authorities of their day, and said, ‘Thus says the Lord;’ his action in driving out the commercial and sacrificial clutter with a whip was a judgement on everything he found: ‘How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!’ The Temple was the centre of the religious life of the people; this was the place which existed to enable the people to live closely with their God – it had a sacrifice for every occasion – but it had been blind to his coming, and unaware of his presence.

Jesus’ actions were dramatic: his words were just as challenging: ‘How dare you turn my
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The wind blows where it wills; you hear the sound of it, but you have no idea where it comes from or where it is going. That is how everyone is who is born from the Spirit.” “How is this possible?” Nicodemus asked. Jesus replied, “You – a teacher in Israel – but you do not know this? In truth I tell you, we speak about what we know, and give evidence about what we have seen – but you do not understand what we are talking about! If I talk to you about material things, and you do not believe me, how will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? No-one has gone up to heaven, except the one who has come down from heaven – the Son of Man.” (John 3: 7 to
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