With the coming of Jesus, the new has come to replace the old. The old jars of water for ceremonial cleansing (John 2:6) are no longer needed. Water is to be replaced by top quality new wine; the old order will be replaced by a new joyful order.
In today’s reading, Jesus refers to himself as ″this temple″ (v. 19) and John makes it clear that even in these early days He is referring to the resurrection of His body (vv. 21-22).
Temples are places where gods and people meet. The temple in Jerusalem stressed by its design that access to the one true God was limited and on His terms. Only the High Priest could enter into the Most Holy Place, and only once a year at that, on the Day of Atonement. But now Jesus is the person where we meet God. He is God enfleshed (John 1:14). We hear God speak when He speaks (John 12:50). We see God when we see Him (John 14:9).
Jesus confronts and clears away the many corrupt practices that have sprung up in the temple, driving out the money changers and hawkers of ″officially-approved″ currency (to pay the temple tax) and sacrificial animals who have transformed the outer courts into a marketplace, enriching themselves by charging pilgrims exorbitant rates for their services (vv. 13-16). It is in Jesus that we meet God; and on His cross, on that Day of Atonement two millennia ago, a perfect sacrifice for sin was offered to God.
When the disciples witness Jesus’ actions in the temple courts, they remember Psalm 69:9. David’s zeal for the house of God had placed his life in danger. Now Jesus’ zeal for purity of worship and reality of relationship with God will lead to Him being consumed; to His death.
Think of all the places people seek to find God.
We find God and hear God speak only in Jesus-He is the true meeting place with God. What is the implication of this for you?