Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves,
as well as the money-changers seated there.
He made a whip out of cords
and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen,
and spilled the coins of the money-changers
and overturned their tables,
and to those who sold doves he said,
“Take these out of here,
and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.”
His disciples recalled the words of Scripture,
Zeal for your house will consume me.
At this the Jews answered and said to him,
“What sign can you show us for doing this?”
Jesus answered and said to them,
“Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.”
The Jews said,
“This temple has been under construction for forty-six years,
and you will raise it up in three days?”
But he was speaking about the temple of his Body.
Therefore, when he was raised from the dead,
his disciples remembered that he had said this,
and they came to believe the Scripture
and the word Jesus had spoken.
|Friends, when reading today’s Gospel passage, we shouldn’t be surprised that Jesus, at the climax of his life, came into the Temple and made a ruckus. He was not just being a rabble-rouser. He was rectifying the Temple so as to rectify the people Israel.
When pressed for a sign, he said that he would tear the Temple down and rebuild it in three days. He was talking, as John tells us, of the temple of his body. He was saying that this old Temple, which had served its purpose relatively well, would now give way to a new and definitive Temple. His own body, his own person, would be the place where divinity and humanity meet, and hence the place of right praise.