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John’s gospel post 18: Jesus and Columbo

September 14, 2013

John 2:18 – 22

A bit of a to do in the temple! Tables sheep pigeons and money everywhere. Disciples reaching for their scriptures quite impressed with Jesus’ actions. Not everyone shares the enthusiasm though, The Jews are annoyed. Upset just like their tables.

“Who do you think you are? What right do you have to do this in God’s house? Who do you think you are?” Jesus clearly divided opinion and still does. Bet they didn’t expect the answer they got. “Tear this temple down and I’ll rebuild it in 3 days”. Big words from a carpenter from Nazareth. What’s that supposed to mean – as if he could do 46 years worth of work in 3 days?!

But we are told by John that Jesus was not talking about the temple. When he said temple he referred to his own body. I often watch TV with someone who will keep asking what is going to happen. Or worse still if she’s seen it before, will tell us who is going to die before they do. Always makes for a good film night!

Well my approach so far has been to try to read as much as possible without the benefit of hindsight, The Bible is often not written like that. John is not writing a suspense novel. So in only 2 chapters he gives the main plot away. He tells us who is going to die – and rise again, long before we get there.

John tells us that after Jesus died and rose again the disciples remembered these words. Of course he wasn’t about to rebuild the Jerusalem temple. He was talking about himself. He would be destroyed – but he would be rebuilt. Then the disciples believed the scriptures (Old Testament) and the words of Jesus.

So we are barely past the beginning of the gospel and John has told us the ending. It’s a bit like one of those old Columbo’s where you know who’s done it but the mystery is to find out how the detective proves it.

In this case we are given a flash of what is going to happen, so maybe the question for us is how on earth do we get from the arrival of God in a human body to a point where he is killed? How and who by? He’s done a nice miracle – and upset some others. Need to gather some more information Lieutenant…

 

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