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John 2:13 Cleansing the Temple

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Cleansing the Temple

When Jesus arrived in Capernaum and went to the temple, He began cleansing the Temple. There were merchants selling sacrificial animals and exchanging currency.

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John 2:13-25

13. “Jesus, His family, and His disciples, remained in Capernaum a few days, and then He went to Jerusalem for the Passover feast.” (Wiersbe, Warren W, The Bible Exposition Commentary New Testament Volume 1 Matthew-Galatians. [Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2004], 292)

Jesus “fulfilled the law so that, today, believers are not burdened by that ‘yoke of bondage’ (Acts 15:10).” (Wiersbe, 292)

14. “The priests had established a lucrative business of exchanging foreign money for Jewish currency, and also selling the animals needed for the sacrifices.” (Wiersbe, 292)

Jews lived all over, some in foreign countries. They couldn’t bring animals on the trip, and when they had different currency it needed to be exchanged for Jewish money.

“With such a large group of travelers and because of the seasonal nature of the celebration, both the animal dealers and money exchangers exploited the situation for monetary gain. (‘den of thieves’’; Matthew 21:13).” (MacArthur, John, The MacArthur Bible Commentary. [Nashville, Thomas Nelson Inc., 2005], 1354)

Cleansing the Temple

15. “I tell you, the Lord was rough. There is no question about that. I don’t like the pictures we have of an anemic-looking Christ. The artists don’t seem to realize who He was.” (McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume IV: [Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983], 381)

He drove them all out of the temple [NKJV] “When the holiness of God and His worship was at stake, Jesus took fast and furious action. The ‘all’ indicates that He drove not only men out but also animals. Yet, although His physical action was forceful, it was not cruel.” (MacArthur, 1354)

“Although the primary reference is to the actions of the Messiah in the millennial kingdom, Jesus’ actions in cleansing the temple were an initial fulfillment of Malachi 3:1-3 (and Zechariah 14:20-21) that speak of Messiah’s purifying the religious worship of His People.” (MacArthur, 1354)

16. “God’s holiness demands holiness in worship.” (MacArthur, 1355)

My Father’s house [NKJV]. “John gave a subtle hint of Jesus’ divine sonship as well as His messiahship with the recording of this phrase (see 5:17-18).” (MacArthur, 1355)

House a house of merchandise! [NKJV] “Jesus may have intended a play on words. The word merchandise pictures a trading house will with wares.” (MacArthur, 1355)

17. “The disciples remembered the verse from Psalm 69:9. This psalm is quoted seventeen times in the New Testament and is one of the six most quoted psalms in the New Testament.” (McGee, 381)

This psalm indicates “that Jesus would not tolerate irreverence toward God.” (MacArthur, 1355)

Demand for a Sign

18. “The demand for such a sign was in effect the demand for Jesus to justify himself in their eyes. In such contexts in John, Jesus refused the requests. He readily argued with the Jews, but he refused to become a magician performing signs for their benefit.” (Borchert, Gerald L., The New American Commentary Volume 25A, John 1-11. [Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2002], 165)

“Often, during His ministry, the leaders asked Jesus to give them a sign, and He refused to do so, except for the sign of Jonah (Matthew 12:39-50). The ‘sign of Jonah’ is death, burial, and resurrection.” (Wiersbe, 293)

19. “Jesus used the image of the temple to convey this trust. ‘Destroy this temple [My body], and in three days I will raise it up.’” (Wiersbe, 293)

20. “Throughout the gospel of John, you will find people misunderstanding spiritual truth and interpreting in material or physical terms (John 3:4; 4:11; 6:52). Herod’s temple was started in 10 BC and not completed until AD 74. How could one man ‘raise it up’ in three days?” (Wiersbe, 293)

21. “Jesus said that if they destroyed this temple, He would ‘raise it up.’ The word He uses was egeiro, which John uses five times in his gospel. Its actual meaning is ‘to wake up’ [ and, each time the word is used it refers to awaken from the dead.” (McGee 381)

22. “The way John wrote the stories of Jesus presupposes that the disciples were convinced he was alive. Moreover, it was also their firm conviction that he was the fulfillment of Scripture.” (Borchert, 166)

Unsaved believers

23. “This verse subtly reveals the true nature of belief from a biblical standpoint. Because of what they knew of Jesus from His miraculous signs, many came to believe in Him. However, Jesus made it His habit not to wholeheartedly ‘entrust’ or ‘commit’ Himself to them because He knew their heats.” (MacArthur, 1356)

24. This verse “indicates that Jesus looked for genuine conversion rather that enthusiasm for the spectacular. The Latter verse also leaves a subtle doubt as to the genuineness of the conversion of some (cf. 8:31-32). (MacArthur, 1356)

Trust Jesus

But Jesus, for His part, did not entrust Himself to them, because He knew all people [and understood the [a]superficiality and fickleness of human nature] [AMP]

a. [AMP footnote:] For some people this display of “belief” was not an abiding trust or true faith in Jesus as Savior (Messiah), but merely a temporary belief based on the excitement caused by witnessing His miracles. These people, whose belief was fleeting and superficial, were representative of the followers who abandoned Him later.

“Because of the miracles, many people professed to believe in Him, but Jesus did not accept their profession…He did not accept human testimony. Why? Because, being God, He knew what was in each person’s heart and mind.” (Wiersbe, 293)

“These people believed in Jesus, but He did not believe in them! They were ‘unsaved believers’! It was one thing to respond to a miracle but quite something else to commit oneself to Jesus Christ and continue in His Word (John 8:30-31).” (Wiersbe, 293)

The “emphatic contrast between verses 23, 24 in terms of type of trust, therefore, reveals that literally ‘belief into His name’ involved much more than intellectual assent. It called for whole-hearted commitment of one’s life as Jesus’ disciple (cf. Matthew 10:37; 16:24-26). (MacArthur, 1356)

25. “This is always a grave danger today for those who say they believe in Jesus. What do you mean when you say you believe in Jesus? Do you mean that you believe in the facts of the gospel? The important question is: Do you trust Him as your Savior who died for your sins. Was He raised for your justification? Is He your only hope of heaven?” (McGee, 382)

Do you just believe Jesus or do you trust in Him. (Demons believe) James 2:19


Amplified Bible (AMP)
Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville Tennessee. All rights reserved.

New King James Version (NKJV)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

In this article Scripture quotations taken from KJV.

Borchert, Gerald L., The New American Commentary Volume 25A, John 1-11. Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2002
McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume IV: Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983
MacArthur, John, The MacArthur Bible Commentary. Nashville, Thomas Nelson Inc., 2005
Wiersbe, Warren W, The Bible Exposition Commentary New Testament Volume 1 Matthew-Galatians. Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2004

Water into Wine                                                                                                      Born Again

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