John 2:23-25 (CSB) While he was in Jerusalem during the Passover Festival, many believed in his name when they saw the signs he was doing. 24 Jesus, however, would not entrust himself to them, since he knew them all 25 and because he did not need anyone to testify about man; for he himself knew what was in man.
From the outset, Jesus has come on the missionary mission from the Father to secure a gift of a redeemed humanity from the Father through the convincing power of the Holy Spirit.
It becomes evident from John 1 that there is a conflict, and it’s going to get darker before the light overcomes. John 2 gives us a little greater peek at this dark conflict.
Let me first say that there are multiple chapters in John’s gospel that I personally feel inadequate to comment on because they are a high and holy insight into the eternal mission of God and often the glory of those chapters make me fumble over human words and language in general to communicate the myriad of glories for us to feast on. However, I’m going to try to walk barefoot on this holy ground.
John 2 is one of those chapters. Just stop and read it. Let it soak in. Read it slowly. Try and get quiet so as to allow the Holy Spirit to take your soul to the heart of God’s mission. You’ll find there is more here than can be commented on in a short blog post, and it will be something for you to enjoy until we see the Lord Yeshua face to face on that glorious day.
John records the encounter here in chapter 2 that Mark records in his gospel in the 11th chapter, Jesus’ conflict with the machine of worship set up in the court of the Gentiles. This conflict really gets to the heart of what Jesus’ is coming to secure, and it is a dark conflict.
Mark records for us more nuance of what Jesus said as his audience necessitated him drawing out parts of Jesus’ words in this conflict that applied to them.
John’s audience necessitates less of the connection to the Jewish Scriptures and more of an exaltation of the divine nature of Jesus, the God/Man.
Mark tells us Jesus preaches from Isaiah 56:7-8 and Jeremiah 7:11 when he reminds them of his word that his house is a house for all nations, not a place to make a profit from worship by providing convenience.
John records for us that they remembered Psalm 69:9 when Jesus overturned the tables and drove folks out of this location at the temple. Zeal for your house (and might I interpret, all that his house was there to do, which is why Jesus preaches from Isaiah and Jeremiah as recorded in Mark 11) will consume me.
Why would Jesus do this? He did this because the model Father, Son, and Spirit gave Moses and which Solomon constructed permanently was to be a place that all nations could come and see Yahweh’s glory and come to him in faith. Why? Because that was the mission from before the foundation of the world and articulated again to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3. The temple was never to be a safe place for Jewish folks only to have the convenience of worship. Convenience in worship for cultural Jews would only keep outsiders on the outside, and that would be a hindrance to all nations coming in, which is a hindrance to the mission. So, Jesus in passion gets after the Father’s mission, and that is putting the zeal of the Triune God on display for all people to have access to God.
The problem? Not everyone’s “faith” is real “faith”.
Some believe, but their “belief” is predicated on an emotional whim because they saw some awesome miracle Jesus did not a real and tangible encounter with the God of the universe who had taken on flesh to dwell among man and show them the glory of God. Some were taken with the flashy, not the God become flesh.
We are going to see this dividing line between those who “believe” because of the signs and those who “believe” because they are from this group of humans the Father has given the Son to be convinced by the Holy Spirit that Jesus is the way, become more and more stark.
What is going to call these real disciples out into becoming fishers of men among the nations? The cross and resurrection and Jesus is going to make that clear as he journeys to the cross.
God’s mission? All nations. Darkness roadblock? Culturally convenient worship for people who don’t really believe. Jesus’ solution? Preach God’s word and take all necessary action to call his people to himself by the Spirit and secure them for eternal life.
Keep walking with Jesus through John. It is a life-changing journey.