Book Review Part 5 of Dan Lioy’s “Jesus as Torah in John 1-12”; Chp. 4 “Jesus as Torah in John 2-4: Jesus as Torah Clearing the Temple Courts (John 2:12-22)”

Posted: January 10, 2008 by Rick Hogaboam in Biblical Studies, Book Reviews, Christology
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“Jesus as Torah Clearing the Temple Courts” (John 2:12-22)” 

Now talk about extremes– Jesus first miracle is performed quietly and privately, while the clearing of the temple courts is loud and very public.

Lioy dialogues with some of the various views regarding whether Jesus cleared the temple once or twice. The fact that John records this event early in his gospel and the synoptic gospels record a similar event late in Jesus ministry appears to be a conflict for some readers. Whatever view one takes, it is evident that John records this event early in his gospel because of theological intent, “…there is theological significance to the clearing of the temple courts as one of Jesus’ first public acts….the old order, represented by the temple built by Herod the Great, would give way to the new order, represented by the temple of Jesus’ body” (p. 83-84).

I have always loved John’s gospel because he paints a beautiful picture of Jesus being the greatest Theophany ever. He came and “tabernacled” among us (Jn 1:14), then proceeds to “curse” the temple, later to be confirmed in His response to the Samaritan woman that God was no longer worshipped in a particular place, only to be made evidently clear that He alone was the “way” to the Father (Jn. 14:6). Jesus was essentially deeming worship at the temple as irrelevant in favor for true worship through Himself. Lioy connects this incident with the premise of Jesus as Torah in that Jesus was the “…Messenger of the covenant about whom Malachi 3:1-4 said would come to spiritually purify and morally refine God’s people” (p. 86). Also, when asked for a sign, Jesus pointed forward to His eventual death and resurrection as he declared that He would rebuild the temple in 3 days. His disciples later recalled the  comment regarding the rebuilding of the temple and thus, “What the embodiment of the Tanakh had prophesied, fulfilled what God had promised in the Old Testament” (p. 88).

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