Many of us walk into church with different preconceived thoughts and views on Christianity. Historically, it has been the responsibility of the church to train and equip believers in the scriptures so that the bible defines our views, rather than the things that our world would teach us or even our experiences. In this text of the Gospel of John, we are really challenged to re-look at the way we view certain things in our lives. Three of those things are Jesus, Worship and the Church.
For a long time, the church has portrayed Jesus as a gentle hippie who most men would rather make fun or than worship. In John 2, this is not gentle Jesus. Did Jesus have a gentle side? Absolutely. Was Jesus compassionate? Absolutely. Did Jesus love children? Absolutely. But....Lets not exalt Jesus as the LAMB of God but neglect to recognize him as the LION of Judah. Jesus came in meekness and humility; but he also came as a ferocious rebel in his culture who was determined to die for sin, live perfectly and advance the kingdom of God. He endured pain, suffering and death...willingly!! When he comes back, Revelations says that he will come on a horse with fire in his eyes, a sword in his mouth, his name on his calf and he will trample over all his enemies. Therefore, He aught to be worshipped as King.
In John 2, the religious leaders had become money hungry and greedy, while the believers became lazy in their giving. Because of this, the temple had become a marketplace where people would sell sacrifices at inflated prices. In turn, the church became less about worshipping God, and more about making money to sustain itself and bring wealth and power to its leaders. The church is not a business, it is a people and place of worship. The church is when we gather and bring our sin, praise, giftedness, hurts, minds and our money; and we offer it to Jesus for the joy of our own hearts and the advancement of his Kingdom.
In John 2, The temple was where the Presence of God dwelt. If you wanted to be close to God, you went to the temple. If you wanted to worship, you went to the temple. If you wanted to have Kingdom generosity, you brought your tithe to the temple. If you wanted your sin forgiven, you would sacrifice at the temple. The temple was where you had to go to be with God. When Jesus says, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it.” he's saying, "No longer does the presence of God dwell in the temple, but the presence of God is among you." Today, through the death, burial and resurrection; Christ sends the Holy Spirit to dwell in every single believer. Paul says, “Don't you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.” So, the church is no longer confined to a building, but to the believer. Therefore, where we go, the kingdom goes.