He knew their hearts: Devotional Commentary for March 14-20
This is the Word of God. May the Spirit of Truth give us wisdom and insight to receive what has been conveyed through His Word by His Inspiration.
18So the Jews answered and said to Him, What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?"
19Jesus answered and said to them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."
20Then the Jews said, It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?"
21But He was speaking of the temple of His body.
22Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said.
Following His first public miracle at the wedding in Cana of Galilee, Jesus and His Disciples made a brief stop at Capernaum and proceeded to Jerusalem to observe the Passover feast. There in Jerusalem Jesus entered the Temple and found it in disarray, much to His disappointment and righteous indignation. The Temple was filled with merchandizers and money-changers along with their goods and livestock.
Jesus then chased all the merchants and money changers out of the Temple and publicly declared that the Temple was the House of Prayer where the people worshipped God, His Father. After cleansing the Temple, the High Priest and the Jewish authorities confronted Jesus questioning His Authority to take such a drastic action. They wondered how someone from Galilee come to Jerusalem and upset the arrangement sanctioned by the Jewish leaders.
Jesus was firm in His actions as well as in His statement. He told them that the Temple belonged to His Father, but they made it the house of thieves. The Jews asked Him to prove His Authority to act by more signs and miracles. The people were shocked when He told them to tear down the Temple and He will rear it up in three days, because they knew it took more than forty years to build: forty-six to be exact.
Jesus spoke of the true Temple which is His Body. But the people did not understand Him. He spoke of His Death, Burial, and Resurrection. But the people did not get it. After He rose from the dead, His Disciples recalled what He had said. They understood His Words and believed in Him.
Yes this is Jesus the Christ, known to the people as the son of Joseph and Mary. But He steadily and methodically revealed His identity and manifested His Glory first to His earthly family and then publicly at Cana and now at the Temple in Jerusalem. He stood in the Temple as the true Temple of God and spoke the Truth to those who corrupted the House of Prayer. He spoke the truth, being Himself the Truth.
23Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did.
24But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men,
25and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.
Jesus and His Disciples stayed in Jerusalem for the Passover feast. While in Jerusalem, Jesus did many more miracles and showed signs which further unveiled His true identity as the Son of God. Even though John does not give us any more details about the substance and nature of the miracles and signs, they were probably spectacular. People were drawn to Jesus in droves.
People were impressed with what this man from Galilee was doing. They were astonished and perhaps wanted to see more. They followed Him and did everything they could to be in His presence. They believed in Him but did not clearly understand that Jesus really is the Son of God.
The text tells us that Jesus did not commit Himself to them. Jesus did not take the people's belief as a confession of faith in Him. He knew their hearts. He knew the cause for their excitement. He knew they were moved by the spectacle of the wonders and miracles He did.
Jesus did not need any evidence or testimony to verify the intentions and purposes of the people. He was fully aware why they followed Him. He knew the heart of man. He is Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, the Creator of man. He knows the truth about every man and woman. He knew the people were responding to the signs and the miracles but not to Jesus in person. Jesus knew that the people's belief was not faith in Jesus Christ.
The Temple in Jerusalem was desecrated by profane merchandizers who were driven by greed and sanctioned by the Temple authorities. It was a blatant violation of the sacredness of the House of prayer. But Jesus Christ the Son of god came and destroyed the ungodly ways of corrupt hearts which polluted the Temple. The cleansing of the Temple was, therefore, a drastic and necessary measure taken by Jesus to restore worship with conscious reverence toward God, both at the Temple in Jerusalem and in the hearts of God's children. The House of Prayer was once again open to the people so they could come into the House of God and worship the Holy and righteous God in reverence.
The people in Jerusalem and those who came from distant places to observe the Passover saw in Jesus Christ more than His righteous indignation. They witnessed the great signs and miracles He did among the people. They were moved by what He did and believed in Him. But Jesus was not impressed.
Jesus knew exactly what was going on in the hearts of the people. He knew human nature too well. The people believed the Power they saw in His actions because it was undeniable and public. They were not drawn to Jesus, the Lamb of God. They did not acknowledge the Messiah. To most of the people, Jesus was just a momentary marvel Who was able to capture the attention of the crowd with spectacular wonders. Still, the people viewed Him only as the son of Joseph and Mary, howbeit with some inexplicable skills.
All the works of Jesus are wonderful miracles and signs which reveal the Glory of God and unveil Jesus Christ's divine nature and His true identity. But the people missed it. They were consumed by what they saw instead of opening their empty hearts to the Person Who did such wonders among them. There was no room in the heart of the people for Jesus Christ the Savior, the Lord. Jesus knew that all-too-well, and therefore, did not commit Himself to them. Neither were the people drawn to Jesus, nor did they accept Him. The people were thoroughly entertained but remained lost.