When we last looked at John 2, Jesus stood in opposition to the establishment by cleansing his Father’s house. This week we will see how temple officials then demanded He prove his authority to do such things by showing a sign. Jesus was happy to oblige them. He gave them the only sign He would give during his three-and-a-half-year ministry.
Thank You, Father, for your Son. Give us understanding and draw us closer to Him as we read thy word, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
18 Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?
19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?
21 But he spake of the temple of his body.
In the other three gospels, Jesus said He would only give one sign, the sign of the prophet Jonas, or Jonah. For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. So essentially we have the same sign here.
Earlier in the chapter, we drew the parallel between Herod’s temple and the temple of the believer’s body (1 Cor 6:19), but there is also the temple of the corporate church, all of us together, with Jesus as the chief corner stone: Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. (Eph 2:19-22; cf 1 Pet 2:5) Just as it is important for me to purify my heart, that Jesus may feel comfortable in my temple, it is important for us to purify our church, that Jesus may feel comfortable to fellowship among us in the temple of the assembly of believers. Things like backbiting and strife need to be put in check. Jesus said By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. I wonder, does Jesus feel comfortable among us when there is backbiting and strife?
22 When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.
23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.
24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,
25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.
Miracles do not produce faith. It is the word of God that does that. (Rom 10:17) This was clearly demonstrated in the Exodus. Although they had ten wonders that delivered them from Pharaoh, not to mention the parting of the Red Sea, they still did not believe. They entered not in because of unbelief.
I experienced a similar situation to the one in our text in India. For a time, I had a ministry to homeless people. When I prayed for their physical infirmities, often God would heal them. Sometimes after a healing, someone would try to worship me. When I told them no, they had to worship Jesus, they would sometimes say something like ‘to me, you are Jesus’, then kowtow. Of course I could not let them do that. Eventually I stopped praying for them to be healed. I heard similar stories from fellow missionaries who, like me, stopped praying for people to be healed. Likewise, the people in our text had faith in the miracles, not Jesus. If they truly believed in Jesus He would have committed Himself to them. I am not saying we should not pray for people to be healed. That was a decision I made concerning a specific group of people with a specific cultural background. In India, it is common for people to worship a ‘holy man’ of some sort. I have never refrained from praying for people to be healed in any other situation. Every culture is different. When Americans witness a miracle they will usually just explain it away. The world says seeing is believing, but that is not the way Christianity works. Like practically everything else in Christianity, the truth is the opposite of what the world says. In Christianity, believing is seeing. (John 11:40; 20:29)
The miracles attracted the attention of Nicodemus, giving Jesus an opportunity to have a deeper discussion with Him about spiritual truth. Jesus used his miracles as springboards to preach the gospel. We will see this next week.
Father, purify our hearts, that your Son might present us to himself as a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that we should be holy and without blemish — a temple fit for your Son. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Election Update: On Wednesday, January 6, President Trump spoke to the Million MAGA March on Washington. In his speech, the president called on Vice President Pence to reject the electors’ ballots from the contested states when he counted the ballots as the ‘President of the Senate’. Shortly before the president spoke it was reported that Democrat candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock beat Republicans Kelly Loeffler and David Purdue for the US Senate in Georgia’s runoff elections. This, in a red state where the infamous Dominion voting machines were used once again in the runoff elections. Shortly after the president spoke, Mike Pence rejected the president’s call to reject the ballots. Pence passed the buck to Mitch McConnell (R-Ky), the Senate Majority Leader, to do something about the election fraud. McConnell then followed the official narrative. Speaking on the floor of the Senate, McConnell said the election was not stolen. For Trump supporters, that was the last straw. Many felt it was time for some sort of response and it took the form of patriot protesters occupying the Capitol Building. By the definition set by the mainstream media, they did this peacefully. They did not set anything on fire or destroy any property except for a few broken windows. (Even the broken windows are a matter of debate. More below.) They did not hide their faces. They did not threaten anyone. It seemed that for many of them it was nothing more than a sophomoric prank. But then, a young, unarmed woman wearing a Trump flag as a cape was shot in the neck and killed. An eyewitness said she was shot by a man in a suit. Video footage later confirmed this. He shot her at point-blank range and killed her in cold blood. There were three uniformed police officers with rifles who were standing next to her. They started walking away right before she was shot. Obviously they did not feel she was a threat. Senators and congressmen were moved to a safe room as protesters occupied the Capitol for a short time.
Her name was Ashli Babbitt. She was an Air Force veteran who served four tours. She was a patriotic American who was also a daughter and a wife.
Three others were killed besides her, whose names were not released. That makes four Americans who were killed because they wanted a transparent election. Let’s talk about perception and reality. Media around the world characterized the protesters as hooligans and thugs. Senate Minority Leader Schumer compared the protest to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Others compared it to when the Capitol was burned down by the British in the war of 1812. Perception. Then there’s reality. The reality is that this was a bunch of people with MAGA hats, American flags, and Trump flags who were let into the building by the Capitol Police. After some brief skirmishes they opened the doors for them. They entered the Capitol keeping within the velvet guide ropes. (Some others entered through broken windows.) Protesters took selfies with the police. They roamed around the building, then left with a few trophies. The reality is that Trump supporters stayed behind for another day to clean up the Capitol Complex and pick up trash after the March was over. The reality is that Trump supporters are patriotic Americans who love peace and freedom. The reality is that Trump events open with prayer. One lady from South Carolina who spoke in the capital on Tuesday even gave an altar call. These are the people they call dangerous thugs and hooligans, who they say attacked America like Pearl Harbor. They say Trump incited the protest to occupy the Capitol with ‘wild conspiracy theories’. The reality is that he did no such thing. Trump only said what everyone already knew: This election was stolen. It was an American coup.
I was not a little surprised to see Trump supporters occupy the Capitol Building. I think every Trump supporter was astonished to hear what was taking place, but I understood how they felt. They were angry. It was a spur-of-the-moment protest. Unfortunately, they forgot that the rules of Antifa do not apply to them. They forgot what usually happens when people without guns break into a house where people have guns. (The real reason, or at least one of the reasons, that Antifa was given a pass on the looting, arson, and destruction/theft of property — burning down businesses, taking over police department buildings, setting up autonomous zones, attacking motorists at will, shooting people — that they were paid to carry out in 2020 is explained in the video below by Catherine Fitts. It’s probably not what you thought.) As events started to unfold, it was reported by Alex Jones, who was on the ground in DC, that Antifa infiltrated the March and initiated the protest to occupy the Capitol Building. It looks like he may be right. Two of them were quickly identified. A third BLM leader was behind Ashlie Babbitt, filming her as she was shot. According to eyewitness Taylor Hansen, Antifa provocateurs were inciting violence and attacking police inside the Capitol Building as the Trump protesters were walking around taking pictures and staying peaceful. I believe this was a well-planned trap and we took the bait. It has been reported by CNN that a police officer is now dead from injuries he sustained in the Capitol protest. Furthermore, before the move to occupy the Capitol, 77 representatives and 13 senators were pledged to object to the ballots from the contested states. However, after the Senate reconvened everything had changed. Seven senators withdrew their pledge to object. (The protest was the perfect excuse for them to show their true colors. These Republicans, who have always hated Trump, are the same ones who voted to override his veto of the NDAA last week with a 2/3 vote. Trump was trying to restore free speech, insisting they remove Section 230 protection for the Big Tech media companies before he would sign it. Apparently they hate free speech too.) The Republicans joined their Democrat colleagues and gave sanctimonious speeches about the sanctity of the Electoral College. They wined about how their lives were endangered when their house was breeched by protesters. Nobody explained how the unarmed lady who was shot was a threat to them. Nobody seemed to remember how Democrat protesters occupied Capitol Hill during the 2018 Kavanaugh hearings, or how they pounded on the doors of the Supreme Court. Whatever they say, the fact remains that this election was stolen. They say there is no evidence, yet they refused to turn over the voting machines for auditing. They say there is no evidence, yet multiple experts have said the results as reported were statistically impossible. They say there is no evidence, yet hundreds of thousands more people than were registered, voted in key counties. Day after day of testimony in hearings in multiple states proved that election fraud did indeed take place. Hundreds of Americans who witnessed fraud take place firsthand signed affidavits under penalty of purgery. Many in the House of Representatives objected to certifying votes from contested states but when they proceeded with the joint session, the steal went through handily.
Now that Trump has effectively conceded, reportedly under pressure from his own cabinent, for all practical purposes America will be a theocracy run by high priests whose religions include abortion, Marxism, Critical Race Theory, and the fear of COVID, just to name a few. God only knows what will come next but as I said last week, we need to continue in prayer. As I said last week, the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
In closing, the storming of the Capitol Building was the first response of the American people to having our election stolen. It was an impromptu reaction to a government that has failed us. I suspect there will be further responses. For nearly four years now I have been writing about the cold civil war we are engaged in. I don’t claim to be a prophet so I don’t know what the next response will be, but I know this. Americans are people who believe in truth and freedom. We believe these things are worth fighting for. One such example of this was the Battle of Athens. Father, You are a God of truth. Your Son is the Prince of Peace. Our trust is in Him and in You and in your Spirit. Please don’t let them take our Republic from us, Father. Nevertheless not our will, but yours be done. I pray for Ashli Babbitt’s husband and for her parents. She did not have to die. Her only crime was loving her country. I pray for the families of the other three who were murdered. I pray for the family of the police officer who was killed. Give us wisdom. Fight against those who fight against us. Above all please bring revival. In Israel, when they were oppressed by their enemies, they would cry out to You and You would deliver them. Please deliver us too Lord. Turn our hearts to your Son and deliver us. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Finally, I wonder what the official narrative was following the crucifixion. Perhaps the Roman Times town crier news service ran the following story: Earlier this week, a terrorist was crucified for crimes against Ceasar. Jesus of Nazareth, leader of an extremist cult, was found guilty of stirring up opposition in Caesar’s territory of Judea. He threatened to destroy the iconic temple in Jerusalem and made irrational claims that He would rebuild it in three days. He threatened our beloved Caesar by claiming to be King. During his crucifixion there were showers and tremors but nothing out of the ordinary. Claims that the dead have come to life and are roaming Jerusalem have been circulated by his followers but these claims have been debunked. Furthermore, his followers bribed guards and have stolen his body. This has been confirmed by Caesar’s fact checkers.
COVID Update: A doctor in Miami has died after taking the first dose of the Pfizer mRNA vaccine.