4 March 2018

John 2:13-22

“After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.” (v. 22)

Psalm: Psalm 19


The story of the cleansing of the temple is a familiar one on the journey through Lent. Usually, it is the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew. Mark and Luke) that form the foundation of this event in the final week of Jesus’ life after he entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. John’s Gospel turns this event on its head, giving us this story straight after Jesus has turned water into wine (John 2:1-12) at the very beginning of his ministry.

Putting the questions of when this happened to one side, the passage gives us a wonderful insight into the development of the disciples’ faith. John 2:11 tells us the disciples believed in Jesus after the sign at the wedding at Cana. This was the start of their journey and it was a miraculous one at that, but miracles always point to something greater and deeper.

As Jesus drove out the money changers and those that sold animals for sacrifice, and as he spoke with those gathered in the temple the disciples looked on. Verse 17 says that as Jesus spoke they remembered what the psalmist had said (Psalm 69:9) and in verse 22 the writer tells us that the disciples remembered this moment after Jesus’ resurrection.

The wedding at Cana caused the disciples to believe in Jesus. And as he spoke in the temple they began to remember what the Hebrew scriptures said about the Messiah and connect its promises with him. Later, when they had experienced his death and resurrection they looked back and saw again the truth in Jesus’ words.

This act of remembering and holding on to what had been said in the past and the realisation of its truth as we journey with God is the pattern of discipleship. We remember what God has done and said, even if it doesn't always make sense. As we live our lives following in the way of Jesus we may find that these words will often be revealed through our experiences and we will understand them in new ways. This, in turn, grounds and deepens our faith as our belief is renewed and our trust in God’s word to us is increased.

To Ponder

  • Do you sometimes struggle to understand how some Scripture is relevant to your faith? Which parts do you find most difficult?
  • How does this pattern of remembering and experiencing help you in your faith journey?

Bible notes author

The Revd David Wynd

David Wynd is a Methodist presbyter in the North Shields and Whitley Bay Circuit. He leads Cullercoats Methodist Church and is involved in a circuit project called Network.