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Jesus Understood the Big Picture

By Steph Nickel

Jesus always understood the big picture. When accused by the Jewish leaders of threatening to “destroy this temple,” which they believed was a reference to the actual Jerusalem temple, Jesus was picturing something else – his future death and resurrection.

The following blog by Stephanie Nickel, a freelance writer and a contributor to our Christian internet radio station, HopeStreamRadio,  explains what Jesus intended by this comment.

buttonA Sign For The Jews

In my previous post we saw how when Jesus drove the money-changers and their livestock out of the temple, the Jewish leaders wanted to know what gave Him the authority to do so.

“So the Jews said to him, ‘What sign do you show us for doing these things?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’ The Jews then said, ‘It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?’ But he was speaking about the temple of his body. When therefore 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.” John 2:18-22

Jesus’ act of clearing the temple angered and confused the Jewish leaders.  When they asked Him to explain Himself and to prove His authority, Jesus responded by saying, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” Naturally, those who heard Him thought He was referring to the building that had taken 46 years to complete.

A Prophetic Answer

Instead, Jesus’ answer was prophetic. He was well aware of what the future would hold. However, as we see from verse 17, even His disciples did not understand the implication of His words until after Jesus had died and risen again. There is every indication that they thought they’d found the conquering hero who would free them from Roman rule and misguided—and often corrupt—spiritual leaders.

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Picture courtesy of Simeon Eichmann

Like the leaders of Jesus’ day, we may question His authority to set things right in our life, especially when it makes us uncomfortable—even angry.

Questioning Authority

And even if this isn’t the typically the case, we have a tendency to see things from a temporal perspective. We focus on what we can discern with our senses. And in this day and age of glorified busyness—within both secular and Christian circles—we don’t always take the time to consider the spiritual implications of our day-to-day activities and the decisions we make.

The Jews who opposed Jesus in today’s scripture passage were seen as spiritual leaders, and yet their eyes were on the building before them. They didn’t truly understand the numerous prophetic passages from what we call “the Old Testament,” many of which they could readily quote. Countless passages refer to the coming Messiah, the man who stood before them. But they didn’t have spiritual eyes to see or spiritual ears to hear the Truth.

It is such a blessing to have God’s Written Word, His Spirit who reveals the truth to us, and insightful spiritual leaders who assist us in our understanding of the Truth. May we diligently study the Bible and remember that every area of life has a spiritual component.


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You can read more from Steph Nickel at Steph Nickel’s Eclectic Interests.

Stephanie’s show, “Family Life Lessons,” airs from Monday to Friday on HopeStreamRadio.


“Enjoying HopeStreamRadio so much! My wife has it on almost 24/7. We enjoy the blend of encouragement, instruction and inspiration.”

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