John 3:22-27 After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized. And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized. For John was not yet cast into prison. Then there arose a question between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purifying. And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptize, and all men come to him. John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.
Jesus left Jerusalem after the Passover and was either back in Samaria or Galilee (John 2:13). According to John 4:2, Jesus himself did not baptize, but His disciple did.
John the Baptist was baptizing in Aenon (Greek word Ainon which means springs), a town on the west of Jordan, about 87 km northeast of Jerusalem in Samaria. There was much water because of the many springs and streams that were suitable for baptizing.
The question that arose between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purifying, was whether John’s baptism or the legal ceremonies of the Jews were the most effectual to purify sin ceremonially.
John’s answer: “A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.” How literally true! We earn and deserve nothing, but God gives us all things that pertain to life and godliness – now and hereafter (2Pet. 1:3-11; 2Cor. 1:20).
John 2:23-25 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. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.
The purpose of miracles has always been that we must believe in His name – the name above all names – Jesus (Php. 2:9). Jesus prayed in John 11:42 to the Father: “I knew that thou hear me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.”
Jesus didn’t trust men, for He knew they were not genuine in faith and character. Here is an example of the gifts of knowledge and discerning of spirits (1Cor. 12:4-11). In Jeremiah 17:9 we read that the heart (of all men) is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? God answers in verse 10 that He searches the heart, He tries the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.
John 2:13-17 And the Jews’ Passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house a house of merchandise. And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.
It started out to be ‘the Lord’s Passover’ (Exo. 12:11, 12:27; Lev. 23:5; Num. 28:16), but now it had degenerated to be “the Jews’ Passover” (John 2:13; 6:4; 11:55). The feasts of the Lord (Lev. 23:2) had now become the feasts of the Jews (John 5:1; 6:4; 7:2; 11:56; 19:42). Even the commandments were nullified by the traditions of men (Matt. 15:1-9; 16:6-12).
According to historians, 256,500 animals were sacrificed each Passover, so the market must have been huge. The priests sold licenses to the vendors, so this profanation must have been a large source of revenue.
Jesus made a scourge of small cords; He plaited a whip of rush-ropes and drove the animals and the sellers out of the temple. These dealers were very unpopular because of their extortions; they were also conscious that they were profaning the temple and violating the law. They were a stumbling stone (Matt. 16:23; 18:7) for those who wanted to reconcile with God.
My Father’s is a term used by Jesus 60 times of God (John 5:17, 43). The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up is the second Old Testament prophecy fulfilled in John (Psa. 69:9).