John 2:17-22 (ANIV)
17 His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.” 
18 Then the Jews demanded of him, “What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”
19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”
20 The Jews replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” 21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.
TIME OF DAY:
Not specified in the Bible narrative. I have set this scene in the mid morning, moments after the previous scene.
The sun (in a cloudy sky) illuminates this scene, from the East (right), casting shadows to the left of figures & objects.
From left to right: Five Jewish leaders (note: Nicodemus is the one closest to Jesus).
Jesus (in his usual blue outer robe), Andrew, Simon/Peter, Judas Iscariot.
There are two versions of this scene:
01) (Previous page) John 02 – Jesus clears the temple – Scene 05 – I will raise this temple in 3 days (Version 01). This version has no foreground details, i.e. the overturned tables, sheep, man in green, etc.
02) (This page) John 02 – Jesus clears the temple – Scene 05 – I will raise this temple in 3 days (Version 01). This version includes the details in the foreground: overturned tables, a sheep, a man (in green outer robe) bending down & picking up coins from the courtyard pavement.
This scene shows some Jewish leaders confronting Jesus, just after he has overturned the money lenders tables & driven out the animals & doves from the courtyard of the Gentiles, in the temple, in Jerusalem. In some Bible translations of verse 18 it simple says “Then the Jews demanded…”, in the New Living Translation it says “The Jewish leaders”. I imagine it was indeed the chief priests, Pharisees, Sadducees &/or members of the Sanhedrin (the Jewish governing body) that asked Jesus for a miraculous sign to “prove” his credentials/authority to do what he had done. The five figures on the left hand side of my scene are dressed in fine clothes, which represent their status of being the leaders of the Jews.
I decided to include Nicodemus in the group of Jewish leaders; he is the figure closes to Jesus. Nicodemus has an expression of doubt, curiousity, or uncertainty regarding Jesus, whereas the other leaders expressions are ones of offence, anger, resentment & jealousy. We know that Nicodemus met up with Jesus late at night & talked with him (see John chp 03), so it seemed natural to put Nicodemus in this earlier scene, where he might first have observed Jesus in action. Perhaps this encounter in chp 02 fuelled Nicodemus’s curiousity about Jesus, & led to their discussion in chp 03.
Notice that I have drawn Jesus pointing to himself, referring to his own body as “the temple” in his words of verse 19, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” The Jews thought he meant the temple building in front of them; Jesus obviously meant his own body as THE temple.
I decided to only include 4 of the 12 apostles in this scene, the others are out of view somewhere close by! I thought I would include Judas Iscariot in this scene, looking slightly surprised, or perhaps even now (early in his discipleship journey) wondering how he might turn events to his own advantage?
The 2 pale stone columns represent the main, eastern entrance to the temple complex. Only Jewish men & women could go through this entrance, into the courtyard of the women. More centrally, only men could go into the courtyard of the priests. And only priests & the high priest could go into the temple building itself (the tall, pale building, in the centre of the temple complex).
The drawing below shows the approximate position of Jesus & his disciples (the blue dot) standing in the courtyard of the Gentiles, in the temple of Jerusalem. The blue arrow shows the direction of view in the scene (towards the South West).
Jerusalem – Temple – JC position – John 05 – Scene 05
If you want to buy this drawing (without the blue dot & arrow!) follow this link to the BC maps section:
Link to related Map
Click blue bar below to see a Map showing the city and tower of babel, with purchase option:
Here is the scene without the figures in the foreground.
John 02 – Jesus clears the temple – Scene 05 – I will raise this temple in 3 days – Background
Here is the original pencil sketch I drew to design this scene.
John 02 – Jesus clears the temple – Scene 05 – I will raise this temple in 3 days – Greyscale
Notice in this first imagining of the scene, I drew an arched entrance to the temple. After some research I realised that the entrance was more probably rectangular, possibly with columns by the entrance, so I have drawn the coloured version with this architectural style in mind.