18 So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 22 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.
This is an amazing moment in the ministry of Jesus. He had just cleared the temple of the money changers and the sellers which caused the religious leaders to be incensed with him. So they confront Jesus with a “who do you think you are” attitude. His response must have been both laughable and strange because the minds of the Pharisees were on the material and not on the spiritual, so when Jesus said he would rebuild “this” temple in three days they immediately thought the brink and mortar temple that had taken 46 years to build (and technically was not even finished). But Jesus was speaking of his death and resurrection. For us who are 2000 years removed from this event and who have the 20/20 hindsight of the post resurrected Christ we don’t feel the tension of this moment, but we are called to have the same response the disciples had where it says “they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.” They believed Jesus and the Word of God. Today we don’t have the physical presence of Jesus, but we do have his words, and not only do we have his words we have the whole Word, the whole revelation of God written for us and what it says we are called to believe, even when it may seem strange to our understanding just like it was strange for the Pharisees to hear that Jesus would raise up the temple in three days. He did just as he said he would despite their misunderstanding. The disciples of Christ believed everything taught in the Scriptures and by Jesus – will you?