The Alpha and Omega

FOCUS PASSAGE: John 2:12-17

In this passage, John seems to record an earlier event in which Jesus entered into the temple in Jerusalem and drove out the money-changers rather than the temple-cleansing event described in the other three gospels (see the 7/9/22 post, “Be Angry, Yet Do Not Sin). John placed this cleansing of the temple shortly after Jesus began His ministry, immediately after His first miracle of turning water into wine. The other three gospels describe this event as taking place near the end of Jesus’ ministry, during the week of His crucifixion. Apparently, Jesus cleansed the temple two different times—one at the beginning of His ministry, and one at its conclusion.

ALPHA- First; beginning

OMEGA- Last; end

(Also, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet)

Both of the occurrences described above concerned the zeal Jesus had for the purity of His Father’s house, the Holy Temple. Jesus said that He would return for a glorious church (the called out believers in Christ who would be the temple of His Holy Spirit) who should be holy and without blemish (Ephesians 5:27). We know that almost from the start, the early church was infiltrated with false teachers and troublesome practices; moreover, at the end of Jesus’ time on earth, the church was still struggling with unholy ways. It is therefore notable that right at the beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry, he purified the temple—His church; and also at the end, He continued to address its’ impurity, cleansing the temple once again before He finished His earthly work.

And so, although Jesus is the Alpha and Omega in many different ways, it is significant that at the beginning and the end of His earthly ministry He concerned Himself with the holiness and glory of His church. May we have the heart of Jesus and keep our temples pure—an effective house of prayer.

Without spot or blemish…”

Ephesians 5:27