As I listened to today’s Gospel from john about the Cleansing of the Temple…and Jesus exchange with the Pharisees (…“tear down this temple and I will raise it up in three days…”)
I thought, there is something more here.
John explains that Jesus was talking about His body - not the temple building itself . However there is also a lesson in taking it as the Jews did - that He was talking about the temple building…
Jesus had a way of trying to draw more out of people…of getting them out of their comfort zone…of challenging them to more trust and faith. We see this in several places, the rich young man’s questions on obtaining eternal life, or the Samaritan woman’s comment about eating the scraps that fall from the master’s table are both examples of this.
Likewise we see Jesus express a healing miracle, not as some “sign” from Himself, but as the result of the person’s faith - of their trust.
In all of these cases, Jesus is looking for and challenging and/or rewarding that which the person brings to the matter. Those who are healed not only bring trust, but are willing to sacrifice. Those who “seek signs” only bring skepticism and mistrust.
In John’s passage here, I see something similar. Jesus is challenging the temple authorities to see what they bring. They want to see a “sign”…Jesus is asking them what they are willing to sacrifice in order to obtain that sign. His challenge is great (tear down the temple) simply because their skepticism is great.
They have not believed the many signs already displayed and reported to them because their fear and skepticism was so great. Thus - the only way to overcome that would be an immense sign…but an immense sign requires immense trust…something that Jesus knew they did not have…
I dunno - - Just a thought - -