One of the earliest confrontations of Jesus happened in Jerusalem’s temple. John the Apostle, author of the fourth gospel of Jesus Christ, wrote of this event very early in that narrative1. There John told of the wedding miracle and followed it with Jesus’ first ministerial trip to Jerusalem. It was a trip made during the Passover.
Not being Jesus’ first Passover he made a beeline to the Temple. There he fashioned a whip and chased away the money changers, the sacrifice sellers, and others involved in that abusive micro-market of worship profiteering. Had that been on his mind all his life? He would not have needed insight from the Holy Spirit to have perceived this. Jesus wrecked the profit motive that Passover and initiated his 3-year collision course with the false shepherds of the establishment.
I raise this episode before our Revelation passage because of the manner in which Jesus responded to the investigating temple authorities. They arrived on the scene to challenge Jesus, but he was up to that task.
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. (John 2:18-21–ESV)
In A.D. 70 the Romans destroyed that second of the Jewish temples. They are still hoping to rebuild it, but world events have long kept that at bay. One of the most crucial, current limitations is that oldest of Islamic shrines: the Dome of the Rock. It sits atop the Temple Mount and has since 691 A.D.