John 2:19 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 2:19, NIV: "Jesus answered them, 'Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.'"

John 2:19, ESV: "Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”"

John 2:19, KJV: "Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."

John 2:19, NASB: "Jesus answered them, 'Destroy thistemple, and in three days I will raise it up.'"

John 2:19, NLT: "'All right,' Jesus replied. 'Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.'"

John 2:19, CSB: "Jesus answered, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it up in three days.""

What does John 2:19 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

John uses the term "the Jews" to refer to the scribes and other religious leaders. Since Jesus had just disrupted their business and caused a scene, they were right to question Him. In doing so, they challenged Him (John 1:18) to perform a miracle. This was the sign of a prophet, and would have demonstrated that Jesus' words were actually from God. This is precisely why John refers to Jesus' miracles as "signs," because they were meant to prove Christ's divinity. And yet, Jesus will point out later that even miracles don't matter to the hardened skeptic (Luke 16:31–31).

So, instead of responding with fireworks, Jesus makes a claim which almost nobody understands at first. The temple in Jerusalem had taken nearly fifty years to build. It was the most important place in Jewish society. Work on this particular temple had been nearly constant since around 20 BC. So, when Jesus claimed that He could rebuild a destroyed temple in only three days, they assumed He was crazy. However, Jesus' reference was to His future death and resurrection. After He is crucified, that connection will be clear to the disciples.