So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?”
But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 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.
Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.
It makes sense that the Jews questioned Jesus' authority here. After all, he had just cleared the temple court and challenged the way that they made money selling sheep, oxen and pigeons. They felt they had a right to see some authoritative sign to validate Jesus' right to do such a thing - such is the reasoning of many religious people when confronted by a prophet. Inwardly they knew that they were doing something wrong but their brainy rationalizations trumped their inner understandings.
Instead of trying to understand what Jesus was trying to tell them they jumped to a conclusion and missed the entire point. Perhaps if they would have questioned him further.. with sincere hearts.. Jesus would have told them that the temple that would be raised was the temple of his body. But such are the reactions of religious people when the conversation turns spiritual. They are comfortable speaking of religious rites and practices but struggle with spiritual things. Their focus is external when it should be internal.
Lord, help me to trust you with all of my heart and not lean on my own understanding.