By what sign do you do these things? How shall we recognize a true prophet?

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SA 160 Jeremia op de puinhopen van JeruzalemJohn’s version of the cleansing of the temple has it take place in the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry, not as part of the events of Holy Week. In John’s version, Jesus’ actions driving out the cattle and overturning the money changing tables doesn’t cause an angry response, but instead it raises questions.

By what sign do you do this? The people recognized that Jesus was acting in the traditional way of a prophet. But prophets needed to be authenticated, usually by a sign or a foretelling of an event. In this case, Jesus does both, but it is not until after the events of Holy Week and Easter, years later that the sign is recognized and understood.

So how do we tell when someone speaks a true prophetic word to us today?