It is the third Sunday in Lent. The title of today’s cantata is “Herr, deine Augen sehen nach dem Glauben” (Lord, Your eyes look for faith).
Today’s Gospel reading is John 2:13-22:
Jesus Clears the Temple Courts
When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”
The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”
Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”
They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” But the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.
The text of today’s cantata is available here. It was originally composed for the Tenth Sunday after Trinity, when the Gospel reading (at the time) was Luke’s description of the same incident in Luke 19:41-28: the expulsion of the money changers from the temple. The beginning of the cantata contains these words:
Lord, Your eyes look for faith! You strike
them, but they do not feel it; you plague
them, but they do not improve. Their
countenance is harder than a rock and they
will not turn themselves around.
And the first recitative begins in this way:
Where is the reflection that God polished for us,
when the perverted will sets itself against Him?
The melody of the final chorale is based on Martin Luther’s hymn “Vater unser im Himmelreich.”