Jesus Wants to Cleanse Your Temple

The Temple in Jerusalem was a special sacred place. The temple courtyard encompassed fourteen acres with a column-lined portico all around. It could accommodate over 200,000 persons at one time.

Religious reform was needed. Religion had become ritual; worship had degenerated into works grievous to the core; spiritual truth had become hidden, hand washing had become more important than cleansing of the heart; repeating the Law was more important than keeping it. Conscience had become crushed by ceremony and the joy of worship extinguished.

How could anyone worship in this carnival-like atmosphere? The place was considered sacred, the house of God. Here the Ark of the Covenant containing the tablets on which the Ten Commandments were inscribed, abided. Little wonder Jesus’ wrath was kindled.

Jesus said they made “My Father’s house a house of merchandising.” The disciples remembered the Scripture:  Psalms 69:9.

Malachi 3:1 prophesied that immediately after the forerunner, Messiah would cleanse the temple.

Christ ran out the cattle, turned over money tables and gave them dove cages to take out (Vss. 15 & 16).  Isa. 52:13 notes He would deal prudently. His reaction was controlled indignation.

Jesus said, “Destroy this temple and I will rebuild it in three days.”  (John 2:19) They as well as many current readers missed the point. There are two words for temple. The Greek word for temple is “hieron,” (Vs. 14) means “the sacred enclosure of buildings used for worship.”

Jesus used the Greek word “naos,” meaning “dwelling place of deity.” They thought He was speaking of the physical material building, but His reference was to His physical body being resurrected.

In disbelief His critics listened to His response and mentally recorded it to later use against Him. As they walked away they murmured about 46 years being required to build the temple. Herod the Great built the “hieron,” temple, starting in 20 BC. They missed the point. 

After His resurrection His disciples remembered this statement and then understood what He meant (Vs. 22).

Some “believed” (Vs. 23)  This term simply means they accepted facts as true.  This expression does not relate to commitment. Jesus made a clear distinction between those who were merely intrigued by signs and those who looked at the signs and saw the true significance in them.

These believed in what He did. What He desires is persons who believe who He is and commit to Him as Savior. Make sure your belief is the latter.

If you have committed to Him, does your temple (your life) need cleansing? If so, make this the moment of cleansing by employing the principles in I John 1: 9: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Having our sins forgiven is a reference to our initial salvation.

Cleansing us is a reference to sins committed thereafter, our unrighteousness, being forgiven. Do you need to practice either?