Jesus Cleanses the Temple. 3rd Sunday of Lent, Year B
Some cleaning items: broom, mop, sponges, dust cloth, etc.
In the temple courts he found men 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 area, 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! How dare you turn my Father's house into a market!" John 2:14-16 (NIV)
Mops, brooms, sponges, a dust cloth... what do we use these things for? We use them when we clean house, don't we? Do you ever help your mom with the cleaning around your house? I don't know about your mom, but there were many times when my mom thought our house needed cleaning when it looked just fine to me. Well, how do you know when it's time to clean house? Well here are some signs that will definitely let you to know that it is time to clean house.
- It is time to clean house when your feet stick to the floor when you walk through the kitchen.
- It is time to clean house when your mother can't find you when she comes into your room to wake you up in the morning.
- It is time to clean house when the kids in the neighborhood use their fingers to write "wash me" in the dirt on your windows.
- It is time to clean house when there are more dishes in the kitchen sink than there are in the cabinets.
- It is time to clean house when you have enough dust bunnies under your bed to start a bunny farm.
Well, I think you get the idea! I know that your house never gets THAT dirty, but the truth of the matter is, we all need to do a little house cleaning at times.
Today we are going to learn about a time when Jesus did some house cleaning. It was time for the annual Passover celebration, so Jesus traveled to Jerusalem. When he arrived in Jerusalem, Jesus went to the temple. He couldn't believe what he saw. Right there in the temple area he saw people who were selling cattle, sheep, and doves to be used as sacrifices in the temple. There were even tables set up where men were changing money so that people could pay their temple taxes. It looked more like a flea market than a house of worship.
Jesus did not like what he saw. He was so angry that picked up a piece of rope, made a whip, and drove the the cattle, sheep, and those who were selling them out of the temple. Next, he went to the money changers and turned their tables over, scattering coins all over the temple floor. To the ones who were selling the doves he said, "Get out of here! How dare you turn my Father's house into a market." I would say that Jesus did some serious house cleaning in the temple that day!
As we think about Jesus cleansing the temple, we should also be reminded that there is some other cleaning that needs to be done. The Bible tells us that we are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in us. (1 Cor. 3:16) The season of Lent is a good time for us to look inside ourselves and see if there is anything in us that needs to be cleansed. Are there some areas of your life where you need to do some house cleaning? I know there are in mine!
Father, help us to remember that we are your temple and that your Spirit lives in us. Help us to keep our lives clean and useful for service to you. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.