Sermon

Jesus Cleans the Temple

Theme

Jesus cleans the temple

Object

Broom; paper towels; window cleaner; mop

Scripture

John 2:13-22

Mops, brooms, and window cleaner...what do we use these things for? (Pause.) We use them when we clean houses. Do you ever help your parents clean your house? (Pause.)

Let’s see how good you are at pretending to clean. When I hold up the broom, stand up and pretend to be sweeping the floor. (Demonstrate the motion.) When I hold up the paper towels and window spray, pretend to spray and scrub a window. (Demonstrate the motion.) When I hold up the mop, stay seated and pretend to use a mop in circles to clean the floor. (Demonstrate the motion.)

Hold up each item several times, sometimes repeating the same item twice in a row.  Play until kids get tired.

How do you know it's time to clean house? Here are some signs that will let you know.

  • It’s time to clean house when your feet stick to the floor when you walk through the kitchen.

  • It’s 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’s time to clean house when the kids in the neighborhood use their fingers to write "wash me" in the dirt on your windows.

  • It’s time to clean house when there are more dishes in the kitchen sink than there are in the cabinets.

  • It’s time to clean house when you have enough dust bunnies under your bed to start a bunny farm.

I think you get the idea! Today we’re going to learn about a time Jesus did some house cleaning. It was time for the annual Passover celebration, so Jesus traveled to Jerusalem. When He went to the temple, He couldn't believe what He saw. People were selling cattle, sheep, and doves to be used as sacrifices in the temple. Some men were even charging people to change their money so they could pay their temple taxes. It looked more like a flea market than a place to worship God.

Jesus was so angry that He made a whip from rope, and drove the cattle, sheep, and those who were selling them out of the temple. He also turned over the money changers’ tables. 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!." Jesus did some serious house cleaning that day!

As we think about Jesus cleansing the temple, we can 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 Corinthians. 3:16). This season of Lent is a good time for us to think about how our hearts might need cleansing. 

God, 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, amen.

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