Summary: Anger in the Temple & Anger at the Tree - PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:


(A). Anger in the Temple (vs 12-17)

• Corruption (vs 12a)

• Cleansing (vs 12b-13)

• Criticism (vs 14-17)

(B). Anger at the Tree (vs 18-22).

• The object of his anger – a tree (vs 19)

• The moral from the story - unfruitfulness

• The lesson to apply - faith (vs 21-22)



• 23 year old Eleanor Hawkins has been in the news this week;

• She is one of five tourists arrested and charged for indecent behaviour.

• She was sentenced to three days in jail and fined £1,000

• Her crime was that she with a group of travellers posed naked for photographs;

• On the peak of Mount Kinabalu.

• The mountain is one of the most recognisable symbols of Sabah;

• And considered sacred to the state's Kadazan Dusun tribe.

• Dr Benedict Topin, executive secretary of the Kadazan Dusun Cultural Association said:

• "It is our temple,"

• Sabah's Kadazan Dusun tribe believe;

• That the mountain houses the spirits of their dead ancestors

• Eleanor Hawkins committed an act of stupidity and insensitivity;

• She deliberately or unintentionally caused great offence the Malaysian people.

• By breaking the morals and customs of the Malaysian people.


• In our passage this morning Jesus is about to upset the local people.

• He is in a sacred place and his actions will cause offence!

• But this will not be an act of stupidity or insensitivity like Eleanor Hawkins;

• It will be a calculated and precise response to something that is wrong;

• And the local men, the religious leaders may disapprove of his actions;

• Yet heaven gives a loud endorsement!

(A). Anger in the Temple (vs 12-17)


• If you asked the average person to describe Jesus in a few words,

• You might get these types of responses:

• “A good man,”

• “A kind man,”

• “A loving man,”

• “A forgiving man”.

• Very few (if at all any) will say; “an angry man!”

• Because we have all grown up with the image ‘Gentle Jesus meek and mild.’

• And though it is fair to say Jesus did not often get angry;

• He did on a number of occasions, two of those occasion are in our Bible passage today.

(1). Corruption (vs 12a).

• Verse 12a:

• “Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there.”’


• The world of sport has been shocked this last few weeks by the corruption by FIFA;

• Question: Anyone know what FIFA stands for?

• Answer: Fédération Internationale de Football Association.

• They are the mafia of football;

• They make all the major decisions and hold all the power.

• But over the last few weeks;

• A wave of corruption and bribery allegations have brought the organisation to its knees.

• This week FIFA's communications director Walter De Gregorio;

• Is the latest person to be fired.

• Although he has been fired days after making a joke on Swiss television;

• About the world governing body.

• The joke was: 'The FIFA president, secretary general and communications director;

• Are in a car. Who's driving?

• Answer: The police.'

• TRANSITION: The Temple in Jerusalem should have been a beacon of light;

• The temple should have been God’s showpiece:

• It was a place set apart for the worship of God.

• But by the time of Jesus;

• It had become a place of corruption, a place exploitation and dishonesty;

• A place to make money!

• The majority of religious leaders spelt the word Temple:

• R-I-P O-F-F= ‘RIP OFF!!!’

The reason it was corrupt and people were being ripped off was twofold:

• (1st). Temple Coinage:

• Every Jewish pilgrim over nineteen was required to pay a temple tax,

• That in itself was not wrong.

• But the religious leaders insisted it be paid in a certain type of coinage.

• And they charged the people extortionate rates to exchange their money into temple coinage

• (2). Animal sacrifices:

• Animals for sacrifice had to be inspected before they were offered.

• In the temple you could buy suitable animals for sacrifice.

• You were allowed to bring your own animals;

• But surprise, surprise these animals never passed the inspection;

• So you always ended up paying extortionate prices for temple animals to sacrifice.

• Going to the temple meant a double rip-off:

• You needed temple coins and temple animals.

• ill: Arthur Daley & Del Boy would have been proud of those religious leaders!

No wonder Jesus described the temple as ‘a den of thieves’.

• Quote: Campbell Morgan points out that ‘a den of thieves’.

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