Summary: When Jesus cleansed the Temple, it was symbolic of His determination to purify His Church, and, after His coming into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, to purge out the things which defile the temples of our bodies. Sanctification.
JESUS CLEANSES THE TEMPLE
1. The pharmacist in the town drug store overheard a boy talking on a cell phone. "Hello, sir, I was calling to see if you needed a lawn boy. Oh, you have one. Well, is he adequate? Oh, he is! Thank you, I was just checking," he said.
2. The pharmacist said to the boy, "Sorry you didn't get the job, son." "Oh, no sir," said the boy. "I've got the job. I was just calling to check up on myself."
3. That's not a bad idea for all of us to check up on ourselves -- spiritually! If we would get a spiritual assessment from time to time, many of us would have great benefits.
1. Imagine having a really big “Spring cleaning” at your house. You might need your own dumpster to get rid of all the junk you’ve been storing up: old bicycles, the old bed frames, the old couch, the old computers, the old Evinrude boat motor your husband won’t throw away. The old clothes and shoes, rickety chairs and scuffed tables. Whatever!
2. How gratifying to get the old junk out of your life! Why is that? Because we have the tendency to hang on to stuff and get cluttered. God feels the same way about His House too! He wants us to keep it clean. That’s the subject of our message this morning.
13 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 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. 16 To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” 17 His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.” [18 The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” 20 They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” 21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 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.]
I. HEROD’S TEMPLE
A. ZERUBBABEL’S POOR TEMPLE
1. After the 70 year period beginning 586 B.C. when the nation of Israel was taken into captivity by the Babylonian Empire, the Persian king Cyrus allowed them to go back to Jerusalem and rebuild their Temple.
2. What they built was like a large stone box when compared to the magnificent Temple that Solomon had spent billions on. When they finished the foundation, they celebrated.
3. Ezra 3:12-13 says, “But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy. No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise.”
4. But though that Temple had a lowly beginning, generation after generation improved upon it.
B. HEROD THE GREAT’S PROJECT
1. Work began in 20 BC and it was completed in A.D. 64 -- 84 years of magnificent construction!
2. The Temple area was very large. There were four terraces (or levels of ground) at the Temple. The closer you got to the Temple itself, the ground-level rose 4 times. It was very impressive!
3. There were the outer courts, the Court of Women, the Inner Court, and finally the Temple proper, which rose above all others.
4. The outer wall was 60 feet high and the Temple itself 90 feet high! The walls and Temple were made of huge white marble blocks -- as big as 24 feet long.
5. The structure was very ornate. Everywhere were carved marble gates and columns. Many surfaces of the marble or expensive wood were inlaid with gold. The highest points of the Temple were said to be capped with gold, so that the sun was blindingly reflected from it for many miles around.
C. THE LORD’S OBSERVATION
1. “As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!” “Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down” Mk. 13:1-2.