Summary: Unpacking the first clearing of the temple by Jesus of Nazareth in Jerusalem and its appplication to the Church & believer today.

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Jhn 2:12-25. Painful but needful

After the wedding Jesus travels down from the hill country of Cana ( 16 miles) to Capernaum by the sea of Galilee. Here we see they stayed a few days ( this area served as head quarters during his ministry) (12). The Passover was approaching and so they went up ( raised on a hill) to Jerusalem (13) to celebrate the Passover .


( A Jewish festival Ex 12:1-28 ) which commemorated their redemption out of Egypt each household would bring a sacrificial lamb for each household. This day was a lasting memorial in the Jewish calendar (Ex 12:14). It also coincided with the feast of unleavened bread, which lasted for 7 days. In the 1st month from the 14th day to 21st day all leaven would be removed from households and they would eat unleavened bread, with a sacred assembly on the 1st day and the 7th. With no work being done on those particular days.


Earlier we saw Jesus celebrating with others at a wedding , where the atmosphere was filled with blessed Joy where Jesus performed the 1st of His miraculous signs which revealed His glory. Here it’s a complete different atmosphere at the temple, its palpable you can cut the air with a knife, Jesus is filled with Holy indignation and acts with a prophetic zeal , he makes a whip of cords (15) and sets about clearing the temple of the traders selling animals for worship (Court of the Gentiles) and the money exchangers . It a very painful experience to see Jesus in this way, but very needful.

• The dentist for me as a child was always a fearful & painful experience, as the dentist examines my teeth, I know he is going to find some decay, and action is going to be needed to be taken the whole experience is going to be painful but needful, if we are to stop the decay. To get the teeth into a healthy condition, if left the decay will spread and the pain will intensify & so it is here we have Jesus entering the temple and upon examination he has to eradicate all which was unhealthy.

The atmosphere:

tense, dust is in the air, Jesus has made a whip and is whipping the traders around him, turning over their tables, money scattering over the floor, people are being pushed around , pigeons are taking flight, the sheep & goats are running loose, people are being pushed left right and centre, a cacophony of noise echo’s the temple courts, as the tables are being overturned, temple money scattered all over the place, people are their hands and knees scrambling for money, the place is in uproar. And then the disciples remembered the Scriptures (so important) (17) “ Zeal for your house will consume me.”

What was wrong?

Isn’t Jesus just OTT. After all these traders were doing a service for the people coming up to the Passover and festivities they were offering sacrifices for people to offer before God. It was an act of worship, Also these traders offered people a service it saved people from bringing up to Jerusalem their own livestock, especially if they travelled miles, these animals after all were also officially recognised by the priests as livestock worthy to sacrifice, also they had always done it this way, after all everybody was doing it in the temple courts, so what’s the big problem Jesus?

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