Summary: This message deals with Jesus as he cleanse the temple of God, restoring it to the Holiness of God.


[Sermon # 6 in Series on The Gospel of John 2021]

John 2:12-25

Greenmount and O’Leary Churches of Christ

February 21, 2021

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1.) Last week we saw some exciting events as Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding feast in Cana of Galilee.

2.) After tiring trips between Judea and Galilee Jesus and his disciples needed some time to put their feet up and regain their strength.

3.) As we pick up today’s text that was exactly what Jesus, his mother, and the disciples did.

A.) They took a few days to rest up in Capernaum before heading to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover.

aa.) So, as we pick up our text today, Jesus and those with him have gone down to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover.

ab.) Today’s text picks up the narrative at the temple of God.

aba.) As we look at the Scriptures, some might say that Jesus was doing some housekeeping in the temple; others might say that he came to clean house.

abb.) Whatever way you would describe this account of Scripture shows a side of Jesus we do not usually see.


1.) The temple had become a marketplace instead of the House of God.

A.) We come into the temple courts.(2:14a.)

B.) We usually think of these events in the temple proper, but that likely was not the case.

C.) The temple area had five sections.

ca.) Court of The Gentiles (Although the actual name used by the Jews would have been “The Mountain of The House.”

caa.) This was the courtyard that surrounded the temple itself.

cab.) Anyone was allowed here, Gentiles, foreigners, and those who at the time were ceremonially unclean could come into this section.

cac.) This outer courtyard was being used as a marketplace for the animals, and the changing of money.

cb.) Beyond this the second section was the court of women,

cc.) and then the court of Israel (also called the court of men),

cd.) followed by the court of the priests,

cd.) and finally the inner most chamber which housed the Holy of Holies accessible to only the High Priest, and that only on the Day of Atonement.

D.) When Jesus came, he found men selling cattle and sheep.

da.) These animals were being sold for sacrifices in the worship at the temple.

E.) Doves.

ea.) In the same way doves were also sold for some sacrifices.

eb.) You will recall Joseph and Mary offered doves at the birth of Jesus because of their poverty, and the law’s allowance of this for those who were unable to afford the regular sacrificial animals.

F.) He found others sitting at tables exchanging money.(2:14b.)

fa.) A few days before the Feast of Passover the half shekel temple tax would be due from each family.

fba.) These foreign currencies with the image of an emperor who was often declared to be a god, or the image of other pagan gods and goddesses were not allowed to be used in the temple.

fbb.) The money changers would have been changing the money to that of the Jewish currency.

.01) The problem was that much of this entire system had become very corrupt by Jesus day.

G.) John 2:15-16

ga.) Sometimes I have heard people say that we need to act more like Jesus.

gb.) When people will say something like that I always kind of chuckle to myself because making a whip to drive animals, and venders from the temple area is in line with the way Jesus would act


gba.) So also, was upsetting the tables of money.

gbb.) Somehow people forget about this and falsely believe that Jesus was always gentile, meek, and mild.

.01) Yet in this passage we see that when people made a mockery of God, and of the house of God that Jesus also had a side which could be much harsher.

gbc.) Last week we saw how Jesus revealed his glory and deity, and this passage today shows us the zeal for the Lord which came from these two things.

gbd.) Psalm 69:9 (2:17)

H.) The synoptic Gospels speak of a similar cleansing of the temple at the end of Jesus’ ministry.

ha.) At that time Jesus referred to the temple priesthood as a den of robbers.

hb.) Certainly, by Jesus day it had become that.

I.) It had not always been the case.

2.) It had started as a ministry.

A.) Originally, the selling of animals and the changing of money had started as a ministry to the people of God.

B.) Those coming to the feasts had to have animals for the sacrifices.

ba.) It would have been difficult bringing animals from long distances, and likewise to change your money may be hard to find places to do it as well.

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