Summary: This message helps us get a Biblical understadning of the nature of God's discipline. We may not like it but we need it. He always disciplines out of love for us.

“The Day God Cleaned House”

John 2:12-22

Parents will often say to their children when they are about to discipline them these famous words, “this is going to hurt me more than it’s going to hurt you.” I never believed that for a moment until it came time for me to discipline my children. If you love your children it hurts to discipline them. But if you don’t do it, you will destroy them. Children need discipline. They need to learn in a loving environment what the boundaries are in life instead of just being allowed to do as they please. Because there are boundaries in life.

We discipline our children because we love them. You want them to learn right from wrong. You want them to make the right choices in life.... even when those decisions are difficult. Even when they’re different from the choices that everyone around them are making. Healthy discipline develops character and may keep them from turning into characters.

And that is exactly what Jesus was doing in this passage. Following the wedding in Cana where Jesus had preformed His first miracle, Jesus then went with His family and His disciples and went down to Capernaum and Capernaum would become kind of a home base for Jesus for His ministry from this point forward. They stayed for a few days and then headed to Jerusalem. It was the time of the Passover which meant that the Jews who were faithful headed to Jerusalem to celebrate. So Jesus went but when He got there things were not as they should be. Now you will recall that in the OT, God required the Jews to celebrate the Passover as a way to remind themselves of how God had delivered them out of Egypt. In the days of Moses God sent a series of plagues to convince Pharaoh to let the children of Israel go. But Pharaohs’ heart was very hard. God had sent 9 plagues and still no response. So now he sent the final plague, a 10th one. He sent a messenger to kill the firstborn son of each family in Egypt but He also offered a way out for them. To preserve the life of their son they would need to kill an innocent lamb and apply the blood of the lamb to the door post. When the messenger would see the blood then he would pass over the house and the child would be spared. Pharaoh was finally convinced and then he released the Israelites. On that day God told the Israelites that they must remember what God had done for them by celebrating the Passover each year by sacrificing an innocent lamb, one without blemish and enjoying the meal as a family. They were also told that if possible they were to go to Jerusalem to do this. So this is why Jesus and His family were there. Now enough background.

I want you to imagine with me if you will, what they saw when they got there. The Jews had greatly multiplied by this time so hundreds of thousands of Jews would have flooded the city. Like a national convention. Like the Olympics had come to town. And all of that attention and the size of the crowd meant one thing. Money. The economic impact was huge. When the time for the Passover arrived, the merchants made a lot of money. They knew how to market to the needs of the people. You see they knew where all the people were heading. Real Estate people will tell you there are 3 things that are important when someone is buying ... location, location, location. Location is everything so they set up shop where the people are going to be ... the temple.

When Jesus arrived this place that was a holy place had basically been turned into a giant flea market. But worse than that was what they were selling. They were selling religion. Most of the people who came to Jerusalem for Passover had traveled a very long way. Travel was already tough but imagine trying to travel with the animals for their sacrifice. Almost impossible. Depending on what type of offering you were making that would decide the type of animal you needed. Could be a bull, a dove ... for Passover everyone was required to bring or purchase a lamb. So it would be a burden to bring them all along. Even if you decided to bring your own animals they had to be perfect, no spot or blemish. And you were not the one who got to decide. The priest was. So many no doubt brought their own animals only to have them turned down by the priest. They were the ones making a profit so they turned many of them down. The one they brought would likely never pass inspection. So you had to purchase one from them They had a monopoly going and anytime there is a monopoly people will take advantage of someone. And they did. They charged high prices and they people had no choice but to pay it. Sp here were those who wold the cattle, sheep, doves and right by them were the money changers. Extorting money, taking it from people who simply came to worship their Lord. There they were taking large amounts of money, didn’t care about the people ... there they were when in walked Jesus.

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