Matthew 21:12- Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. NKJV
Tomorrow is Palm Sunday, the beginning of what is known as Holy Week. As we approach this week, most Christians are encouraged to stop the busyness of their lives and to spend time fasting, praying, and reading God’s Word. Such is the encouragement from the pulpit at our church, fondly known as PBC (featured image)!
Palm Sunday was the day of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. As He fulfilled Bible prophecy by entering the city on the colt, the people began to shout words of adoration to Him and throw palm branches in His path:
“Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Hosanna in the highest!”Matthew 21:9 NKJV
Traditionally, on Palm Sunday, we are given a sliver of a palm branch to remind us of this glorious occasion when prophecy was fulfilled, and they heralded His name! As we look forward to being in worship tomorrow, our hearts should be filled with praise for the One who gave all, so that we could know God! Truly, He was and is the only One able to redeem us from darkness so that we might have fellowship with God Almighty! He is worthy of praise!
All four gospels record the triumphal entry, but only Matthew and Luke speak of the cleansing of the temple happening immediately following it, on Palm Sunday! For this blog, I will speak of it in relation to Palm Sunday!
Jesus went into the temple and saw what He had seen before, buying and selling of doves. On this occasion, it infuriated Him:
Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves.Matthew 21:12 NKJV
Have you ever seen a depiction of this in a movie? In one movie, Jesus turns over the money changers’ tables, lets the animals go free, and then starts whipping the merchants. The place is in total chaos! I don’t know if this is a true depiction of what happened, but for Him to start turning over tables, He had to be pretty mad. Nowhere else in scripture is there so much emotion, until He starts to cleanse the temple of the ungodly activity that day!
As we approach Palm Sunday in a few hours, I believe it is a great time to ask God to cleanse our temples. Paul wrote:
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?1 Corinthians 6:19 NKJV
On the first Palm Sunday, Jesus cleansed the physical temple of worship in Jerusalem. Since then, He has been cleansing our temples of sin, sickness, and disease. But after our initial cleansing of salvation, we are bound to get dirty again. It is up to us to make sure that the temple remains clean and fit for the Master’s use. We do that through fasting and praying. Therefore, at this time of year, in many churches, time is set aside to fast and pray!
What are some things we need to ask God, in prayer, to cleanse us from? David gives us some insight:
Who perceives his unintentional sins? Cleanse me from my hidden faults. Moreover, keep your servant from willful sins; do not let them rule me. Then I will be blameless and cleansed from blatant rebellion.Psalm 19:12-13 CSB
David asks the question: Who can know his unintentional sins? What unintentional sins do you have? You may not know, but God knows! And as you fast and pray, He can reveal those things that are hidden faults, willful sins, and blatant rebellion. Because even a believer can be guilty of these things. If He doesn’t reveal anything, keep it moving!
Yes, we all sin! But we are not all hiding from our sins! Some of us go through life sinning and wait until we are caught in our sin to confess it. While others don’t go through a day without confessing their sin. There’s a place in the middle. We shouldn’t be overly sin conscience, while at the same time, we shouldn’t ignore the truth that we can still sin while in these fleshly bodies. As you spend time before the Lord, what He reveals, deal with it. Obedience is key!
After Jesus threw them out of the temple, He made a profound statement:
And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ”Matthew 21:13 NKJV
The physical house of God, the church, is to be called a house of prayer. If you can’t find prayer anywhere else, you should be able to find it in the house of God. However, the focus of this temple wasn’t prayer, but making money!
Let me remind us, that we are the temple of God. Our focus should not be on making money, taking advantage of an opportunity to procure a favor, or forgetting what we have been called to do. We are to be people of prayer.
If we were to read through the gospels, we would find that Jesus was always praying. He said that men should always pray and not give up (Luke 18:1)! At another time, He said, “when you pray,” not if you pray (Matthew 6:5)! Jesus believed so much in prayer that He modeled it for us in His own life. Prayer was His connection to God, and it serves as our connection to Him, also! So if we are seeking to be cleansed, it will happen when we pray!
Just know that you cannot cleanse yourself. Planning to stop committing a sin is a great thing, but allowing Jesus to cleanse you gives more power to the decision! A leper once said to Jesus:
“Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”Luke 5:12 NKJV
Jesus’ response to the leper was to tell him that He was willing to cleanse Him. If you ask Jesus to cleanse you, He will also cleanse you! He’s still willing.
As we prepare to enjoy the activities of Holy Week, we should want to do so, cleansed and ready to celebrate our Savior in spirit and in truth! Spend some time over the next seven days to fast and pray, allowing His Spirit the opportunity to bring cleansing into your temple. Not in anger, because you wouldn’t keep it undefiled, but in love, to make you ready for what He has in store for you! Happy Palm Sunday to you and yours! Wonderful Jesus!
4 thoughts on “Cleansing of the Temple!”
Alright Minister Well Said. LET US GIVE THANK FOR THE ONE WHO DIED FOR OUR SINS THAT WE MIGHT HAVE LIFE
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thank you! Happy Palm Sunday! Wonderful Jesus!
Yes that must have been quite a scene. I’m pretty sure his whip of cords?was for the livestock…not the merchants. Still there was a serious indignation over merchandizing of the house of God.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Lol! Excellent point, Pastor! Thanks for commenting! Wonderful Jesus!!
LikeLiked by 1 person