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Jesus cleanses His temple

Rev. Charles Oppong-Poku | July 14, 2023 | Matthew 21:12-13


¹²Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. ¹³“It is written,” he said to them,“‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it 'a den of robbers'" Matthew 21:12-13 (NIV).


In Matthew 21:12-13, we witness a profound moment where Jesus cleanses the temple. This event holds significant lessons for us as believers in Christ. The temple was meant to be a sacred space dedicated to prayer and worship—a place where people could encounter the living God. However, Jesus found it desecrated by money changers and merchants. Through His actions, He expressed His deep concern for the sanctity of His Father's house. Jesus' cleansing of the temple reveals His intolerance for hypocrisy.

The religious leaders had turned the temple into a marketplace, prioritizing financial gain over spiritual transformation. Jesus confronted their hypocrisy and challenged us to evaluate our own lives. The temple was a symbol of God's presence among His people. Jesus' cleansing of the temple emphasizes the holiness of God and His expectation for reverence in His house. As believers, we are temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). Just as Jesus cleansed the physical temple, He desires to purify and sanctify our lives, making us vessels of His presence and reflecting His holiness to the world.

The religious leaders had reduced worship to a series of empty rituals and profit-driven transactions. True worship is not about external observances but about the condition of our hearts. Jesus invites us to worship God in spirit and truth (John 4:24), cultivating a genuine relationship with Him that extends beyond superficial practices. Jesus' actions were not destructive but redemptive. His desire was to restore the temple to its original purpose — a place of worship and encounter with God. In the same way, He desires to restore and renew our lives. When we allow Jesus to cleanse our hearts, removing the clutter of sin, He brings us back to our intended purpose—to glorify God and enjoy a vibrant relationship with Him.


The cleansing of the temple challenges us to examine the condition of our hearts and our places of worship. Let us foster an atmosphere of prayer, sincerity, and reverence in our lives and churches. Are there areas where we prioritize worldly pursuits over our relationship with God? Are we guilty of wearing a facade of spirituality while harbouring impure motives? Let us allow Jesus to cleanse our hearts from all forms of hypocrisy, inviting Him to transform us into authentic followers who genuinely seek His will.


Dear Jesus, we come before You with humble hearts, acknowledging Your authority and holiness. We ask for Your cleansing presence to fill our churches and our hearts. We confess any hypocrisy, worldly distractions, or selfish motives that have crept in. Cleanse us, Jesus. Cleanse our churches of any practices or attitudes that prioritize material gain over worship, prayer, and genuine encounter with You. For your name’s sake. Amen



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