Does your mom do what we call “Spring Cleaning?” Lots of moms like to get the house all clean and organized when the weather starts to get warm, so it’s spotless, neat, and ready for the spring and summer months. Spring just seems a good time to give our houses a good going over, clean everything, and get rid of a lot of stuff that we don’t need anymore. Our story this week is about a time when Jesus did some cleaning out of His own but in a temple (a church.) You’ll find the story in John 2:13-22 of the Bible.
It was time for the annual Passover celebration, so Jesus traveled to Jerusalem. When He arrived in Jerusalem, Jesus went to the temple. He couldn’t believe His eyes. There in the temple area, He saw people who were selling cattle, sheep, and doves for the people to use as sacrifices in the temple. There were tables set up for money changers so that people could change their money to pay their temple taxes. It looked more like a carnival than a house of worship.
Jesus did not like what He saw. He was so angry that He made a whip from some rope, and He drove the cattle and sheep and those who were selling them from the temple. He went to the tables of the money changers and turned them over, scattering coins all over the temple floor. To the ones who were selling the doves He said, “Get these out of here! How dare you turn My Father’s house into a market.” Yes, I would say that Jesus did some spring cleaning in the temple that day, wouldn’t you?
As we think about Jesus cleansing the temple, we should also think about some other cleaning that may need to be done – in us. We are in a season called Lent. At first, the word Lent meant “the season of spring.” Now it has now become much more than that. It is a time of preparation for Easter and to look inside ourselves and see if there is anything in us that need to be changed – cleansed. Are there some areas of your life where Jesus needs to do some “spring cleaning?” I know there are in mine! Maybe you fight with your brothers and sisters, or you talk back to your parents at times, or you misbehave in school. Stop and think about asking Jesus to help you do better.
Let’s say a prayer. Dear Jesus during this time of Lent and “self- cleaning,” we ask You to help us realize when we do wrong, ask You for forgiveness, and to make us clean too. In Your name we pray, Amen.
Ann Moody is a retired pastor, formerly of the Wilkesville First Presbyterian Church and the Middleport First Presbyterian Church. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author.