Cleaning House

“In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!” His disciples remembered that it is written:
“Zeal for your house will consume me”
(John 2:14-17)

Jesus was horrified at what had happened to the Temple of God – how it had been sullied and commercialised – making it more like a trading post than a place of reverence, worship and prayer. He immediately set about clearing and cleansing it – with a passion.

I relate to that very much, and was committed to keeping the church and its property, for which I was responsible, clean, attractive and devoted to the honour and glory of God at all times.

However on thinking about it I wonder whether I have been as devoted to keeping God’s other temple clean and clear and committed to His honour and glory.

  • “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16)
  • “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own” (1 Corinthians 6:19)
  • “For we are the temple of the living God” (2 Corinthians 6:16)

It is very easy for them to become contaminated by the things and ways of the world without our realising it. It is very easy for us to appear to be no different from those around us, whose ‘temples,’ are committed in other ways. Of course it is not in the clothes that we wear – although those will indicate something of our priorities and values. Peter talks of

  • ‘the purity and reverence of your lives’ and of
  • ‘the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great value in God’s sight.’ (1 Peter 3: 2 & 4)

Look into your temple – what needs cleansing?


Holy Spirit, please direct my attention to the things in this temple – that You have entrusted to me – which need some urgent attention. Help me to increasingly honour and glorify the Living God in and through it. Amen.