Clean the Temple

28 January 2018 AM – Mark 11:12-19 – Mr17 – Scott Childs

Introduction: Read text. On the day following Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, Jesus and His disciples returned to the city. They likely entered the eastern gate, called the “Golden Gate”. This gate led directly to the temple. As Jesus cleansed the Temple, did He love those He cast out? Yes! His act of discipline was an act of love. (Proverbs 13:24) “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.” He wanted them to repent rather than give account to God on Judgment Day for their irreverence in the Temple.

Transition: As we examine this section of Scripture, I want us to note Jesus’ actions, His authority, and the applications for us today.

1.        Jesus’ Actions (v.15-16)

a.         Jesus cast out the merchants (v.15)
1)         The word translated “cast out” means to drive out or to send out with force; to expel.
2)         He expelled four groups of corrupt people: sheep-sellers, buyers, moneychangers, and dove-sellers.
3)         Why were all these things taking place in the Temple?
a)         People needed clean animals to sacrifice in the Temple. Rather than selling the animals in the street outside the Temple, it was easier to do it inside.
b)         Moneychangers exchanged foreign money for the Jewish coins required for the Temple tax.
c)         Jesus singled out those who sold doves, probably because they were guilty of overcharging the poor who could not afford to buy sheep or goats. God has a tender place in His heart for those who are genuinely poor (Pro 19:17 and many other).
4)         Those who only see the “love” of God must overlook passages like this. Though He loved them, Jesus dealt sternly with these people because of their sinful practices.
5)         This is another example of separation found in the Bible. Jesus did not say, “Well, if you can’t beat them, join them.” He did not say, “They are such nice people so let’s overlook what they are doing.” He did not say, “Let’s not make waves. We don’t want to upset anyone.” No, He cast out those who were doing wrong.
b.         Jesus then guarded the Temple entry (v.16)
1)         The KJV word “suffer” simply means to allow. Jesus did not allow anyone to carry any vessel through the Temple.
2)         If someone tried, Jesus stopped them. Jesus actually took control of the Temple singlehandedly.
3)         He did not want anything to pollute His house of prayer. It was not a place of business but of worship and prayer.

2.        Jesus’ Authority (v.17-18)

a.         Jesus taught from the Scriptures
1)         Once the merchants, their animals and doves were removed from the Temple, and the moneychangers gathered what they could and fled, the atmosphere of the Temple completely changed. The loud noise of bleating sheep, cooing doves, and the bartering of moneychangers was now gone. It was quiet and all eyes were on Jesus.
2)         In that quiet moment, Jesus stood up and taught the people. Jesus quoted from two Old Testament passages.
a)         (Isaiah 56:7) “… mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.”
b)         (Jeremiah 7:11) “Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? …”
3)         The Scriptures are to be our supreme authority. That is a key distinctive of Independent Baptists.
a)         The Bible clearly teaches that salvation is by faith in Christ alone and not by any works.
b)         The Bible clearly states that God is not willing that any perish; that God loves the world; that whosoever will may come.
c)         The Bible clearly says that baptism is always by immersion and that it does not save.
d)         The Bible clearly teaches soul liberty, the priesthood of every believer, the autonomy of every local church, a symbolic Lord’s Supper, and that we must separate from sin and erring believers.
b.         Jesus’ authority brought fear to His enemies
1)         Not only did Jesus use the Scriptures authoritatively, but His fearless actions exhibited His divine authority. No one else would dare to do what Jesus had just done. He cleansed the Temple with no bloodshed or opposition.
2)         The scribes and the chief priests wanted to destroy Jesus, but they were afraid for their own lives. They feared that the crowd would resort to mob violence and kill them for trying to stop Jesus.

3.        Application for Us Today

As we apply what we have learned, I too want you to know that I love you. My goal is to help you avoid being irreverent so that on Judgment Day you may receive the Lord’s joyful “Well done” rather than His chastening rebuke and loss of reward.

a.         As Christians, we are part of God’s spiritual house
1)         Peter wrote, (1 Peter 2:5) “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”
2)         God expects us to live up to our new standing.
3)         Being part of a holy priesthood, we must keep ourselves holy. Peter wrote, (1 Peter 1:14-16) “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”
b.         Like the Temple, church is a place of worship
1)         Jesus drove out those who were unholy.
2)         In the O.T., priests were required to wear holy garments when they went into the tabernacle (Ex 28:2). “Holy” means separated or set apart, not common.
3)         We too ought to dress up for church to honour the Lord. Unless we cannot avoid it, everyday casual dress is not befitting the KING of Kings. I know that dress clothes are not as comfortable as casuals, but the Lord will honour you if you honour Him. The Lord told Eli, “them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.” (1Sa 2:30)
4)         Also, wearing clothing to a church service that is draws attention to your body dishonours the Lord. What we wear should never cause a person to take a second lustful look. Cover your thighs, shoulders, neckline and back. If in doubt, don’t wear it.
c.          Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit
1)         (1 Corinthians 3:16-17) “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
2)         Just as Jesus required that the Temple be kept holy and the priests to dress holy, so God requires that we keep our body temples holy. God said He will destroy those who defile His Temple. That does not mean that you will lose your salvation if you defile your body with cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, tattoos, worldly hairstyles or by wearing immodest clothing, but it does mean that God will deal severely with such sins.
O  As in Jesus’ day, it is easy to do what is convenient but not right. Though convenient, the sale of sheep, doves and moneychangers was irreverent in the temple. God has a high standard for our lives. We are to be examples and lights in this evil world.

Conclusion: Jesus demanded that His Temple be kept clean and holy as a house of prayer. We must do the same with our physical temples. This is not an option. God commands “be ye holy”. We dare not justify our unholiness or make excuses for it. The activities, clothing and styles of the world are opposite to God’s standard for holiness. We must do as God said in (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22) “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.”

If you keep your temple clean and holy, Christ won’t have to cleanse it sternly when you stand before Him on Judgment Day.

Song: Nothing Between – 321