John 2:12-25

Talks for Growing Christians

The Lord’s First Cleansing of the Temple in Jerusalem

John 2:12-25

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Lesson Number 11

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. There is a place for righteous anger.
  2. There is a difference between belief and commitment.

Practical Application

  1. Don’t make God’s house a place of merchandise.
  2. Have you cleansed God’s temple?


  1. Why did Jesus go up to Jerusalem for the Passover?
  2. What did Jesus find that displeased Him when He arrived at the temple? What did He do about this situation?
  3. When the Jews asked for a sign, how did the Lord Jesus answer them? To what was He referring?
  4. Is there a place for righteous anger?
  5. Discuss the difference between belief and commitment.
  6. Is it possible today that God’s house can become a house of merchandise?


  1. In accordance with the Mosaic Law, all Jewish males were to go up to Jerusalem three times a year to celebrate certain Old Testament feasts, and the Passover was one of them.
  2. Jesus found that the temple courts had been changed into a place of commercialization. Animals for sacrifice were being sold and money was being exchanged in the temple. The attitude of the sellers was not one of worship, but to make money. Jesus cleansed the temple by driving out the animals and the people making gain. His righteous anger was predicted in the Old Testament. See Psalm 69:9.
  3. See John 2:19. He was referring to His body, but the Jews thought that He meant the temple.
  4. Yes, as in this case, when the temple of the Lord was desecrated. However, note Ephesians 4:26.
  5. In John 2:23-25 we read, “…many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did. But Jesus…knew what was in man.” There is a difference between intellectual profession of faith and heart commitment.
  6. Yes, because “religion” can be big money, and that’s why some people are in it. It’s even possible for dedicated Christians to fall prey to some get-rich-quick schemes that do not honor the name of Christ.


  1. Consider the difference between belief and commitment. Do you know someone who believes, but is not committed to Christ?
  2. Have you cleansed God’s temple? See 1 Corinthians 3:16 and 6:19.


  1. Have you ever become righteously angry? What did you do with this anger?

Key Verses

  • “Jesus said, ‘Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!’” John 2:16 “Jesus said, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’” John 2:19 “Many believed…but Jesus…knew what was in man.” John 2:23-25

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