(This message may be used as an individual sermon or as part of the series.)

John 2:12-22 – CLUTTER!

Life of Christ #10 of 61 

The American Heritage Dictionary defines “clutter” as “A confused or disordered state or collection; a jumble.”  Most of us are familiar with clutter. 

Clutter is not a modern phenomenon.  They had clutter in the day of our Lord Jesus. 

We want to look at clutter as found in the temple at Jerusalem in Jesus’ Day and often found in the temple of God today. 

Vs. 13 – The feast of the Passover commemorated the deliverance which the Lord gave from Egypt under the leadership of Moses. The night which Pharaoh finally let the Jewish people leave was accentuated by the plague of the death of the first born. Every home in Egypt was affected with the death of the first born except the homes of the Jewish people which had applied blood of a spotless lamb to their doorposts. 

God had commanded that the Passover become a yearly feast. Our Lord and His disciples went up for this feast to Jerusalem. 

Vs. 14 – Our Lord visited the temple. This was to be the place where the presence or glory of God was to be present here upon earth.  It was God’s House.  

Our Lord entered the “Court of the Gentiles”.  The Gentiles were not allowed in the inner confines of the Temple, but they were allowed in this outer court where they could pray and seek God. 

What did Jesus find when He entered the Court of the Gentiles?  He found clutter! 

There were all sorts of animals. These were sold to be used as sacrifices before God.  Also a temple tax was to be paid, and money was converted here from other currencies into temple currencies. 

Here was the House of God being used as a market. 

Vs. 15 – Jesus was angered by the sin!

He made a whip and drove them all out of the temple.

He did a complete, thorough, housecleaning that removed all the clutter. 

Vs. 16 – Jesus told the ones who sold doves to leave. He didn’t want His Father’s house to be a house of business. 

In the second cleansing of the temple at the end of Jesus’ life, Jesus made this very bold statement, in Matthew 21:13, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves. 

Vs. 17 – The disciples remembered a prophecy concerning the Lord Jesus in Psalm 69:9.  Jesus certainly fulfilled that prophecy with His zeal, His passion that the temple be cleansed.

Vs. 18 – Jesus had touched a nerve.  This was a money making operation. 

The Jews wanted to know what authority Jesus had to come in and start cleaning up, removing the clutter. 

Vs. 19 – Jesus, of course, was talking of his death, burial, and resurrection. He would be put to death for the sins of the world.  However in three days he would rise again.  

Jesus’ resurrection from the dead was the proof that He had the authority to cleanse the temple. 

Vss. 20-22 – The Jews did not understand what Jesus was talking about, but later the disciples figured it out. 

So Jesus removed the clutter from the temple in His own day.

Jesus is still cleansing temples today.  

When you trust Jesus as your Savior you are cleansed from sin. The clutter of sin has been paid for. 

A very special thing happens.  Because the Spirit of Christ lives inside of you, because the Lord Jesus lives inside of you, you become the temple of God.  You become God’s home.  You become God’s dwelling.   1 Corinthians 6:19-20, John 14:16-18 

Jesus dwells inside of you!  You are God’s temple!

So, because Jesus is in you, let’s talk about His cleansing our temples today. Let’s talk about his cleansing us.   


We let things clutter our thoughts when we should be worshipping and serving the Lord. Some of these are very good things, some of them are not.

What are some of the things that clutter our thinking? 

  • Some of us allow sports to clutter our thinking. We preoccupied with the world of sports.
  • There are some who preoccupied with hunting. How many of us have been out in the woods mentally when we should have been paying attention to a sermon, a school lesson, or something else.
  • Some of us are distracted by certain kinds of music whose words are anything but Godly, and do not cause us to think in healthy thought patterns.

     Let me ask you.

  • Of course, there’s the kids and no matter what their age, they can preoccupy our thoughts and our worries.
  • School will tend to get us distracted, whether it’s the desire to study, or to party, or mess around, or do as little as possible, school can consume our thoughts.
  • And then there’s our love for cars. We can let hot wheels, and just the privilege of driving take our thoughts away from what is really important.  We can also let the distraction of car repairs clutter our thoughts as well.
  • Guys, gals, love, marriage, sexual activity, and for some pornography can clutter our thinking.
  • And of course with the Satellite Dish the TV can take up more time than ever, if we are not careful. If you ever stayed home from church, to watch TV, shame on you!
  • Movies are often a distraction. Some of you know more about the latest movie than you do your Bibles.  And it makes sense. You’ve spent more time with the movies than the Bible.  If we are not careful they can affect our thought lives. Be careful what movies you watch.
  • Guys and girls alike get distracted by taking care of their looks. And let me say this, we should never dress to show off what we’ve got. We should take care of ourselves to look presentable, even attractive, but we should not be obsessed with it and always be modest. Remember, if you’re saved, you are God’s temple.  The way you dress should indicate that God dwells inside.  This should be true all the time, but especially on Sunday Morning.
  • Some are obsessed with food. That takes up a lot of their thinking and their activity. Remember, it is moderation that glorifies God.
  • Some get distracted by home repairs and dwell on them when they should be dwelling on God!
  • Some are distracted by the love of money (dollar sign). And remember you don’t have to have money in order to love it. It is the love of money that is the root of all evil.
  • Some are distracted by work and dreaming of climbing the corporate ladder (fellow at computer)
  • And finally many are consumed by their worries, that is they are consumed by themselves. They love themselves. (man worrying) 

As you can see there’s lots of potential for clutter in our lives.  It is usually more than one of these that adds to the clutter. 


Jesus was angry because the temple in his day had become a market and a den of thieves!  Who are the thieves on the screen behind me that are cluttering your life? 

Jesus was zealous for the temple because it was His Father’s house.  If we are the Temple of God today, you can imagine how incensed Jesus can get when we do not put God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit in their proper places.

You can imagine how angry He becomes when we worship other gods. 

Matthew 22:37-40Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. [38] This is the first and great commandment. [39] And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. [40] On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. 

James 4:4Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. 




Listen to these two challenges from our Lord. 

John 2:16And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. 

Matthew 21:13And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves. 

What is it that Jesus is telling you that has to go from your temple in order to remove clutter.  Are you more interested in business, family and fun than you are the things of God? 


All Jesus needs is your cooperation and He will remove the clutter.

Will you let Him?

Will you ask Him to show you the clutter?

Will you let Him remove move it? 

It is time for Godly sorrow for the clutter that keeps us from Jesus.  As we confess and forsake, He will remove the clutter.

Psalm 32:5I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.

James 4:7-10Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. [8] Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. [9] Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. [10] Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. 



Jesus had the authority to cleanse the temple in your day.

He has the authority to cleanse your temple.

But He will only do it as you let Him. 

When Jesus is truly Lord in your life, He will take out the clutter and replace it with better things.

These better things belong in the Temple of God. 


He will never leave or forsake us. 

We can abide Him and enjoy fellowship with Him.


We can spend our time and energy giving adoration and thanksgiving to Him.


We can constantly bombard the throne of Grace.


God’s Word is to be our love and joy.


As the Holy Spirit controls us we can be very productive.


We have to think and pray about doing good to others before we can actually do good works to benefit others. 

Let Jesus be the authority in your life, and your life style is guaranteed to change.

Let the Lord Jesus deal with the clutter!