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Jesus Cleans Out the Temple: Third Sunday in Lent March 3, 2024

Updated: Mar 3

JESUS CLEAN'S OUT His Father's House of Prayer: John 2: 13-25

Be sure to watch this video before Sunday Mass and review it after Mass!

Read JOHN 2:13-25 from the Catholic Children's BIBLE, page 1651 several times.

Write out or draw what the Holy Spirit is guiding you to remember and share with others and add this to your Family Catechesis Binder.

We pray that you are faithfully working on one or more of your Lenten Promises to God: To pray more each day, to read, study, and share the Sunday Gospel reading, and to love God and SERVE others with all your heart!!!.

A Reading from the Gospel of John 2:13–25:

Cleansing of the Temple

Since the Passover of the Jews was near, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, as well as the money changers seated there.

He made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen, and spilled the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables, and to those who sold doves he said, “Take these out of here, and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.” His disciples recalled the words of Scripture, Devotion for your house will consume me.

At this the Jews answered and said to him, “What sign can you show us for doing this?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews said, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and you will raise it up in three days?” But he was speaking about the temple of his body.

Therefore, when he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they came to believe the Scripture and the word Jesus had spoken. While he was in Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, many began to believe in his name when they saw the signs he was doing. But Jesus would not trust himself to them because he knew them all, and did not need anyone to testify about human nature. He himself understood it well.


The animals that were being sold in the Temple area were the kinds of animals the Jewish people offered as sacrifice in the Temple. At certain times of year, the Jews were required to offer an animal sacrifice to God, according to Jewish law. People from all over the world came to the Temple to worship God and to offer sacrifice. The people selling animals for sacrifice could charge whatever they wanted for the animals. Sometimes people could not afford an animal and were unable to offer sacrifice. The sellers had turned the act of worship into a business and made money off of the people. The same was true of the money changers. They would charge people a fee to change foreign money into the form of money that was accepted in the Temple area.

Being angry is not a sin.

Anger is an emotion and all emotions are neither morally good nor morally sinful. It is what we do with an emotion that gives it a moral quality, either good or sinful. Sometimes anger can cause us to act righteously when we encounter something that is unjust or evil.

  1. What did Jesus find in the Temple when He went there for Passover? People selling animals (oxen, sheep, and doves), and money changers

  2. What did Jesus do in response to what He found in the Temple? He made a whip out of cords and drove the people selling animals (along with their animals out of the temple.

  3. What did Jesus tell these people as He did this? “Take these out of here, and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.”

  4. What sign did Jesus promise the people? What was He really talking about? “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” Jesus was really talking about His own body and His Death and Resurrection on the third day.

  5. Why didn't Jesus trust the people at the end of the Gospel story? He knew their human nature and only trusted in God the Father.

  6. Why do you think Jesus’ actions in this Gospel were not sinful? Jesus saw that worship of God in the Temple, the main and most holy house of worship for the Jewish people, had become irreverent and commercialized. The actions of the sellers and money changers in the Temple area did not lead people to true worship, and, in fact, prevented those who could not pay from worshipping God. Jesus’ actions were justifiable. His anger at the situation prompted Him to act justly by cleaning out the Temple area so that the people could worship God as they were meant to. Jesus was not acting sinfully in this Gospel story, His anger was righteous and justified.

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