And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; ~John 2:15
Does the sight of an unkempt house bother you? I think most people desire and strive for a clean house. However, we can become occupied with many other things and neglect our household needs. Jesus entered into the temple at Jerusalem and was appalled by what He saw in the courtyard. This courtyard had become a location for enterprising Jews who bought and sold therein. It bore no semblance of a place of worship, but rather, it looked no different than the marketplace in their town. It had become unkempt, dirty, and similar to a place where goods were being sold. God’s house must be kept clean and respectable. In a similar vein, our life is like a house that is in need of frequent cleaning.
There is the accumulation of clutter.
We can easily allow our mind and life to be cluttered up with anxiety, worry, fears, and trouble. Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled.” A cluttered life crowds out faith, hope, love, and joy. A cluttered life is typically a stressful life. When we do not deal with the clutter in our life, it continues to pile up and become a distraction and nuisance. We must clean our life of clutter.
There is the apathetic carelessness.
We can get used to the sight and smell of the buildup of dust and dirt in our life. We can get to the place where a dirty window blocks our vision and it doesn’t bother us. We can get to the place where piles of magazines and newspapers take up space and we get used to it. Our life needs cleaning from apathetic carelessness. When carelessness sets in, we lose our concern and become self-satisfied.
There must be an awakened conscience.
When Jesus entered into the temple, He stirred things up. Everyone who had gotten used to the sheep, oxen, money changers, and enterprising was awakened to the fact that this did not sit well with Jesus. Consciences were awakened to the fact that a housecleaning was underway. They were awakened to the fact that things were not supposed to have gotten to the way they did. They were awakened that they were in the house of God.
There must be an authentic confession.
For our life to be cleansed and purified, there must be a truthful confession on our part. This means that we must give a full acknowledgement that we are at fault and that we desire God’s cleansing power to work within us. Confession means we agree with what God says about our sin. Confession must be individual, immediate, and intentional.