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  • Tabernacle Baptist Church

The Cleaning and the Cursing (Matthew 21:12-22) - 4/10/22


  • The Cleansing of the Temple and the Cursing of the Fig Tree

  • He has entered the city of the King

  • Here is showing His authority as the King.

  • He now pronounces judgment as the King

  • All the events of the week point to the cross and empty tomb

  • Hypocrisy is the issue

  • False worship is the issue

Cleansing the Temple – vv. 12-17

Mal. 3:1-4 – Prophesied over 400 years before.

Why was Jesus so upset?

  • Not a particular person. the sellers, the buyers.

  • This issue… what “worship” in the Temple had come to.

  • Activity rather than worship

  • Man-focused worship rather than God-focused worship

The temple should have been a place for true worship to take place, but it had turned into a religious business endeavor.

  • Pilgrims coming for the Passover celebration

  • Purchasing animals for sacrifices

  • Jeremiah 7:9-11

The gentile court was for the gentiles to come and have access to the Temple. The idea was so that they could come and learn about the ONE TRUE GOD

  • House of Prayer…Den of thieves. v. 13

  • The nation of Israel should have cherished and protected this area.


  • What was designed for worship of God was now a worship of man.

  • It also points to the character lived out in their daily lives. Thieves gathering… robbing God.

What are some dangers that we have today? Have we lost focus on our worship? Are we here for God or for man?

  • Listen to our excuses about why people do not faithfully attend church…. Your will hear the heart!

The level of hypocrisy is astonishing. v. 14

  • The temple is cleared

  • Jesus begins to minister and heal


  • Yet, the religious leaders are furious over what He is doing and has done in God’s House.

  • THE IRONY of this picture.

Cursing the Fig Tree – vv. 18-22

The tree was fruitless

  • He could have just caused the tree to produce fruit

  • Instead, He judged

  • This was a divine object lesson (John MacArthur)

Israel was fruitless

  • Israel had all the rights and privileges to bear fruit

  • Yet, the temple was a clear picture of their fruitlessness

  • Morally and Religiously

  • The tree represents Israel. The lack of fruit is their disobedience.

A lesson on faith and prayer – vv. 20-22

  • Faith = Trust

    • Hear, believe, embrace, do.

    • Head, Heart, Hands

  • Prayer

    • The temple was supposed to be a house of prayer

    • Prayer is the bedrock of our understanding of true faith.

    • The intimate relationship that one has with God.

    • To be a people of prayer is to be a people that truly know God.

  • Israel did not live by true FAITH AND PRAYER and were judged.

  • Jesus is teaching on the fruitfulness of true faithfulness

    • This is not a “name it and claim it” teaching.


  • What a great time to consider our own heart… as we anticipate Easter.

  • We will be a people of activity or people of true worship

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