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Jesus had been teaching, healing, and doing many wonderful works. It was time for the Passover feast, an annual feast of the Jews. Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey. The people put their coats on the ground and cut branches from the trees and waved them as they cried out, "Hosanna in the highest!" It was a joyful triumphant occasion.
Jesus went into the temple and looked around at everything that was going on, but it was late and he didn't stay. He and his twelve disciples went back to Bethany and spent the night.
The next day they went back to Jerusalem and again Jesus went to the temple, but this time he took action. Men were selling the animals for sacrifices right there in the area of the temple! He knew this was not right and he did something about it. He made a whip out of cords, or small ropes and he drove the money changers out along with the sheep, oxen, and doves. He turned the tables over and poured out the money on the floor of the temple.
He said, "Take these things away! My Father's house shall be called a house of prayer, but you have made it a 'den of thieves.'"
The Jewish religious leaders were very upset by all this and they began looking for a way to destroy Jesus. However, they were afraid of him because all the people were amazed at his teaching.
Under the law of Moses people were required to offer animal sacrifices. If you had to travel a long way to get to the temple in Jerusalem, you would probably not take your animal with you. You would take some money and buy an animal for your offering after you got to Jerusalem. It was not wrong for men to sell the animals, but they should have been selling them outside the temple area. There is also indication that the price of the animals was too high since Jesus called them "thieves".
Then blind and lame people came to him in the temple and he healed them. The children were crying out, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" When the religious leaders heard this, they said to him, "Do you hear what they are saying?"
Of course, Jesus did hear and he accepted their praise. He told the leaders that this was "perfect praise" coming from the lips of the children.
Read the story in Spanish
Jesus Cleanses the Temple
Read the story in Amharic
What does this story
mean to me?
When Jesus saw something happening that was wrong, he did something about it. He didn't just pass quietly by and say nothing.
Suppose you see someone being mistreated or ridiculed. Kids are saying ugly things to your friend or a classmate. What do you do? Do you join in and make fun of him or her also? Do you just stand quietly by and say nothing? Or do you take up for the person and try to stop the teasing.
It may be appropriate for you to inform an adult about the situation. Talk to your family about it.
It is written, "My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you have made it
a 'den of thieves.'"
Matthew 21:13 (NKJV)
(Rest the mouse lightly over the ??? to see the answers in the alternate tags.)
1. How did Jesus enter Jerusalem at the Passover feast?
2.What did Jesus do at his first visit to the temple after he got there ?
3. What did he do when he came back the next day?
4. What did he say the temple should be called?
5. What did he say the temple had become because of their actions?
6. Where should the animals have been sold?
7. Who came to be healed?
8. What did Jesus call the praise of children?
You can read about Jesus at the temple in the Bible in Matthew 21:12-17
Multiple Choice Test
Jesus at the Temple - Word Search
Jesus at the Temple - Crossword Puzzle
Cleansing the Temple - Word Scramble
Luke 19:45-46 Fill-in the Blanks
The Advenures of Jesus Illustrated: He Lived Among Us
By Pierre Thivollier / New Life Resources
Woven through these pages are the exciting adventures of Jesus of Nazareth. Lively dialog, colorful illustrations and Holy Scripture transport readers into the turbulent first century A.D. when God became a man and lived among us.
Overhear the angel telling shepherds where to find baby Jesus Listen as Christ is pronounced Messiah by John the Baptist See the Holy Spirit descend upon the Lord like a dove Hike the rugged Judean hills with the twelve disciples Stand in awe as the Lord storms the temple Bask in his love for children Sit at the Master's feet captivated by his parables Watch The Great Physician heal lepers and bring the dead to life Feel the heartbreak of Judas' betrayal and watch as Jesus is arrested Trek up Golgotha hill to experience Christ's passion Discover His empty tomb: See His resurrected body
Experience the greatest adventure of all time!Recommended for ages 8 to 14.
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Most Recent Comments ( See more comments on this page ) 2011-01-24
I have used the activities from your pages for my second grade class. They are great! Thank you.
I think these are wonderful lessons. I have been using them for Sunday School. I love their activities. Do you have the kids' songs in CD? Let me know. God bless you and thanks
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Children's Bible Lessons
David & Goliath
3 Brave Boys
Parable of Talents
Paul's 1st Journey
Paul's 2nd Journey
Paul's 3rd Journey
Paul in Rome
Go to Calvary Chapel and look at story #177 for activities for "The Cleansing of the Temple".
They have color sheets, crossword puzzles, word finds, and worksheets.
Picture "Jesus Cleanses the Temple" by Carl Bloch
courtesy of Christian Theological Seminary public domain picture collection
Back to Children's Bible Lessons
Puzzles on these pages courtesy of
Songs of Praise and Armored Penguin