Summary of passage: Jesus heads to Jerusalem for Passover. He sees in the temple courts non-Jews or merchants who were not allowed in the temple selling their wares. He freaks out, overturning their tables, scattering their money everywhere, and whipping their animals out of the temple.
6) Passover to remember when the Lord passed over the courses of the Israelites when they were enslaved in Egypt when he struck down the first-born of the Egyptians but not the Israelites. The animals were there to serve as the required sacrifices every Jewish person must make to atone for their sins.
7) Personal Question. My answer: Sometimes anger is justified when God has been disrespected and his temple has been defiled. We must stand up for God in a righteous, just, and loving way. Furthermore, note Jesus made the whip of cords. He thought about his actions before letting anger take over. This was calculated and planned. It was not a burst of passion. This is how we should act as well–not in the heat of the moment but after the inciting incident has passed.
8a) “Zeal for your house will consume me.” Psalm 69:9 which reads in full: “For zeal for your house consumes me, and the insults of those who insult you fall on me.”
b) Part-personal Question. My answer: Jesus will come to prepare the way for the Lord, to purify the people and become the acceptable sacrifice for our sins. The abundance of his sacrifice is immeasurable.
Conclusions: Good lesson on justifiable anger and the consequences of blatant disobedience. We also see the importance of being pure and clean before the Lord and gain a deeper understanding of why Jesus’ sacrifice was so very important.
End Notes: Almost 2 1/2 million Jews descended on Jerusalem for Passover, a festival where all Jewish men were required to celebrate in Jerusalem (Exodus 12). Think about that in ancient times. That’s a ton of people. With this many people in one place, it attracts those who wish to sell their services as well as some unsavory individuals hoping to make a quick buck. The moneylenders or moneychangers were there to help Jews pay the temple tax (Exodus 30:11-16) which had to be paid in special coin. Coins in ancient times were often clipped and made of insufficient metals designed to cheat people. Hence, the coin had to be a certain type. The amount was the equivalent of about 2 days wages.
You will see “Passover of the Jews” or “Jewish” used a lot by John. This was for clarity to Gentiles reading this so they would understand the festivals.
Jesus is displaying authority with the whip, not violence here.
The temple courts was the only place Gentiles could come and worship.
Note this is a different scene than what Matthew, Mark, and Luke describe. This is at Passover near the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. The other time is when Jesus enters Jerusalem on the eve of his death.
We can be sure the money lenders returned after Jesus left. However, Jesus’ point was clear: don’t defile the house of the Lord.
First we see Jesus converting water to wine and now cleansing of the temple. This is how Jesus works: convert and then cleanse.