Jesus Cleanses the Temple
"Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, [and] into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, [and] bless his name." Psalm 100:4
The New Testament - A Brief Overview
Jesus Comes to Jerusalem
The Passover festivities were about to begin in Jerusalem, and Jesus left Capernaum and journeyed up to the holy city. Multitudes of pilgrims would've been on the roads, some in caravans and some in small groups and families. It was a great time of joy and festivity, people would sing praises to the Lord and prepare themselves for the Passover. Every male Israelite was required to bring a lamb to the Temple and make a sacrifice. When Jesus arrived He immediately came to the Temple in Jerusalem.
"Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem." John 2:13
The Temple in Jerusalem
When Jesus entered the Temple in Jerusalem he was very aware of what was going on around him. The Temple was quite an achievement of Herod the great to impress the Jews with a grand renovation of the Second Temple, and to impress the Romans with the finest architecture in the western portion of the Roman world. But Jesus was not impressed with external monuments, and the work of men's hands. The Temple was the holiest place in the world because God swore an oath that His Presence would dwell there, and that the atonement of man's sins would take place there. The original Temple was built on Mount Moriah in the very place that King David, the man after God's own heart, who wrote the book of Psalms, purchased the threshing floor from Auranah. David had sought to build the Temple, but God told him that because he was a man of war, his son Solomon would build the Temple. Solomon was a man of peace, and his wisdom was known throughout the entire world. He built the Temple on Mount Moriah in the eastern portion of Jerusalem.
"Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing." Psalm 100:1-2
Jesus Found Those Doing Business
When Jesus entered the Temple He stood at the a large outer court of the Gentiles, and observed the men who had set up a marketplace in order to make lots of money from the pilgrims entering the Temple for Passover. The joyful songs and the festivities had been interrupted and the entrance to the Temple had turned into a place of squabbling over the condition and the price of the sacrifices.
"And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the moneychangers doing business" John 1:14
Sellers of Oxen, Sheep, and Doves
Jesus noticed that men were selling sacrificial animals that were fit for sacrifice. Their business was very sophisticated, and the Pilgrim to Jerusalem would usually end up having to buy one of their sacrifices for a very high price, rather than trusting that their own sacrifice was clean enough for the priest to offer upon the altar.
The business of the money changers was also very sophisticated. They would sit at little tables and exchange the money which the pilgrim brought to pay for the sacrifices. The common currency was in Roman coins, and in the Temple the coins were required to be changed for clean Jewish Temple currency. There was actually a fee to exchange this money into clean Temple currency.
Also see the "moneychangers" doing business
Jesus made a Whip and Drove Them All Out
"When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers' money and overturned the tables." - John 2:15
Jesus became indignant and made a scourge of cords, and He drove them all out of the Temple. He also drove the animal sacrifices that were being sold by them out of the Temple. He also overturned the tables of the moneychangers, and He said to those who sold doves:
"Take these things away! Do not make My Father's house a house of merchandise!" " - John 2:16
The Jewish Leaders Arrive
The rich and powerful leaders of the Temple, the priests and Levites, the scribes, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, it does not say exactly which ones but they came rushing out and said to Jesus:
"What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?" - John 2:18
They requested a "sign", some sort of miracle, because if he was the Messiah as they knew he had claimed, then he would be able to produce proof from God in heaven. Imagine that the Passover Lamb was standing in their midst and they were there to accuse Him. Jesus would not satisfy their hypocrisy by doing a miracle at their bidding, yet He indeed offered them a sign, but one that would turn out to be very frustrating for them.
Destroy This Temple
Jesus said to them, "destroy this Temple, and in three days I will raise it up". The Jewish leaders were very confused about His statement and said to Him, "It has taken forty-six years to build this Temple, and will You raise it up in three days?" They had no idea that he was referring to the Temple of His body, which they would eventually hand over to the Romans to be put to death. But Jesus made the bold statement that He would "raise it up in three days," and this was to be their their sign that they requested. His disciples remembered this whole event and the Words that Jesus said to them:
"Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said." - John 2:22
The Prophecy of Malachi
"Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts." - Malachi 3:1
The ancient Hebrew prophet Malachi was the last of the prophets of Israel recorded in the Old Testament. The prophet spoke about a messenger who would prepare the way before the Lord Himself, and then the Lord whom they were seeking so diligently would suddenly come to his temple. God had truly set up the stage for the nation of Israel, yet the leaders rejected him, though not all rejected him.
Many Believed on Him
Jesus did many miracles while He was at the Temple and many believed in His name, yet Jesus was very aware that to follow Him meant much more than just a belief in His miracles.
"But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man." - John 2:24-25
The Story of the Bible
The New Testament
Summary of the New Testament Books