I constantly am amazed as I walk with the Lord how unpredictable He is, never knowing which way He will lead me.
The disciple must have felt the same way. He was introduced as the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. Their invitation from Him was come and see.
Up to this point, He was the approachable miraculous wine maker. Now in verse 13, things changed, from the approachable Lamb of God to the roaring lion of the tribe of Judah.
John 2:13-15: The Jews' Passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Seven days after Passover was the feast of unleavened bread. During this feast, the Jews would search every cupboard, cooking utensil every place in their home to rid it of leaven, the symbol of sin.
In the following account, we will see Jesus bring to light this picture by cleansing His Father’s house of the deep root of evil and sin within it.
Jesus found sitting in the temple those that sold oxen, sheep, doves and the changers of money.
The temple was divided into four areas — the outer court, also known as the Gentile court where everyone could enter. It was in this large area that the selling of animals and the money-changers were found. The priests controlled everything going on in the outer court.
Why? Because the priest were filled with greed and covetousness. Coveting being simply wanting more of what they already had, these fake religious leaders were filling their wallets with money from unsuspecting worshipers of God.
Thus, the animals brought by these people to sacrifice at the temple were inspected by the priests and usually declared unfit for sacrifice for some small flaw. Worshipers then were instructed to purchase pre-approved animals.
The price for these animals were exorbitant, so the priest made a profit from them. Money-changers were part of this conspiracy, employing a similar tactic. When people would come to pay temple tax, pay for a pre-approved animal, or make an offering, their money was declare unfit due to the image of Caesar or some foreign deity inscribed on it.
The money-changer would then charge 10 times the exchange rate, for every 10 foreign coins, they would receive one shekel. The priests were making money hand over fist.
Jesus entered the scene and immediately saw His people were being cheated. The outer court was the place where everyone was welcome. It was the place where the world should have been introduced to the True and Living God. The priests were abusing the people when they should been feeding His flock the Word of God.
When He had made a scourge of small cords, He drove them all out of the temple, poured out the changers' money and overthrew the tables. The Bible tells us, “He said to them who sold doves, take these things hence; make not my Father's house a house of merchandise.”
1 Corinthians 6:19: Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.
There are things in our lives, in our temples, that are surely cheating us as the priests cheated people. Therefore, the Lord lovingly says to you and me, “I am going to go through your life and overturn the tables, drive out the cattle that is cheating you from what I want to do in and through your life.”
How does this happen practically? I believe it happens at the communion table where we bring our sin before the Lord and He lovingly cleanses our house.