15 On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, 16 and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. 17 And as he taught them, he said, "Is it not written: 'My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations' ? But you have made it 'a den of robbers.' " 18 The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching.
Thoughts: Jesus was quoting from Jeremiah (7:11) where the prophet points our corruption in the temple. The temple merchants were taking advantage of people's desire to worship God (especially at Passover), and instead of helping them were price-gouging them. Jeremiah said these words before the destruction of the first temple, and Jesus said it before the destruction of the temple of Herod. There is a time for anger. In our anger we are not to sin, yet the corruption of the pure and faithful is cause for even the most patient to stand up for the right.
Prayer: Give me grace, O Lord, to be patient, yet also to know when I ought to stand up for what is holy and true.
John Calvin abridged: Though Christ frequently entered into the temple, and its abuses met his eye, yet he only corrected it twice: once at the beginning of his ministry (Jn. 2); and the other toward the end of his ministry. Here he warns the Jews of the pollution of the temple, and also the new restoration that was at hand.
If the Church of God has contracted any pollutions, all the children of God should burn with grief, but since God has not put the ability to do something about it in everyone's hands, let individuals groan privately until God brings the remedy. While it is smart to be unhappy about the pollution of the Church, and that it is not enough to be inwardly distressed; the people should avoid spiritual disease and speak up whenever given an opportunity. But let those who cannot change things with their hands, hold their tongues.