12 After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples. There they stayed for a few days.
13 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” 17 His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”
Thoughts: The cleansing of Jesus here and also in the synoptics (Mt. 21:12; Mk. 11:15; Lk. 19:45) takes place during the Passover. He was upset at the same thing the taking advantage of worshipers by merchants in the Temple. Jesus would later (in all the gospels) predict the destruction of the Temple. This cleansing of the Temple is a reminder of the corruption of the worship of that day, and also a warning that we should make sure our own worship is done in spirit and truth. Worship should be according to God's Word and not just convenience or the experts.
Prayer: May zeal for your truth, your Word, your purity and holiness consume me too, Lord. Remove the impurities from my love for you.
John Calvin Abridged: John relates a similar event to the cleansing of the Temple recorded in the other three gospels. They represent two different cleansings- one at the beginning of his ministry (John), and the other at before he was leaving this world and going to the Father (Mt., Mk. Lk). The merchandise here was not irreligious, but was related to the sacrifice, and made it convenient for those who were coming to worship and offer a sacrifice. Why did Christ condemn them? First, because of the priests abused the merchandise for their own gain and greed. Second because they strayed from God's command and turned the place into a merchant shop. Nothing should be admitted into the Church that is at variance with the Word of God.