Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. (John 2:15 NRSV)
Jesus certainly had that effect on the religious establishment of his time. He had been looking forward to going to Jerusalem and the Temple for Passover. People from all over the world would be there to worship. Just being there with other pilgrims was exciting.
When Jesus arrived at the Temple he was upset by what he saw. There in the Temple courtyard were people buying and selling cattle, sheep and doves for sacrifices. The merchants who were selling the livestock thought they were providing a service for those pilgrims from out of town.
Temple employees were providing a service exchanging foreign currency into Temple coinage--but they also were taking advantage of people by charging a large fee to make the exchange. Perhaps what angered Jesus the most was that they were taking advantage of the people who could least afford it. The Temple became wealthy from this questionable practice. It seems the more money they made the greedier they became charging higher rates of exchange. Jesus was upset by what he saw. We are not accustomed to Jesus being angry. We like to think that Jesus was always kind and loving to everyone he encountered. We would like to think that Jesus never said a harsh word to anyone. Jesus was so angry that he felt he had to do something to get the Temple officials' attention.
Does Jesus have your attention?
Dear God, you have my attention. May my life honor your love. In Jesus name, Amen.
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