John 2:13-25

Before Passover, Jesus goes up to the temple in Jerusalem. He sees that it has been turned into a market, and becomes enraged. Jesus whips, drives out vendors and animals, turns tables, scatter the coins.

How important is this? Why does that day mark the end of the temple and the end of the sacrifices that were made there?

This temple was not only the meeting place with God, but the greatest proof that Israel was the people of God and that the Lord was the only God. Since Solomon had built it for the first time, nearly 1000 years had passed.

“Jesus found in the temple those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves“. Such commerce is necessary, because people coming from afar cannot bring their own animals. Only first-rate, unblemished animals are acceptable for sacrifice, and it would be difficult to maintain an animal in perfect condition. A money exchange is also required. A number of scholars say that Roman coins were unsuitable because they bore images of Caesar and inscriptions regarding his deity. Making a whip of cords, Jesus drives out the large animals from the temple.

Now Jesus enters the temple and does the purification announced by the prophets Zacharias and Malachi. Jesus not only expelled animals, vendors, and exchangers, but also removed the temple from being a meeting place with God and took away all the value of the sacrifices that were made there. From this day on, the place to find God will be Jesus himself. It is Jesus’ body, the new temple, the place where people can come to meet with God. In his epistles to the Corinthians, Paul says that our bodies are temples too, the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 3:16; 6:19).

~Fr. Chesco