JESUS really looks angry here, doesn’t he? Do you know why he is so angry? It is because these men at God’s temple in Jerusalem are very greedy. They are trying to make a lot of money from the people who have come here to worship God.
Do you see all those young bulls and sheep and doves? Well, the men are selling these animals right here at the temple. Do you know why? It is because the Israelites need animals and birds to sacrifice to God.
God’s law said that when an Israelite did wrong, he should make an offering to God. And there were other times, too, when Israelites had to make offerings. But where could an Israelite get birds and animals to offer to God?
Some Israelites owned birds and animals. So they could offer these. But many Israelites didn’t own any animals or birds. And others lived so far away from Jerusalem they couldn’t bring one of their animals to the temple. So the people came here and bought the animals or birds they needed. But these men were charging the people too much money. They were cheating the people. Besides that, they should not be selling right here in God’s temple.
This is what makes Jesus angry. So he turns over the tables of the men with the money and scatters their coins. Also, he makes a whip from ropes and drives all the animals out of the temple. He commands the men who are selling the doves: ‘Take them out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a place for making a lot of money.’
Some of Jesus’ followers are with him here at the temple in Jerusalem. They are surprised at what they see Jesus doing. Then they remember the place in the Bible where it says about God’s Son: ‘Love for God’s house will burn in him like a fire.’
While Jesus is here in Jerusalem attending the Passover, he does many miracles. Afterward, Jesus leaves Ju·deʹa and begins his trip back to Galʹi·lee. But on his way, he goes through the district of Sa·marʹi·a. Let’s see what happens there.