Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business.
When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables.
And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father's house a house of merchandise!”
Then His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up*”
[John 2:13-17 NKJV]
* from Psalm 69:9
Soon after leaving the wedding feast at Cana for Capernaum, Jesus is in Jerusalem (“set ye double peace”, from Hebrew “teaching of peace”), for the great feast of Passover, which symbolised their deliverance from bondage under the Egyptians.
It should thus come as no surprise to us that Jesus chooses this occasion to cleanse the temple in Jerusalem, by sweeping out the traders and money changers who “make my Father’s house a house of merchandise!” This is one of many events in the Bible where we can see that we begin at God’s point of view and not man’s. Jesus never tried to persuade the Pharisees that allowing these traders is wrong in a place of worship; no, He takes authority and deals with the matter.
He is also standing in a Holy Spirit principle — first the natural, then the spiritual. Jesus is declaring here that the physical temple must be a holy place, before each one of us can be holy within ourselves.
Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.
[1 Corinthians 3:16-17 NKJV]
Jesus is declaring that only He can cleanse the temple, because we are incapable of doing it for ourselves. We must allow the Spirit of God to use His whip of cords to cleanse us and make us pure.
Fearless devotion to Jesus Christ ought to Mark the saint today, but more often it is devotion to our set that marks us. We are more concerned about being in agreement with Christians that about being in agreement with God.