Summary: Jesus proves He is the fulfillment of Psalm 69 and the long-awaited Messiah!
What we’re about to read in John 2:12-22 is a popular story and no doubt one you’ve heard many times before. If anyone makes a movie about Jesus this is sure to be included, and the main point usually goes to show that Jesus really loved God’s house, and I suppose that means so should we. While Christ certainly did love the Lord’s House, and so should we, that’s not the main point of our story. If you want to know what this is all about you need only look at verses 17 and 22.
17And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.
22When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.
What we find filling in the context of these two verses are two signs proving that Jesus is not only someone who can perform miracles, but He is the One promised to Adam and the hope of every Jew since. This chapter proves the Messiahship of Christ, and verses 12-14 serve as the introduction:
After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days. 13And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:
There was a commandment for every Israelite man over 21 years old to pay a temple tax (Ex. 31:12-16; Mt. 17:24). But they couldn’t use just any coin they chose; they had to us a special one, and they could only get it from the temple. The money-changers knew this and they sold this coin for a huge profit. “You want to obey God? Give me your money and I’ll sell you what you need.” This isn’t just a simple transaction between a couple people on temple property—it’s extortion and greed.
So you can see why Jesus has such a strong reaction:
15And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; 16And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.
The Greek word for “merchandise” is where we get our English word "emporium." He’s saying, “Don’t make my Father’s house a house of trade. Don’t turn it into a market.”
It’s interesting to note that He doesn’t just drive out the money-changers, but He actually drives out all the sacrifices as well. I have a picture in my mind of Him standing alone for a moment inside the temple, and I don’t think that’s accidental. He’s about to reveal that the Jewish temple is the shadow and His body is the substance. The Godhead dwells bodily in this temple not made with human hands, and there’s no room for any other thing. This isn’t lost on the disciples: