Summary: No wonder Jesus was upset, the Jews were not only to worship God but bring others to worship God. They had a place were the Gentiles could come to worship, but they had made it nearly impossible for the Gentiles to worship.
John 2:13-22-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.”
So the Jews answered and said to Him, “What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?”
Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”
But He was speaking of the temple of His body.
Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said.
At the temple, during the Passover two things a family must do before they could worship:
Temple tax: Temple tax about two days wages and must be paid with temple coins. Other coins had pictures of foreign gods on them. They must change the money, and of course the money changers got a commission.
Sacrifice: Every family offered a sacrifice. But according to the law it must be without defect; must be certified clean, if you didn’t want to bring one you could purchase one at the temple, or if the priest said yours was not good enough, you could purchase one at the temple that had been approved by the priest, I’m sure there was a extra price for that, and maybe even a sickly animal was sold or the ones people brought allowed to be sacrificed (With the priest blessings of course) as long as the priest got a little something extra.
It was robbery in the name of religion.
Imagine a family that comes to worship God, but is cheated at the temple. Now how are they going to worship God?
Just think of the noise factor. Just picture walk thru a county fair, you got all these people yelling at you to come see their show, I imagine that what it was like in the temple. Not only that but all of the animals and the noise they make and the smell they make.
Can you picture what it would be like to go to worship and have all these distractions that were at the temple.
The said part of this was that it was all happening in the Gentile courtyard, that was were the Gentiles were suppose to worship, but were the Jews worshipped it was nice and quiet, and serene.
No wonder Jesus was upset, the Jews were not only to worship God but bring others to worship God.
They had a place were the Gentiles could come to worship, but they had made it nearly impossible for the Gentiles to worship.
It would be like us going into a nice air conditioned building, with padded seats to worship and someone that was different than us, telling them that there place of worship is in the field beside the church, in 100 degree heat (August heat, Texas heat) with no shade, and they had sit on the ground with bugs, ants, mosquito’s and having them try to worship in those conditions.