16 The merchants are driven out of the Temple.

Psalm 69:9; Isaiah 56:7; Jeremiah 7:11; Matthew 21:12–13; Mark 11:15–18; Luke 19:45–48; John 2:13–22

Only a few events are included by all four gospel writers. Why do you think this story was so important (Matthew 21:12–13; Mark 11:15–18; Luke 19:45–48; John 2:13–22)?

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Only John puts this event at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry (Matthew 21:12; Mark 11:15; Luke 19:45; John 2:13). Why might we think his timeline is correct?

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How do we know that Jesus didn’t drive out the merchants twice, both early and late in his ministry (Matthew 21:12; Mark 11:15; Luke 19:45; John 2:13)?

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If the merchants had a captive audience and no competition, what might we expect to happen with pricing (John 2:13)?

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Who had authorized the Temple commerce (Matthew 21:12)? Why?

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For how long might the Temple merchants have been doing business (Matthew 21:12)?

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Do you think Jesus acted alone or had help (John 2:15)? Why?

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Some people think Jesus acted out of anger. Why might we know that this was not the case (John 5:19)?

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Where would Jesus have gotten the cords used in making a whip (John 2:15)?

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Why would disciples have related the message from Psalms with Jesus’ passion (Psalm 69:9; John 2:17)?

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How could Jesus have prevented people from carrying merchandise through the Temple (Mark 11:16)?

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Why did Jesus need to tell the people that the Temple had become a “hangout for robbers” (Jeremiah 7:11; Mark 11:17)?

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When Jesus taught the people, what do you think his three main points would have been (Mark 11:17–18)?

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Why would the chief priests and teachers of the Law have been unable to get rid of Jesus (Luke 19:47)?

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Why did the chief priests ask for a miraculous sign as proof that Jesus had the right to throw out the moneychangers (John 2:18)?

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When Jesus said, “Destroy this temple and I will raise it up in three days,” what did Jesus mean and what did the people think he meant (John 2:19–20)?

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Why would the people have been impressed with his answer (Luke 19:48)?

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That spring, when it was almost time for the Jewish Passover celebration, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the Temple’s outer court, he found merchants selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifices. Dealers had set up tables to exchange foreign money for the half-shekel Temple tax. After making a whip from small cords, Jesus drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the moneychangers’ coins, and overturned their tables.

Eyewitness

Matthew 21:12 In the Temple’s outer court, Jesus threw out the merchants who were buying and selling there. He overthrew the moneychangers’ tables and knocked over the cages of those selling doves.
Mark 11:15 When they arrived in Jerusalem, Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the merchants doing business there. He turned over the tables of the moneychangers and the cages of those who sold doves.
Luke 19:45 When Jesus entered the Temple, he drove out the merchants doing business there,
John 2:13–15 That spring, when it was almost time for the Jewish Passover celebration, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the Temple, he found merchants selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifices. Dealers had set up tables to exchange foreign money for the half-shekel Temple tax. After making a whip from small cords, Jesus drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the moneychangers’ coins, and overturned their tables.
King James

Matthew 21:12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,
Mark 11:15 And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves;
Luke 19:45 And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought;
John 2:13–15 And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And 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;

His followers were reminded of the passage from the Psalms: Passion for your house burns like fire within me because those who offend you have offended me.

Eyewitness

Psalm 69:9 In my consuming passion for worship and pleasing God, other people’s problems became mine.
John 2:17 Then his followers were reminded of the passage from the Psalms: Passion for your house burns like fire within me.
King James

Psalm 69:9 For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.
John 2:17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.

Jesus knocked over the cages belonging to those selling doves. “Get these out of here! Do not make my Father’s house a marketplace.” He would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the Temple.

Eyewitness

Matthew 21:12 In the Temple’s outer court, Jesus threw out the merchants who were buying and selling there. He overthrew the moneychangers’ tables and knocked over the cages of those selling doves.
Mark 11:16 He would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the Temple.
John 2:16 To those who sold the doves, he said, “Get these things out of here. Do not make my Father’s house a marketplace.”
King James

Matthew 21:12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,
Mark 11:16 And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple.
John 2:16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.

In teaching the people, he said, “The scriptures say the Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations, but you have turned it into a hangout for robbers.”

Eyewitness

Isaiah 56:7 I will bring them to my holy mountain and fill them with joy in my house of prayer. I will accept their burnt offerings and sacrifices made upon my altar. My Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations.
Jeremiah 7:11 Has this house that bears my name become a hangout for robbers? I have seen what you have been doing, says the Lord.
Matthew 21:13 He said to the people, “The scriptures say, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations,’ but you have turned it into a hangout for robbers.”
Mark 11:17 In teaching the people, he said, “The scriptures say the Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations, but you have turned it into a hangout for robbers.”
Luke 19:46 saying to them, “The scriptures say the Temple will be called a house of prayer, but you have turned it into a hangout for robbers.”
King James

Isaiah 56:7 Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.
Jeremiah 7:11 Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the Lord.
Matthew 21:13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
Mark 11:17 And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.
Luke 19:46 Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves.

He continued to teach in the Temple, but the chief priests and teachers of the Law wanted to get rid of him. The Jewish leaders demanded of him an answer. “What miraculous sign can you show us to prove you have the right to do this?”

Eyewitness

Mark 11:18 When the chief priests and teachers of the Law heard what Jesus had done, they looked for some way to get rid of him. They feared him because the crowds were so captivated by his teaching.
Luke 19:47 He continued to teach in the Temple, but the chief priests and teachers of the Law looked for some way to get rid of him.
John 2:18 The Jewish leaders demanded of him an answer. “What miraculous sign can you show us to prove you have the right to do this?”
King James

Mark 11:18 And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine.
Luke 19:47 And he taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him,
John 2:18 Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?

“All right,” Jesus said. “Destroy this temple and I will raise it up in three days.”

Eyewitness

John 2:19 “All right,” Jesus said. “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
King James

John 2:19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.

“It took forty-six years to build this Temple,” they said in disbelief. “Can you rebuild it in three days?”

Eyewitness

John 2:20 “It took forty-six years to build this Temple,” they said in disbelief. “Can you rebuild it in three days?”
King James

John 2:20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?

The people were so captivated by his speech, the leaders were afraid to do anything.

Eyewitness

Mark 11:18 When the chief priests and teachers of the Law heard about what Jesus had done, they looked for some way to get rid of him. They feared him because the crowds were so captivated by his teaching.
Luke 19:48 But they were unable to do anything because the people were so captivated by his teaching.
King James

Mark 11:18 And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine.
Luke 19:48 And could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear him.