There was quite a lucrative business going on in the Temple precincts. If you wanted to buy an animal for sacrifice it would cost you ‘an arm and a leg’. (Let’s face it, people travelling great distances to worship at the temple might not be able to bring one with them. They needed the opportunity to purchase a beast on site. But they got ripped off). Also, only Temple currency could be used there, and the exchange rate was exorbitant.
Jesus came to the Temple in the spirit of Malachi 3:1ff. He acted like the Temple was HIS. It was. He assumed the right to act in this way. This was not lost on the Jews. Only God had the ‘authority’ (18) to clean up the Temple. Jesus was (and is) God, and His resurrection demonstrates the fact (19). The Jews in this story totally misunderstood what He was saying (20). At His trial, these words were aggressively thrown back at Him. But Jesus did not say that He was going to destroy the Temple. He did know, however, that they were going to ‘destroy’ His body (which He refers to as ‘this temple’). Yet they would find Him to be indestructible.
What does Jesus ‘find’ today in His temple?
My body is His temple (1 Corinthians 6:19);
The local church is His temple (1 Corinthians 3:16, 17).
What does He find there that needs to change? He has the right to challenge and to change it.
He is Lord.
What needs to go?
‘Get these out of here.’
‘When he comes to dwell within us, he finds our hearts desecrated by unholy things which he quickly casts out. He sits as a refiner of silver; his fan is in his hand, and he thoroughly purges his floor.’ F.B. Meyer: Devotional Commentary,’ p.459.
Prayer: Lord show me what needs to go from my life. Help me to throw it out, in your strength.