Jesus goes to the temple (Mark 11: 15–19)

As soon as Jesus and his disciples arrive in Jerusalem they go to the temple.

The temple courts would have been very busy as it was Passover and many Jews made the journey to Jerusalem to make a sacrifice and worship there.

It was customary for animals to be sacrificed. However, the animals that were to be offered as sacrifices had to be checked for purity. Some of the traders were selling these animals for sacrifice at ten or 15 times their usual price.

The temple also had its own currency, only special coins were accepted. Roman coins with the image of the emperor were not accepted. Therefore, money had to be changed into the correct currency and the money changers charged an extremely large fee.

Jesus was furious that people coming to worship God were taken advantage of. He reacted violently as he overturned the tables of the money changers and those selling doves. He said that his Father’s house was to be a place of prayer, but that it had been made into a den of robbers.

Illustration of Jesus driving the money changers from the temple

It was predicted that the Messiah would cleanse the temple, therefore Jesus’ actions this day were a fulfilment of scriptures. The religious leaders were intent on killing him after witnessing this event.