Why Jesus drove out the merchants and the money-changers

Jesus tells us that true worship requires obedience to the Father’s will. It is less about what we offer or what we do for God and more about how we listen to and obey Him.

In today’s Gospel reading, we read about how Jesus drove merchants and money-changers out of the temple area:

“[Jesus] found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, as well as the money-changers seated there. He made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen, and spilled the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables.” — John 2:14-15

One of the reasons for this can be found in the following verse:

“Take these out of here, and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.” — John 2:16

The temple was supposed to be a place of worship, not a place of commerce.

But, Jesus had another reason for driving out the merchants and the money-changers.

During the time of Jesus, oxens, sheep, and doves were used as purification offerings, that is, offerings for the reparation of sins or wrongs committed.

The money-changers, on the hand, exchange currencies to be used for the temple tax.

When we think about it, the merchants and the money-changers seemed to be doing good for the people making a pilgrimage to the temple. Why did Jesus drive them out?

Because people had forgotten the essence of why they were doing those things. They were more concerned about the sacrifices than the meaning behind those sacrifices. Some even took advantage of the Mosaic law to earn money.

Jesus tells us that true worship requires obedience to the Father’s will. It is less about what we offer or what we do for God and more about how we listen to and obey Him.

As for the purification offering, Jesus also tells us that He has paid the price for our sins once and for all. More than sacrifices, we need to believe and follow Him from our hearts.

As for the temple, the temple of His body was raised on the third day. Let us also worship God through our own temples where His Spirit is.

What sacrifices are you making for God? But more importantly, are you obeying Him?