For now, Jesus has the crowds on his side. He just entered the city the night before to everyone’s great delight. They see Jesus as their new King, and this makes the established religious leaders very nervous. Jesus is not the Messiah to them, but a trouble-maker. And Jesus is going to make trouble this day. “Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the merchants from their stalls. He told them, ‘The Scriptures declare, ‘My temple will be a place of prayer,’ but you have turned into a den of thieves.” This is the second time that Jesus cleared the temple (John 2:13-17). Jesus was on a mission. He went straight to the Temple to remove those people who were clearly taking advantage of the many pilgrims who were travelling to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration. Jesus made it painfully clear why they were being driven out. His house was a place of prayer. Jesus’ actions continue to put him at odds with the religious leaders. These men would have been a part of the ‘marketplace’ and would have profited from the vendors that Jesus removed. Jesus didn’t care about that, though, Jesus cared about doing what is right. He confronted the wickedness, removed it, and returned a holy place back to its glory. Picture is of the Scarsellino painting of Jesus driving the merchants from the temple.
*Adapted from the Life Application Bible Commentary of Luke