When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem.14 In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” 17 His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”
18 The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”
19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”
20 They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” 21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.
Jesus Cleanses the Temple
In Israel’s history, the temple represented God’s gracious dwelling among his covenant people. By his own initiative, he provided for a restored relationship with his sinful people (Ex. 25:8–9). Unfortunately, however, ritual replaced reality, and pride was more obvious than humility; the “worship of worship”—and, as seen here, the desire for financial gain—took precedence over the worship of God.
Jesus’ cleansing of the temple was much more than an act of moral outrage and judgment. It was also a sign of end-time fulfillment. The temple was never given as an end in itself. Like the tabernacle, the temple was essential but ultimately temporary, for its abuses exposed just how broken God’s worship and God’s worshipers had become through sin. Something better was promised, and that something arrived with Jesus, the true and final temple (John 2:19–21). As the embodiment of the temple (the place where God was present among his people in the Old Testament), Jesus is God with us—Immanuel—and God for us (Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:18–25).
By Jesus’ death and resurrection, the temple-less worship of the garden of Eden will once again be realized in the perfected worship of the new heaven and new earth. On that day, God himself and the Lamb will be the temple forever (Rev. 21:22).
*These devos are taken from Crossway's, ESV Gospel Transformation Bible.