The Bible


Mark 11:15-18 : Jesus Cleanses the Temple (Gospel of Mark)



15 And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves;

16 And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple.

17 And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.

18 And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine.



Jesus Cleanses the Temple


By New Christian Bible Study Staff

Christ driving the money-changers from the temple

In this story, on the Monday after Palm Sunday, Jesus re-enters Jerusalem, goes to the temple, and drives out the moneychangers and people who were selling animals for sacrifices. He overturns tables, and takes a whip, and uses it to clean out the temple.

It's a powerful story, and one that shows a different view of Jesus's personality than the healer or preacher that is so often described. Plus, it doesn't seem all that unreasonable for there to be moneychangers in the temple - a little like the bureaux de change at airports. Too, it seems convenient to have people there selling animals to those who need them for the prescribed sacrificial offerings.

So, what's the story about?

The moneychangers and sellers of animals represent evil loves in our lives that cloak themselves in external piety. They have to be driven out, unmasked, and scourged.