Jan. 20. Jesus Cleanses Temple at First Passover of Ministry

Jn. 2:13-25

Many years earlier, God, through Moses had attempted to get King Pharaoh to release His people from Egyptian slavery. God had sent nine plagues against the Egyptians and each had failed to win their freedom. The tenth plague against Pharaoh and the Egyptians was the death of the firstborn.

In order to save the Israelites from this plague, God required them to place the blood of a lamb on the doorposts and lintels of their houses. That night, when He passed over the houses sprinkled with blood, He spared their firstborn. God established the Passover as an annual feast to commemorate their deliverance from Egypt.

When Jesus arrived at the temple to observe the Passover, He was most unhappy with what was taking place in the house of God.

Since many of the people had to travel a great distance to Jerusalem, it was not easy to bring their Passover sacrifices with them. As a convenience, traders had located in various parts of town to supply those needs and make change for the temple tax. Unfortunately, some had taken over the outer court of the temple for their markets, defiling the house of God. Using a whip, Jesus drove them out and overturned the tables of the moneychangers.

The Jews were angry with Jesus and asked Him for a sign or reason for His actions. He made a prophetic statement regarding His death and resurrection: “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” These words were used against Him three years later.