Third Sunday of Lent

Jesus Chases the Moneychangers Out of the Temple

John 2: 13 - 22

Matthew 21: 12 - 13

Mark 11: 15 - 17

Luke 19: 45 - 46

This story takes place in the Temple in Jerusalem during the events of Holy Week, after Jesus had ridden into the city on a colt on Palm Sunday.

The Temple where Jesus worshiped was not the Temple of Solomon, which had been destroyed centuries earlier, but the rebuilt Temple of Herod the Great - the Herod who tried to kill Jesus when he was a baby.

The Temple was huge, and apparently it had become a great bazaar. Animals were bought and sold there - not just the sacrificial lambs and doves for the temple, but apparently cattle as well. People brought their own jars and bottles to buy oil, vinegar, or wine, just as some of us still bring our own kettles to buy soup or our own buckets to "pick-your-own" orchards and gardens.

Jews from many different countries came to Jerusalem for the Passover. Since they each traveled with the money from their own countries, moneychangers converted their money for them when they got there, charging a percentage of the transaction.

But remembering that Jews had to be ritually clean (washed and bathed ceremonially) in order to pray, it was no wonder that Jesus was shocked that people had to walk through what must have been a stockyard before they could reach the place of prayer. The disciples quote Psalm 69: 9.

Even though Christians believe that God hears our prayers at any time from any place, we, too, might have a hard time worshiping on Sunday morning in the midst of an auction barn.

1. Who did Jesus chase out of the Temple?

[Jesus chased out the cattle buyers, the dove sellers, and the moneychangers.]

2. What did the disciples say when they saw Jesus in action?

[The disciples quoted the Psalm, "My love for your house burns in me like a fire."]

3. How fast did Jesus say he could rebuild the Temple?

[Jesus said he could rebuild the Temple in three days.]

4. Was Jesus talking about Herod's Temple?

[No, Jesus was talking about his own body, his own death and resurrection.]

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