13 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
The cleansing of the temple was the first public declaration of the Messiah to Israel. This first public event occurred in the temple. He Himself is the temple. Malachi prophesied that the Messiah would come suddenly to purify the temple (Mal 3:1-3). By taking the drastic action of cleansing the temple, Jesus was making a public claim to be the Messiah (Mk 3:31; 6:3).
13 Now [and or but]
The word “now” indicates a transition from Capernaum to Jerusalem. It also links closely to the events that preceded in Capernaum and Cana.
the Passover of the Jews was at hand,
The Passover was a commemoration of the Exodus from Egypt (Ex 12). The “Passover” was one of three pilgrimage festivals for which people traveled to Jerusalem. They went there to worship in the temple. This time was a one-week commemoration of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt (Ex 12:23-27). This is the first of three Passovers in the gospel of John (Jn 6:4; 11:55).
John was writing to Gentile Ephesians, so he explained that the concept of the Passover was a “Jewish” event.
and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
Jesus was now near the end of His first year in His public ministry. All male Jews were required to go to Jerusalem three times a year at three festivals: Feast of the Passover, Feast of Pentecost, and Feast of Tabernacles.
There were two cleansings of the temple. The first cleansing occurs in John’s record here. The synoptics record a second cleaning that occurred at the end of His three-year ministry. The later cleansing might have contributed to His trial and crucifixion (Mk 11:15-18).
Going “up” to Jerusalem was true even if people were going south, as is the case here. Jerusalem was the capital, but it had an elevation in height of 2,600 feet above sea level. This was a climb of 3,300 feet from Capernaum.
Crass commercialism violates worship.
Jews in the time of Christ used the Passover as an empty ceremony without meaning or significance. They were religious but not regenerate. Jesus was outraged at how pilgrims were being fleeced in an exorbitant way. Extortion was done in the name of religion. All this was a desecration of God’s house. It was worship without reverence.
There are times when worship in our day is drowned out by the noise of many things. What should be praise has deteriorated into stark noise. No doubt people prefer different styles of music but, whatever genre of music or media we use, it should not mute the voice and glory of God.