Select Page
Read Introduction to John


14 And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business.


14 And He found in the temple

Jesus lived His life as one who was obedient to the law and attended all Passovers.

The reference to the “temple” here is the temple complex. Herod the Great expanded the complex from the middle of the first century BC to the middle of the first century AD. There was a large courtyard called the Court of the Gentiles that surrounded the temple enclosure. This is where the selling and buying occurred.

There were pilgrims from all over the Roman world who came for the Passover. No doubt the service of providing animals for those who could not bring them from great distances began with noble purpose. Pilgrims needed approved animals for sacrifice; they could not use just any old hag for an animal. This allowed merchants to exploit the pilgrims who came from all over the world. Eventually the whole process became corrupted by greed. The temple at this time looked like a market rather than a place of worship. Songs of praise were drowned out by the shouts of the chaotic market.

those who sold oxen and sheep and doves,

Jesus also discovered financial abuse upon His visit to the temple. He found that the sellers took advantage of the pilgrims by exchange of money when they came to the temple for worship.

Those who made the pilgrimage from other parts of Israel had to purchase their sacrificial offerings at the temple. Traders sold animals for sacrifice in the outer courts. The issue was that the pilgrims paid exorbitant prices for this service.

and the money changers doing business.

Money changers had to meet a legal situation from temple authorities that required special coinage. No pagan images were allowed on coins donated to the temple. There was much changing of money for this reason.

Those who exchanged money also took advantage of pilgrims. They had to pay temple dues, but the exchangers charged exorbitant prices to convert their money.

This cleansing of the temple and the cleansing at the end of Jesus’ ministry galvanized religious leaders against Christ.

The cleansing of the temple revealed the spiritual condition of the nation Israel. However, there was a godly remnant who were true to God.


There are issues that we should not tolerate.


We live in a day with a lack of indignation at wickedness. Jesus did not tolerate wickedness. God’s love and His wrath are not opposites to His holiness. He simultaneously is both wrathful and loving. If Jesus had for a second diminished His holiness, He would have violated His integrity. There will come a day when Jesus will express the “wrath of the Lamb.”