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16 And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!”


16 And He said to those

The author John gave the only account of Jesus’ command in this verse. However, he did not allude to Isaiah 56:7 and Jeremiah 7:11 (as do the synoptics) whereby He gave justification for His action of cleansing the temple in the synoptics.

who sold doves,

The “doves” here may have been pigeons. “Doves” were the offering of the poor (Le 5:7).

Take these things away!

Jesus expressed righteous wrath here. He would not tolerate the sacrilege that was going on in the temple.

Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise [market]!

The Greek indicates that they were already making the temple a business market. The idea is: “Stop making My Father’s house a market.” The thought is to decisively deal with the corruption going on in the temple.

The words “My Father” show Jesus’ relationship as a Son to the Father, as a member of the Trinity. This is the first use of the word “Father” since the prologue (Jn 1:1-18). “Father” is the most important designation for God in the five books John wrote. He did not say “our” Father but “My” Father. We are not to confound the relationship of the Son to the Father and our relationship to the Father.

“House” refers to the temple in Jerusalem. The temple was the nerve center for Jews all over the world. Jesus did not want leaders to profane the temple. The temple was to be used for worship, not corrupt trade. Christ was the living image of the temple. He made a distinct claim to Messiahship.


Worship should not be commercialized.


We can lose the purpose of worship if we allow people to merchandise Christianity. If there is exclusive emphasis on entertainment for the lost, we will lose focus on God and worship itself.

Jesus is much greater than the temple. The temple was merely a symbol or type of the coming Messiah. Jesus was the Messiah Himself.

The biblical image of Jesus is very different from the view of Him in Western culture. Today’s idea of Jesus is that He was weak as a mouse, afraid of His own shadow. He was so “meek” as to not confront anybody about anything. However, Jesus could at the same time be compassionate to an adulteress and deal harshly with religious leaders (Jn 8:44).