Thoughts for the Day

Tuesday, 12th April 2022: Holy Week images - 2

Jesus Temple Jerusalem John 2

Reading : Verses from John, Chapter 2


The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money-changers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. He told those who were selling the doves, ‘Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a market-place!’ His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘Zeal for your house will consume me.’

(Readings this week reflect the order of events that happened during Holy Week, and are based on the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible)


Today's image - a picture for Holy Week - is a whip. The Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) have the story of Jesus driving out the merchants and money-changers in the Temple, at the end of his ministry days before his death. But John in his gospel puts it right at the beginning of Jesus' ministry, and mentions that he made the whip out of cords.

In the week before the Passover thousands of Jews would pour into Jerusalem from all over the world, since every male Jew was expected to appear at the feast in obedience to the Law. The money-changers offered a good service, changing the pilgrim's money into silver Tyrian shekels to pay the annual Temple tax. However, the pilgrims could be fleeced - the coins being of the wrong weight or the change given incorrect. Those who sold animals also did a valuable task since no visitor would want to bring animals for sacrifice all the way to Jerusalem. This was usually done in the Court of the Gentiles. We cannot believe that Jesus drove out the traders with a whip because he didn't want such activity in the temple, after all the selling of animals for sacrifices and the payment of the temple tax were activities required by Jewish law and central to the temple’s functions.

But the point made is the same. Jesus' asserts his authority over the Jewish authorities, as the Son of God in his Father's house. He is publicly stating that he is the Messiah who has come to save God's people.


Lord Jesus Christ,
Son of God,
who asserted Your authority
in Your Father's house,
may we remember
that You are our King,
and that You call us as Your subjects
into living obedience.

Follow Up Thoughts

If you would like to learn more about the Temple in the time of Jesus, look at this article:

Have a look this map of Jerusalem in the time of Jesus:

How about meditating on the picture of the whip (a modern one I am afraid), and our Lord's courage in taking on the power of the Temple authority. Imagine the noise and bustle around him from those who support him and those against him.

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