Having performed his debut “sign” at a wedding in the backwaters of Cana (see last week), the next event John narrates has Jesus in a much more public place: the temple. Here, too, he performs a sign – not a miracle, but a sign of judgement.
John 2:13-16 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” 17 His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”
What’s going on here? Is Jesus just having a bad day? What could have prompted him to do such a provocative, violent act?