Matthew 11:15-16 – Clearing Temple

Mark 11:15-16 – “Why the emotional outburst of overturning tables at the temple?”

On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple area and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ” ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’ ” (Mark 11:15-17)

To condemn this an “emotional outburst” or “tantrum” is has no indication from the text itself, where only Jesus’ actions and words are recorded. Assuming Jesus’ actions were just, zeal or emotion for justice would not be out of place anyways.

If Jesus was just a normal citizen, obviously he would have little authority to clear businessmen out of the temple. But assuming at the very least that Jesus was God’s prophet to Israel, he would therefore have full authority to clear the temple courts to restore proper worship.

So there is no reason to condemn either the justice or emotion of Jesus’ clearing of the temple.

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