It was the Passover. Thousands had flocked from the greater Mediterranean area to Jerusalem. The temple marketplace was doing a booming business. Sheep, oxen, and pigeons were all available to purchase various sacrifices. Since purchase needed to be made with temple coins, money exchangers were available to exchange Roman coins for Jewish money. And Black Friday was yet to come when everyone would need a lamb for the Passover meal. Friday would be a good day.
But then the Lord suddenly came to the temple, as predicted by the prophet Malachi. The Lord came in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, the Word made flesh, full of the heavenly Father’s grace and life.
In chapter 1 he had established himself as the new “Jacob’s ladder,” the connection between heaven and earth.
Jesus, had just attended a wedding where he changed the purification waters into the finest wine. It was time to celebrate, he was the Purifier, the water was no longer needed except for baptism into a His new life.
Now, Jesus changes the concept of temple and sacrifice. He is the new temple, built cell by cell in Mary’s womb. He is the new house of God. The sacrifices are no longer needed. He is the lamb of God whose sacrifice on the cross eliminated the need for any further sale of sheep, oxen and pigeon.
Thus, wherever we are, physically, spiritually, emotionally or economically God’s new temple is there with grace upon grace. The writer of Hebrews reminds us, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus…who for the joy set before him endured the cross…”