Overturning the Tables

by Andrew Forrest

The reason there were moneychangers and merchants in the temple courts in Jerusalem was so that pilgrims who came in from far away could easily buy an animal for sacrifice. Galilee is in the north of Israel, e.g., and I’m told it was at least a 2 week walk from there to Jerusalem. Obviously, it wasn’t practical for Jews coming to worship and sacrifice in Jerusalem to bring animals with them, and the Jews of the Diaspora wouldn’t even have local money with them, hence the moneychangers.

I don’t think it is the presence of the moneychangers and the merchants that is necessarily wrong; it is their abuse of their position to which Jesus is objecting. If they had offered a fair rate of exchange and fair prices, then they would have been doing the pilgrims a service. But, it seems they were price-gouging, and thereby profaning the Temple.

Today’s Scripture:

Matthew 21:12-17


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