SLD Blog

Scenes from Holy Week – Monday

The Cleansing of the Temple
by Alexander Smirnov

Matthew 21:12-13 (AMP)

And Jesus entered the temple [grounds] and drove out [with force] all who were buying and selling [birds and animals for sacrifice] in the temple area, and He turned over the tables of the moneychangers [who made a profit exchanging foreign money for temple coinage] and the chairs of those who were selling doves [for sacrifice].  Jesus said to them, “It is written [in Scripture], ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you are making it a robbers’ den.”

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Money changers were businessmen in the Temple courtyard who would assess a foreign coin for its type, wear and tear, and validity, then accept it as deposit, recording and exchanging its value in Temple currency. The people could then exchange the Temple currency to conduct trade for an animal that would be used for sacrifice in worship.  Worshippers had to exchange Roman money for money that contained the acceptable Temple image on it. These money changers were self-proclaimed experts of the value of currency and notorious for devaluing the coins of worshippers who needed Temple currency to make their purchases.  In other words, they were making a dishonest profit.

There is nothing wrong in making a profit.  Goods or services are provided that allows a margin of increase for the one making the provisions.  It’s a sound business practice.  The error enters when license is taken, and figures are fudged.

These money changers were making a profit through their transaction of one coin’s image to another, but at what expense?

“Really, what profit is there for you to gain the whole world and lose yourself in the process?” Mark 8:36 (TPT)


Be proactive and think of one way you can conform to the image of Christ today.  Ask the Lord for the courage and strength to live it out.


“To be like Jesus, this hope possesses me,
In every thought and deed, this is my aim, my creed.
To be like Jesus, this hope possesses me,
His Spirit helping me, like him I’ll be.”  Amen.

John Gowans and John Larson