Joh 2:13 The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
Joh 2:14 In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there.
Joh 2:15 And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables.
Joh 2:16 And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.”
Joh 2:17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”
Joh 2:18 So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?”
Joh 2:19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
Joh 2:20 The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?”
Joh 2:21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body.
Joh 2:22 When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.
During the holiest time of the year, Jesus, just beginning His ministry went to Jerusalem. No doubt word of His miracle at Cana had spread.
When Jesus entered the temple, He found that it had been turned into a mart (place of trade). This was a severe degradation, since the temple was the holiest of places in the Jewish religion. To then utilize it as a shop and general commons was an insult to Jesus. This is also where we may speculate that Jesus was angry, because He basically chased them out of the temple with a whip and turned over the tables.
Now imagine this, here is a complete stranger, a young man, who walks into the local market, and starts chasing people out with a whip, and kicking over tables, all the while telling the traders that they must leave His Fathers house. In our modern culture, the first thought would be that this person is a complete fruitcake.
So did the Jews, apparently, because they asked Him, in v18 why He was doing that. I’m pretty sure that this Biblical account is pretty polite, both in terms of Jesus’ outrage and the reaction of the traders. So Jesus answered that the temple, the holy place in this holy time, was being destroyed by what they were doing there, and immediately drew the parallel to His own body as a temple of God.
The death and resurrection was already foretold here, at the occasion of cleaning the temple.
But can we learn more from this? How do we disrespect the temple of our body with sin? How do we not turn it into a place which we pollute daily?
When Jesus died and rose again, He chased that disrespect, that sin that so insults Him, out of our temples. His blood became the whip, His tears the voice that scolds sin. He prepares us to be holy, just like the earthly temple was holy before He came to fulfill the law.