The Second Clearing of the Temple

Matthew 21 KJV – Jesus Cleanses the Temple

12. And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,

13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them.

15 And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David; they were sore displeased,

16 And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?

Jesus The Christ – Written by James Talmage

Part of Chapter 30


Within the temple grounds Jesus was filled with indignation at the scene of tumult and desecration which the place presented. Three years before, at Passover time, He had been wrought up to a high state of righteous anger by a similar exhibition of sordid chaffering within the sacred precincts, and had driven out the sheep and oxen, and forcibly expelled the traders and the money – changers and all who were using His Father’s house as a house of merchandise. That was near the beginning of His public labor, and the vigorous action was among the first of His works to attract general attention; now, within four days of the cross, He cleared the courts again by casting out all “them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves”; nor would He suffer any to carry their buckets and baskets through the enclosure, as many were in the habit of doing, and so making the way a common thoroughfare. “Is it not written,” He demanded of them in wrath, “My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.” On the former occasion, before He had declared or even confessed His Messiahship, He had designated the temple as “My Father’s house”; now that He had openly avowed Himself to be the Christ, He called it “My house.” The expressions are in a sense synonymous; He and the Father were and are one in possession and dominion. The means by which the later expulsion was accomplished are not stated; but it is plain that none could withstand His authoritative command; He acted in the strength of righteousness, before which the forces of evil had to give way.

His wrath of indignation was followed by the calmness of gentle ministry; there in the cleared courts of His house, blind and lame folk came limping and groping about Him, and He healed them. The anger of the chief priests and scribes was raging against Him; but it was impotent. They had decreed His death, and had made repeated efforts to take Him, and there He sat within the very area over which they claimed supreme jurisdiction, and they were afraid to touch Him because of the common people, whom they professed to despise yet heartily feared – “for all the people were very attentive to hear him.”

The rage of the officials was further aggravated by a touching incident, which seems to have accompanied or to have immediately followed His merciful healing of the afflicted folk at the temple. Children saw what He did; with their innocent minds yet unsullied by the prejudice of tradition and their sight yet undarkened by sin, they perceived in Him the Christ, and burst forth into praise and worship in a hymn that was heard by the angels: “Hosanna to the son of David.” With ill – concealed anger the temple officials demanded of Him: “Hearest thou what these say ?” They probably expected Him to disclaim the title, or possibly hoped that He would reassert His claim in a manner that would afford excuse for legal action against Him, for to most of them the Son of David was the Messiah, the promised King. Would He clear Himself of the blasphemy that attached to the unjustified acknowledgment of so awful a dignity? Jesus answered, with an implied rebuke for their ignorance of the scriptures: “Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?”

It was now Monday evening; Jesus left the city and retired again to Bethany, where He lodged. This course was a prudent one, in view of the determination of the rulers to get Him into their power provided they could do so without arousing the people. This they could not accomplish by day, for wherever He appeared He was the center of a multitude; but had He remained in Jerusalem over night the vigilant emissaries of the hierarchy might have succeeded in taking Him, unless He withstood them by some miraculous action Near as was His hour, it had not yet struck; and He would be made captive only as He permitted Himself, a voluntary victim, to be taken into the hands of His enemies.