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Verse 14. Found in the temple, &c. The transaction here recorded is in almost all respects similar to that which has been explained in the See Barnes "Mt 21:12".

This took place at the commencement of his public ministry; that at the close. On each occasion he showed that his great regard was for the pure worship of his Father; and one great design of his coming was to reform the abuses which had crept into that worship, and to bring man to a proper regard for the glory of God. If it be asked how it was that those engaged in this traffic so readily yielded to Jesus of Nazareth, and that they left their gains and their property, and fled from the temple at the command of one so obscure as he was, it may be replied,

1st. That their consciences reproved them for their impiety, and they could not set up the appearance of self-defence.

2nd. It was customary in the nation to cherish a profound regard for the authority of a prophet; and the appearance and manner of Jesus—so fearless, so decided, so authoritative—led them to suppose he was a prophet, and they were afraid to resist him.

3rd. He had even then a wide reputation among the people, and it is not improbable that many supposed him to be the Messiah.

4th. Jesus on all occasions had a most wonderful control over men. None could resist him. There was something in his manner, as well as in his doctrine, that awed men, and made them tremble at his presence. Comp. Joh 18:5,6. On this occasion he had the manner of a prophet, the authority of God, and the testimony of their own consciences, and they could not, therefore, resist the authority by which he spoke.

Though Jesus thus purified the temple at the commencement of his ministry, yet in three years the same scene was to be repeated. See Mt 21:12. And from this we may learn,

1st. How soon men forget the most solemn reproofs, and return to evil practices.

2nd. That no sacredness of time or place will guard them from sin. In the very temple, under the very eye of God, these men soon returned to practices for which their consciences reproved them, and which they knew God disapproved.

3rd. We see here how strong is the love of gain—the ruling passion of mankind. Not even the sacredness of the temple, the presence of God, the awful ceremonials of religion, deterred them from this unholy traffic. So wicked men and hypocrites will always turn religion, if possible, into gain; and not even the sanctuary, the Sabbath, or the most awful and sacred scenes, will deter them from schemes of gain. Comp. Am 8:5. So strong is this grovelling passion, and so deep is that depravity which fears not God, and regards not his Sabbaths, his sanctuary, or his law.

{n} "And found in the temple" Mt 21:12; Mr 11:15; Lu 19:45

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