In the Temple area he saw merchants selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifices; he also saw dealers at tables exchanging foreign money.
It’s Passover. The greatest celebration of the greatest event in the life of God’s people. God frees his people from slavery and brings them to the Promise Land. They remember this every year as if it is happening all over again. The highlight is to sacrifice sheep like they sacrifice at the original Passover where the blood of the sheep on the door frame is a sign that God’s people live here and the angel of death passes over this house.
Now, the Passover is big business. Estimates are that as many as 250,000 sheep are sacrificed at Passover in Jerusalem. But, you didn’t bring your own sheep. It is too difficult to travel and sheep could be stolen or attacked by wild animals along the way.
So, sheep are sold at the Temple for the sacrifice. You can’t use Roman money, however. It is considered unclean so you have to exchange for Temple money. For a fee, of course. If you are poor you could also borrow money to purchase doves which were cheaper. Still as much as 40 day’s wages!
This looks like Jeremiah’s prophecy coming true.
Jesus has seen enough.
Christians have been complaining about the commercialization of Christmas for about 300 years! Why does this bug us?