“And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons.”
This a side of Jesus that a lot of people don’t think about. Most think of Jesus as being this gentle person who would never hurt a fly. Now Jesus obviously wasn’t doing this to hurt anybody, but he was using pretty aggressive behavior as a result of the fire in His heart. Over in John 2:15 the bible says that He made a whip of cords and drove them all out of the temple! He was pretty upset! The bible says that later on the disciples remembered the scripture that said, “Zeal for thine house has eaten me up.” Jesus hated the fact that these people were using holy and sacred things to make a profit. And not only that, but were probably doing it dishonestly.
I’m sure Jesus made those people upset. Maybe they tried to stop him. I’m sure when they were picking up all their money off the ground they weren’t too happy with Jesus. People get upset when Jesus gets in the way of their money. Look at Demetrius over in Acts 19. When Paul started preaching Jesus and people began being saved and turning from silver man made idols, Demetrius the silversmith wasn’t too happy. He said, “there is danger not only that this trade of ours may come into disrepute but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis may be counted as nothing.” Notice that his first concern was his trade. I think that if he was a inn keeper or something else then Paul and christianity wouldn’t have bothered him. If that was so, he would have had more business from people coming in out of town for the revival!
This same reason applies to many opponents of Christ. When the message comes to them and requires a lot of them (i.e. like their money, business, lifestyle) they despise it. What if you are a drug dealer? Would you be happy about all your customers being saved and turning from drugs? What if you were a bar owner and all of your patrons are now going to church instead of the bar? This is exactly what was happing to Demetrius the silversmith.