As He walked around the hustle and bustle in the courtyard, He was appalled at what he saw. Rather than being a holy place dedicated to worship and honoring God the Father, it was a regular bazaar, a commerce center where business was being transacted and money was changing hands. He did nothing but observe that afternoon, but He would be back later to address what He saw and deeply detested. And then he departed the city to spend the night back in Bethany with friends.
On Monday morning He and His disciples returned to the Temple and Jesus showed visibly just how upset he was. Finally, he spoke out with the words that were recorded for posterity by His disciple, Matthew.
“It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.” Matthew 21:13 (ESV)
He then turned over the tables of the money changers, spoke briefly about his wrath and departed. He knew He was being watched but also knew that many of the faithful were unhappy with the financial comfort of the priests, yet He didn't want to take a chance of being arrested yet for He knew that the appointed time would come later in the week.
Leaving the city, his party then moved to the Mount of Olives where he began the final process of verbally preparing His disciples for what would be coming. He knew there would be doubts and fear, but He wanted to instill in them an understanding that they would remember later in their days of scorn since they would soon have to deal with it alone after His death. And then again they went back to the safety of Bethany where there were those who would watch over Him and warn of any sign of approach by Temple soldiers.
Meanwhile, Chief Priest Caiaphas and the other priests were befuddled. They saw Jesus' controlled fury but realized that His actions and words struck home with many in the Temple. Their plot would have to be performed with stealth, under the cover of darkness, otherwise it would potentially backfire. After all, this was the week of the Passover, and any attempts to arrest and eliminate a man who many believed to be God during Holy Days would create chaos. If that happened, Caiaphas knew that the Romans would deal with it brutally and blame Caiaphas and the Temple leaders for its initiation.
The story will continue on Holy Tuesday when Jesus returns to the Temple to both preach and "school" the supposedly more learned priests on the workings of God's Law and what loving God really means.