When they arrived in Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began to drive out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those selling doves. And He would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. Mark 11:15-16 NIV
I am guessing that the religious leaders believed that since the court was outside of the temple it would not defile the temple to have a marketplace contained within the courtyard. The temple court was meant to be an area for people to gather together and share what they had learned from spending time in God’s house. This was meant to be an opportunity for members of the family of God to come together, share, and nourish one another. The religious leaders had a different idea of the purpose for the temple court. Since it was a gathering place for those who went to the temple, what better place to have a marketplace, a place where many gathered? This just shows what was really of importance to these Jewish leaders. It certainly was not God.
Jesus was quite angry and cleared the courtyard of the sellers and would not allow people to carry merchandise in the courtyard. The house of God was being defiled and He would have nothing of it. The disciples recalled the scripture passage stating that zeal for thy house shall consume me (referring to Christ’s zeal for the Father’s house.) May we have zeal for the Father and the Son, seeking their presence in our lives.