Jesus was so upset by the sight of the money changers in the temple, he waded in and started to tip over the tables and drive them out with a whip, this being the one and only time we ever hear of him using force during his entire ministry.

Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.  “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.'”
Matthew 21:12,13

So what caused this peace maker to become so aggressive?

For a long time the Jews had been called upon to pay their temple tax with a special coin called the half shekel. It was a measured half ounce of pure silver with no image of a pagan emperor on it.

It was considered by them to be the only coin acceptable to God.

But because there was only a limited number of these coins in circulation, the money changers were in a buyers market and like with anything else in short supply, they were able to raise the price to what the market would bear.

They made huge profits with their monopoly on these coins and turned this time of devotion into a mockery for profit. Jesus saw this as stealing from the people and proclaimed the whole setup to be. “A den of robbers”.

Once money is accepted as a form of exchange, those who produce, loan out and manipulate the quantity of money are obviously in a very strong position.

These are known as the “Money Changers”.

Now, let’s roll forward a few years to 1000A.D. and see the Money Changers at work in Medieval England.