The story of Jesus’s disturbance in the temple as it is told in all four canonical gospels portrays Jesus as a singularly powerful figure against other powerful (mostly) men of his day. This way of telling the story obscures the presence of enslaved people, low-status women, and other vulnerable workers. This article argues that, in the disturbance, Jesus does little harm to those who owned money-changing tables or to the temple authorities economically or physically; rather, he harms the vulnerable workers at their tables. A reframing of the disturbance to center the perspectives of these often-marginalized groups reveals their political and theological savvy, which provides the strategic conditions for the protest.

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