Here’s the big question: By whose authority? Who has given Jesus the power to cleanse the temple, heal the sick and forgive sins? Because it’s hard for us to understand life in Jesus’ time, it’s also hard to understand just how fundamental his attack on the moneysellers is. By forgiving sins, Jesus is blasting away at the religious leaders of the day, members of the priestly class who have made a profitable business out of forgiveness. Should we be surprised that they respond by attacking Jesus? He’s threatening their wealth and privilege. No wonder they are out for him.