15 So they reached Jerusalem and he went into the Temple and began driving out the men selling and buying there; he upset the tables of the money changers and the seats of the dove sellers.16 Nor would he allow anyone to carry anything through the Temple. Mark 11:15-16 (NJB)
Because Mark is believed to be the oldest copy of the synoptic gospels I will use the text from there for the purposes of this post. It is my purpose to illustrate to my readers how what is referred to as the cleansing of the temple in the New Testament is not and could not have been a factual event. One of the first problems was the sheer size of the temple plaza itself. Just to give you an idea let me quote from a guide to the temple: ' The Temple Mount plaza was 144,000 sq. meters in area (172 222.6 sq yards), the equivalent of 29 American football fields.' If you don't believe me you can read all about it here
During the time of Jesus the Temple was the main market place in Jerusalem. It is hard to believe that one man and his disciples; without having to use his super powers was able to stroll into the temple plaza and start flipping tables and causing a ruckus there without having to face several possible consequences to his actions. Also, this supposedly happened around the time of the Passover and so it stands to reason that since Jerusalem was under Roman rule that the temple being a place of trade and commerce would have had a strong Roman presence guarding the area.
So here is the first little known miracle that took place during this event. It is a miracle, that if Jesus and his disciples attempted to clear out the vendors and money lenders etc. from the temple; a task that would have been impossible due to the temples sheer size, that he did not get his ass kicked and handed to him by the vendors. Remember this was a time where for blasphemy people had no problem picking up stones and stoning you to death. This is the way these people sustained themselves and their families and anyone who has a lick of sense should know; you don't mess with a man's livelihood.
The second miracle was that short of him and his disciples being beaten to a bloody pulp they didn't get their asses arrested for causing a public disturbance in the temple in the first place. The fact that Jesus and company supposedly went waltzing in there kicking over tables and as one account said he was even whipping people with a whip he made from ropes, without getting arrested is beyond reason and belief.
The third and final miracle is that Jesus did not meet an untimely demise at the hands of the angry mob of vendors whose merchandise he was tossing all over the place. Not just for tossing the merchandise but for referring to himself as the son of God in John 2:16 and said to the dove sellers, 'Take all this out of here and stop using my Father's house as a market.' By simply stating that the Temple of God was his father house he implied that he was the son of God. This certainly qualifies as blasphemy and would have got him the death penalty.
In conclusion it is because of the sheer size (the equivalence of 29 football fields!) of the Temple that there is no way Jesus and a handful of men could have driven out the vendors from the temple. Flipping over the tables and making all those people lose merchandise and money would have certainly earned Jesus an ass whooping or some jail time or both. And finally, his blasphemy would have at least gotten him stoned to death either on the spot or subsequently after his arrest.