Sanders thought Jesus was symbolically predicting the destruction of the temple, but it is interesting that none of the Gospels directly connect this action with the prediction of its destruction later on (e.g., Matt. 24, Mark 13, Luke 21). This suggests to me that the earliest Christians did not initially see it that way.
But it does seem like Jesus is making some kind of sweeping critique of the way the temple is being run. The temple once again has become a "den of thieves," evoking Jeremiah 7.
Some take-aways from Mark 11:
- God's house is open for everyone seeking him. ("house of prayer for all nations")
- Anger in itself is not sin. It's what you do with it.
- Just because you have the title ("Christian," "pastor") doesn't mean you have the favor.