And they come to Jerusalem: and he entered into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and them that bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money-changers, and the seats of them that sold the doves; and he would not suffer that any man should carry a vessel through the temple. And he taught, and said unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations? but ye have made it a den of robbers. And the chief priests and the scribes heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, for all the multitude was astonished at his teaching.
Insights: Today is the final piece to make this big picture clear. It is my opinion that the reason Jesus was so frustrated and cleared the gentile court of money-changers was because these Jewish people had bought into an erroneous idea that the gospel was for “us four and no more.” The only place a Gentile could go and worship God was in the gentile court, but because of all the traffic and commercialization going on, people could not encounter God. God is a relational God. We have already communicated clearly this week that God is passionate about prayer because it is the communication line between us and Him. The Old Testament is peppered with passages like Psalm 86:8-10, “There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours. All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name. For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God.” David is actually being evangelistic at heart when he is declaring to the Gentile world that there is no god like God. He is further expressing this evangelist nature when he declares that ALL the nations are going to worship God. So, we have to ask ourselves questions about our churches and our personal lives. Have we become just like the first century Jewish community? Would a lost person feel welcomed in our worship services? Would they think there was room for them in our community? Have we catered so much to our wants and desires that we have grown cold toward the lost? Jesus was absolutely committed to bursting through religious paradigms that hindered the proclamation of hope and life to dying people. He cleared a temple court and brought people to the Father in order for relationships to be established. What are we doing in comparison?
- Do you regularly pray for lost people specifically?
- Do you actively ask God to give you opportunities to share the gospel?
Prayer: Father, Your heart is for the lost. Mold my heart to be one like Yours and give me the courage and boldness to proclaim the eternal hope found only in Your Son Jesus. Amen.