March 8, 2022
“Then Jesus entered the Temple complex and He began to throw out those who were selling, and He said, ‘It is written, My house will be a house of prayer...”
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“Then Jesus entered the Temple complex and He began to throw out those who were selling, and He said, ‘It is written, My house will be a house of prayer, but you have made it into a den of thieves!’” Luke 19:45-46
The day Jesus cleared the Temple was a day that was announced hundreds of years earlier. Even in the days of prophets like Jeremiah, Isaiah, and Zephaniah, the nation of Israel took the “patience” of the Lord to mean He was either disengaged or impotent to judge their sin. Even though the prophets would announce God’s judgment, the people kept on sinning.
“On that day, I will punish all who skip over the threshold, who fill their master’s house with violence and deceit. On that day – the Lord’s declaration – there will be an outcry from the Fish Gate, a wailing from the second district, with a loud crashing from the hills. Wail you residents of the Hollow, for all the merchants will be silenced; all those loaded with silver will be cut off. And at that time, I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and punish the men who settle down comfortably, who say to themselves: The Lord will not do good or evil.” Zephaniah 1:10-12
As is the case with many in the Church today, the people of Israel had abandoned God’s Word to the point that they felt more at home in the world than with the Lord.
“Do you steal, murder, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal, and follow other gods that you have not known? Then, do you come and stand before Me in this house called by My Name and insist: We are safe? As a result, you are free to continue doing all these detestable acts! Has this house, which is called by My Name, become a den of robbers in your view? Yes, I too have seen it.” Jeremiah 7:9-11
Some people wrongly believe that Israel’s rejection of Jesus triggered God’s rejection of Israel and signaled His favor of the Gentiles. This is not so. Read: Romans 11
Contrary to popular Christian understanding, it has always been God’s desire for men of all nations to worship Him. The death and resurrection of Jesus brought understanding to the apostles, namely Paul, of what God’s intent and desire for the nations had always been.
“And the foreigners who convert to the Lord, minister to Him, love the Lord’s name, and are His servants, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it, and who hold firmly to My covenant – I will bring them to My holy mountain and let them rejoice in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar, for My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations. This is the declaration of the Lord God, who gathers the dispersed of Israel: I will gather to them still others besides those who have gathered.” Isaiah 56:6-8