March 25, 2013

It's a House of Prayer, But ...

Mark 11:15-18

“Is it not written: &lsquoMy house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it &lsquoa den of robbers.’”


—Mark 11:17

Once again, we learn from Jesus—not only from what he said, but also from what he did. God’s temple was a symbol of God’s presence among his people, and the religious leaders had allowed the courts of the Gentiles to be filled with vendors and money changers. They were providing helpful services by selling animals for use in the temple sacrifices and by providing currency exchanges for travelers from all parts of the empire. But they were robbing people of a place to pray and offer worship to God with praise and offerings. And all this was in the part of the temple where God welcomed people from all nations.

So Jesus drove the buyers and sellers and money changers out of there. Just imagine the scene! Can you see Jesus overturning tables, hear the changers and dove sellers yelling, their coins scattering and doves fluttering with feathers flying?

Jesus wasn’t smiling as he banned this merchandise traffic. He was rightly angered by the exploitation of his Father’s house. And he was determined to make this a house of prayer for all nations, as God had intended it to be.

The church today should be a place of prayer and worship for God’s people from all nations as well. Is yours?

Father God, thank you for Jesus’ teaching by his words and actions, showing us what is most important. May our churches today honor you in everything they do, for Je-sus’ sake. Amen.

About the author — George Vink

Pastor George Vink has served as a pastor in the Christian Reformed Church for more than 30 years in British Columbia, Montana, Michigan, and California. He and his wife, Shirley, have four married sons and nine grandchildren.

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