What Have You Done?!
Verse 17 And as He taught them, He said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’”
After discussing how the two men from opposite extremes came to the Temple to pray, we come to a point of what Jesus taught about the Temple.
This passage that we read today comes in the last week of Jesus’ earthly life. He knows His time is getting shorter and He sees all the things that show the reason He came to earth. The corruption in the very building area of the Temple was very disturbing to Jesus. He saw them treating the Temple in a dishonorable way and it angered Him. Temples represented the God that they were erected for and to treat the Temple as a marketplace, a place of money making, was a mockery of God.
Jesus knew that it became a place where people would come to do other functions than what the Temple was built to be. We sometimes miss this point too. Our church buildings become so many things in our lives. Could it be that we forget the main purpose of the church building? We forget that though we join with family and friends in the building, our first and foremost reason for going shouldn’t be about the social life. We need to remember the same thing that Jesus was reminding the people in the Temple that day, it is supposed to be a house of prayer.
Yes, Jesus had said that we should come one on one with Him but remember we said that He wasn’t saying that was the only way we were to pray. We know there were times in Israel’s history when they had come together to pray for God’s deliverance or favor. Times when they knew that they needed to gather together to join their voices. It isn’t that God is hard of hearing and needs multiple voices to hear us. He knows what it means to us to join together in prayer.
When we join together to pray we come to a new level of community. God knew that to come with joint purpose in prayer would build the community. It would bring people with differing opinions to a place of seeking God’s opinion. That should be why we come to Him. Not just to tell Him our opinion but to listen for His. His should matter more than ours anyway, shouldn’t they?
Making It Personal
When was the last time you thought of the church as a place for prayer? What comes to your mind when you think about going to church? Do you pray along during the congregational prayer time?
Making It Personal Kids
Why was Jesus upset about how the people were acting in the Temple? Does Jesus have a certain way that He wants to act in church? When do you pray at church?
Father, thank You for calling us together to pray as a body of believers. Help us learn what it means to be a praying people. In Jesus’ name, amen.