Unlimited: The Den of Robbers
Feb 23, 2021 1950
On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves,and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts.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.’”
The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching (Mark 11:15–18, NIV).
Jesus entered Jerusalem, where he spent his final week teaching in the courts of the temple.
But first there’s something he had to do something.
The Gospel of John records that the first public act of Jesus’ ministry was his cleansing of the temple at Passover. The Gospel of Mark tells us that Jesus ended his ministry in the same way.
After having ridden into Jerusalem on a colt the previous day, Jesus cleansed the temple courts and it was exactly what the Jewish people would have expected the Messiah to do. They considered that the temple was defiled and that when the Messiah came, one of the key things that he would do would be to cleanse and restore the temple.
Jesus did this as a very clear sign of his absolute authority as the Messiah whom they had been expecting.
But this act by Jesus was also a direct challenge to the authority of the chief priests and the teachers of the law – principally the Sadducees in Jerusalem – who were the ones who controlled the temple in every respect.
Jesus explained why he had cleansed the temple by saying: “My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.”
Church should be a welcoming place for everyone, where they can connect with who God truly is.
But it’s easy to fall into the trap of Jewish people, when we make church about ourselves and how special we are, and we push our own agendas instead of God’s.
When we do that, we turn church into a den of robbers. It’s all about the attitude of our hearts.
– Eliezer Gonzalez
Eli’s Reflection: How can you be part of making your home church a place where God is truly worshipped and new people feel a sense of belonging?