Episode #109: Avoiding Turnovers
“And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.” (Mark 11:16-17)
The area of the temple that Jesus turned over was the area set aside for non-Jews to come and pray. It was supposed to be an area of quiet reflection for the Gentiles to offer up prayer to God. It had been turned into a noisy marketplace where people were being taken advantage of and was being used as a shortcut from the town to the Mount of Olives. All reverence for God had been removed from this area. They had effectively made the temple a place where only Jews were welcome. In doing so, they not only took advantage of the Gentiles, but they were robbing God of the fellowship and prayers of the Gentiles as well.
Sound familiar? How many times have you heard people outside the church say they don’t feel welcomed by the church? This passage doesn’t condemn churches for selling coffee and doughnuts or books like I have heard it used. It is warning us to make sure we are not creating an atmosphere of exclusivity in our churches where “outsiders” are not welcome. We need to be sure we are not standing between God and those that He is drawing to Him. Let us be a people who are welcoming and get out of the way or we may be the next temple that gets turned over.
Love Y’all! Be Blessed!