Daily Readings and Thought for August 16th. “MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER”
Before he was arrested Jesus was in the Temple: now the Jews were misusing the Temple, it was partly used as a sort of market place; there were “money changers” and “those who sold pigeons.” We read this today in Mark ch. 11 v.15.
Imagine the drama when Jesus “entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought.” How he challenged them when “he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple.” [v.16]
We wonder how much notice they were taking of what he was saying to them; he was quoting from the prophet Isaiah, words we read at the beginning of last month. Jesus “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.”[v.17]. We read recently in Jeremiah 7 v.11, how the same misuse of the Temple was happening in his days – before it was destroyed. Oh the wonder of life on earth when it is “called” andused as “a house of prayer for all the nations”!
What a reaction there was to Jesus and his actions! When “the chief priests and the scribes heard it (they) were seeking a way to destroy him.” [v.18]. Jesus was acting to build up their resentment and anger toward him. By comparison – “all the crowd was astonished at his teaching.”
There is probably a good comparison here – with when the Bible was first translated into English and other languages. People were astonished to find in how many places its’ words differed from what they had been taught! There was great interest – and many committed their lives to God.
Unfortunately many soon took the easy way of leaving their learning to priests and ministers of their day. How few teach today that there is going to be a house of prayer for all the nations’? But those who still read God’s word – and meditate on what they read – look forward with great spiritual anticipation to when there will be “a house of prayer for all the nations.”