Sunday, April 12, 2009


Mark 11:15-18

Jesus and the Twelve descended the Mount of Olives, crossed the valley, and entered Jerusalem. Jesus went straight to the temple and immediately began to clear out the Court of the Gentiles. He drove out the people who were buying and selling. He pitched over the tables of the moneychangers. He knocked over the benches with the doves on them. And he stopped people from using the court as a shortcut.

Jesus’ act of clearing the temple was an act of teaching. He was teaching God’s perspective on the Gentiles. His actions demonstrated what God said through Isaiah, “And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD to serve him, to love the name of the LORD, and to worship him, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant—these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations” (Isaiah 56:6, 7). Jesus also quotes Jeremiah, “Has this house, which bears my Name, become a den of robbers to you? But I have been watching! declares the LORD” (Jeremiah 7:11). Jesus was prophetically clearing the way into his kingdom for the Gentiles!

We need to recognize the significance of Jesus’ actions on this day. He was revealing that he was the Promised One, the one who came to defend the holiness of God and call men to repentance. He showed that he was the one who would fight for the cause of the Gentiles and remove the barriers that had been raised to keep them from coming to God. He came to unmask the hypocrisy of the religious leaders; to reveal that their false religion was fruitless. Jesus came to warn the people of Jerusalem. They were in a precarious situation and if they did not hear his invitation and call to repentance they would be destroyed. He amazed the people with his teaching (v.18) because he was willing to point the finger at Caiaphas. No one else would stand up to Caiaphas, but Jesus did. Is it any wonder that the religious leaders redoubled their efforts to find a way to put this zealous reformer to death?

Jesus told us to make disciples of “all nations.” The church is one body made up of “all nations.” When we gather for worship our gathering place needs to be a place for “all nations.” Are we intentionally trying to find ways to reach out to all the nations that are represented around us? Does our worship or our fellowship make it difficult for “all nations” to participate with us? What do you think?


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