Bible Commentary: “A House Of Prayer” The Days Of Lent

March 24, 2015 at 11:08 am | Posted in Bible Commentary | Leave a comment
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“Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there.  He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” he said to them, “`My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it a `den of robbers.’ “(Matthew 21:12-13 NIV)
“On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple area 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.'”(Mark 11:15-17 NIV)
“Then he entered the temple area and began driving out those who were selling. “It is written,” he said to them, “’My house will be a house of prayer’; but you have made it `a den of robbers.’ “(Luke 19:45-46 NIV)
“In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.  To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!” (John 2:14-16 NIV)

When you visit a foreign country one of the first things you need to do is go to a bank or currency office and exchange your money for the money of the country you are in. This is never an even exchange as the exchanger almost always charges a fee for exchanging the money. This is what was happening in Jerusalem. It was the time of the Passover Feast and Jews from all over were converging on the city to celebrate this important occasion. Many would travel long distances from other lands and had the currency of that land with them, Greek or Roman money not Jerusalem money. Also, due to the distance they had to travel these visitors did not bring a sacrifice with them and everyone had to have a sacrifice at the temple for their sins. So the money changers set up tables at the temple. So did the sellers of sheep and doves and other animals for the sacrifice. Now no one could buy a sacrifice unless they had the proper currency so a visitor had no choice but to go to the money changer first. Those that sold were working in conjunction with those that exchanged money so that each made a profit because the money changers charged a very large fee for the exchange and the sellers for the sacrifice were charging a large fee for the animals. This was an unfair practice but the visitor was at the mercy of these people because they needed the money exchanged and they needed a sacrifice.

It’s been said that Jesus, in a fit of anger, drove them out of the temple. This is not true, if it was true then Jesus would have sinned and His sacrifice on the cross would have been nullified. Mark tells us that, “Jesus entered Jerusalem and went to the temple. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve”(Mark 11:11 NIV). This was not a fit of rage but righteous anger at what He had seen the night before. Then, we are told, that after He had cleaned house Jesus performed miracles of healing, “The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them” (Matthew 21:14 NIV).

Child of God – What activity occurs in the Temple today?   Because now the temple is not a  building, we are the Temple, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price” (1Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV). Jesus said He wants His house a house of prayer, can we say we pray in the house? Can we say our house is clean before Him? If not we need to confess our sin before Him and clean the house otherwise He will and it’s better if we do it first! Let us resolve to make the Temple a House of Prayer and then Jesus can do miracles of healing!

Our prayer:
Lord, make me aware of any exchanges of compromise in my faith or holiness that could be present in my heart so I can repent and take a stand for the things that are pleasing to you. I want my heart to be not only the Temple but also the Holy Place where your Spirit can feel at home. Thank you for your cleansing and for forgiving my sins by your grace and your precious sacrifice. Amen.

If you want to have a personal relationship with Jesus as your Lord and Savior pray: “Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and that out of love for me you willingly sacrificed your life so that I may live. I repent of all my sins and open my heart to you as my Lord and Savior. Amen.

If you prayed this prayer for the first time or if you have any questions please contact us. We would love to hear from you.

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