Preying Upon God’s People
A House Of Prayer For All People
Sunday June 19, 2022
Scripture To Consider:
“So they [Jesus and His disciples] came to Jerusalem. Then Jesus went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves.”
“And Jesus would not allow anyone to carry wares through the temple. Then He taught, saying to them, ‘Is it not written, “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations”? But you have made it a den of thieves.’”
“And the scribes and chief priests heard it and sought how they might destroy Jesus; for they feared Him, because all the people were astonished at His teaching. When evening had come, Jesus went out of the city.” Mark 11.15-19
Something To Consider:
There are some so-called scholars who support only one cleansing of the temple by Jesus, which they believe took place at the beginning of the ministry of Jesus. We will address that thought in more detail before ending this lesson of a lifetime. But for now, let it be enough to say that the wrong of religious profiteering from God’s people was and is dear to the heart of Jesus.
With less than a week left of His life, Jesus chose to address this issue of religious rulers, priests, pastors, or pretenders of the faith, and their financial preying upon God’s people. In the first cleansing of the temple found in John chapter 2, Jesus focused on the negative actions of the religious leaders by saying to them, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!”
Since the age of twelve, over two decades, Jesus witnessed firsthand the preying upon God’s people, and it infuriated Him into taking action. In our Scripture to consider, Jesus quoted an Old Testament text from Isaiah 56.7, by affirming; “Is it not written. ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you [the religious leaders] have made it a den of thieves.”
Something Else To Consider:
My house, Jesus said, with all the authority of heaven, shall be called a house of prayer for all nations. A place of worship is not to be a house of merchandising, or a safe haven for thieves and robbers taking spiritual shelter behind the hypocritical clerical robes and rules of man-made religion. God’s house, according to Isaiah and Jesus is to be a perpetual house of prayer for all people, Gentiles included and not just one or two select people groups.
At the time of the actual editing of this lesson of a lifetime, it is Friday morning, June 17, 2022. As of today, I am 69. After 60, life, at least for some, becomes a race to fulfil or to complete the many important appearing items in our bucket that we want to finish before leaving planet earth. So, I rise early every morning and hand write, or enter into a computer, or edit a small portion of an approx. 6–7-year project I call lessons of a lifetime.
And, at this juncture in the history of America, we have experienced all that accompanies the corona or covid 19 virus and government mandated so-called virus vaccines. Only time will tell the extent of the physical damage, human loss of life, and world economic upheaval due to the above-mentioned man-created end time issues. But to be sure, we should all be taking advantage of stepping up our prayer life and our allowing Jesus to cleanse the temples of our bodies, both physically and spiritually.
Something More To Consider:
In John’s recording of the first cleansing, there was no mention of the religious so-called leaders seeking how they might destroy Jesus, or no mention of them fearing Him as in Mark’s gospel. But after a few years, many miracles, and multitudes of people hailing Jesus as the King of Israel finally fostered a hatred of Jesus in the hearts of these so-called temporary temple religious acting guardians.
The first cleansing of the temple by Jesus was an eye-opening introduction of Himself to the religious profiteering rulers of His day. The second cleansing of the temple was a repeated reminder that the house of God was to be a house of prayer for all people, not a house of merchandising and a means of increasing one’s wealth by those in charge.
In 2 Chronicles 7.14, we read these words, as if spoken by God Himself; “If My people [confessing Christians of this 21st century] if they shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
By the time of your reading this, the coronavirus may be all but forgotten. But according to Jesus, the preying upon God’s people will continue until Christ returns! Also according to Jesus, God’s house, of whom true believers are and represent, are all part of the true house of prayer for all people! Have we therefore, or are we therefore, praying for forgiveness, and the healing of this land of America? And if not, why not?
A Few Final Words:
The following is recorded in Psalm 145.17-21. “The LORD is righteous in all His ways, gracious in all His works. The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth [or according to the truth of His Word]. He [the LORD] will fulfil the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry [prayer] and save them.”
David continued by stating, “The LORD preserves all who love Him [love proved by their being obedient to His Word of truth], but all the wicked He [God] will destroy.” Therefore, David declared, “My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD, and all flesh shall bless His holy name forever and ever.”
All across every nation, state, city, and village, God’s house should stand as a perpetual house of prayer for all people. Therefore, let us not be guilty of making it a den of thieves. For according to the apostle Paul and the Holy Spirit in 1 Corinthians 3.16; “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you [in us if true believers].”
And according to our Scripture to consider, “Then Jesus taught, saying to them, ‘Is it not written, “My house shall be a house of prayer for all nations”? But you [false religious but not spiritual leaders] have made it a den of thieves.’” And those very strong words are applicable to false religious but not spiritual leaders of this 21st century as well!
Our Father in heaven, cleanse our hearts from all that is displeasing in Your sight, and prepare us as true 21st century believers of Your truth for further perilous end time events. And thank You for the much-needed reminder that we are to be houses or spiritual temples of prayer. In Him Always, Amen!