Braving the Deep

Devotional

House of Prayer

Many people have heard the story of Jesus turning over the tables. It’s a commonly referenced story for when we need proof that our Lord got angry in life, too! It seems like an outlier among stories that gives us a picture of who Jesus is, and that is exactly what caught my attention. What made Jesus this angry? 

When Jesus voices what makes Him angry by saying, “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations” in the passage in Mark, he is referencing an Old Testament scripture in Isaiah that outlines how God cares for those outside of the people of Israel. God, throughout scripture, made it clear that He was choosing one people to spread His reputation to all people. His ultimate goal was always to draw the entire world to Himself.

In this particular story, people are there in the outer section of the temple, selling animals for sacrificing to people who had traveled from afar, the distance making it nearly impossible to bring an unblemished animal along for the journey. One big issue, though, is that they were doing this business in the only place that Gentiles were allowed to worship. Gentiles could not go any farther into the temple structure to worship because they were not Jewish. This meant that the place of worship for Gentiles had become quite un-worshipful, when it was always supposed to be a house of prayer for those coming to worship God—even for those from other nations. This was not a God-prescribed separation. This was the human mind misinterpreting what it meant to be set apart as the People of God. 

When those of us who are a part of the people of God forget that being reconciled to God should turn into us ministering that same message of reconciliation to others, we have missed a large part of the heart and intentions of our God. Throughout history, the people of God within different societies have struggled with interpreting the Word of God so that people are invited to be reconciled, as opposed to kept outside of the gates. For this, we must repent—confess the sin and turn from it. Will you join me in repenting?