Daily D – Mark 11:17
Mark 11:17 Then He began to teach them: “Is it not written, My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations? But you have made it a den of thieves!”
Everyone likes to feel in control. Common psychological disorders are often related to issues of control. The Jews of Jesus’ day demonstrate control issues, don’t they? In a land owned and occupied by Rome and its soldiers, there was one place they considered their own, and all their own, and only their own.
The one place Gentiles could gather to draw near to God in the Temple complex was cluttered with financial exchange agents, livestock and birds for sale for the sacrifices, along with their noises and associated smells. Only the hardiest of worshipers could worship in an atmosphere like Walmart on Christmas Eve.
Jesus spoke from Isaiah 56:7 and Jeremiah 7:11. These are not happy texts. They reflect the bad old days leading to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple.
God was not then nor today the exclusive possession of any people group. He loves everybody and wants every man, woman, and child to know and experience him. There is no Master Race. There is no Whites Only partition. There is no xenophobia with God. His clear declaration is Love Everybody Everywhere Always. His desire includes tearing down all boundaries and barriers to his presence, his mercy, his grace, and his love.
Extract from your faith practices anything aimed at elevating you and your kind with any manner of exclusivity. Remove from your worship anything distracting from who God really is and what he really wants. Add nothing creating distance between you and others or requiring extra steps for them to get to God.
Somehow in this Easter Week of 2022 we still need these reminders.
Just as death is now dying and will one day pass away forever, may the sins of racism wither and die in our day. Let’s say it again and rejoice in its truth: God loves everyone and so should we.
I will tear down barriers constructed to prevent others from coming to know and experience God.
Our Father, thank you for loving me, an outsider to those insiders of that day when Jesus cleansed the Temple. Empower me to tear down barriers and to open doors for those who have been shut out from your grace. Expand your love for everyone in the heart of every true believer and for all who will come by faith into relationship with you. Amen.
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Ezra 8:31, 32 On the twelfth day of the first month we set out from the Ahava Canal to go to Jerusalem. The hand of our God was on us, and he protected us from enemies and bandits along the way. So we arrived in Jerusalem, where we rested three days.
Esther 6:1, 2 That night the king could not sleep; so he ordered the book of the chronicles, the record of his reign, to be brought in and read to him. It was found recorded there that Mordecai had exposed Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway, who had conspired to assassinate King Xerxes.
Esther 4:14 “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”