Mark 11:17 “… My Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations, but you have turned it into a den of thieves.”
Jesus spoke these words the day after His triumphant entry into Jerusalem on the colt of a donkey among cries of “Hosanna!” and “Blessed is He who comes in the Name of The Lord!”
Jesus had observed the greedy extortion of those who needed to purchase an acceptable sacrifice for Passover. With righteous anger, He sent money flying as He turned over tables and drove corruption out of the Temple, reminding everyone that God’s heart is for the salvation of all the nations. Though the Temple was destroyed in 70 AD as Jesus warned, the Apostle Paul instructs us in Ephesians that God’s Temple is no longer a brick and mortar structure, but rather is the group of both Jews and Gentiles who have entered into a New Covenant with God through their faith in Jesus as their Lord and only Savior. The Apostle Paul taught us this in his letter to the Ephesians where he wrote,
“We are carefully joined together in Him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord.” Ephesians 2:21.
I want to encourage us not to miss the word “becoming” in that verse. Though we are saved to the uttermost when we turn from sin and put our trust in Jesus, we are in the process of together becoming the holy place where the Spirit of God dwells. This is a daily on-going process. It’s what Jesus referred to when He said, “If any of you wants to be My follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow Me.” (Luke 9:24) Later in Ephesians, the Apostle Paul refers to it as a “throwing off” and “putting on” process when he writes,
“Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from Him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.” Ephesians 4:21-24
The rest of Ephesians helps us see what that looks like in our lives–which I highly recommend checking out.
I’ve found this process of “throwing off” my old sinful nature, letting the Holy Spirit renew my thoughts (see yesterday’s ICC email by Pastor Seth), and “putting on” the new nature a daily necessity in my life! I’m convinced that if we, as the Church, give ourselves to it, we’ll be empowered by the Holy Spirit!
I know it’s been three weeks, and we’re all growing weary. But remember, we ARE the Church—we ARE the House of Prayer for all the Nations! So, let’s keep on asking, keep on seeking, keep on knocking…keep on talking to God to show His salvation to all the nations.
Let’s keep at it, Church!