Mark 11; A House of Prayer For all Nations

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

Mark 11:13 And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not [yet]. 

 11:14    And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard [it]. 

 11:15    And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; 

 11:16    And would not suffer that any man should carry [any] vessel through the temple. 

 11:17    And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves. 

Jesus cursing the fig tree before going cleansing the temple are not random events. The fig tree represented Israel which was not bearing fruit but rather keeping others away from the church or temple. Jesus enters the temple and finds them selling sacrifices inside the temple. What made Jesus angry was not that business was taking place inside the temple, but rather that the Jews were offering their sacrifices inside the temple where they would not allow the gentiles to enter. Thus they were preventing the gentiles from finding salvation. Jesus said, “My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer.” He wanted the temple and its offering of sacrifices and salvation to be opened to everyone and not just Jews. Thus he threw the money changers out of there will special little secluded area and sent them into the world.

Today’s church has been commissioned to go into all the world and to teach all nations. We must be careful that we do not shut other people out of God’s house just because they may not look, act, or think like us. We must teach the world God’s Word and truth, but too often we let our culture get in the way. Funny, we tell the unbeliever they must abandon their culture and then we try to force our culture onto them. When we, as missionaries go into other parts of the world, we often try to teach them how to live like we do back home, instead of like the kingdom of God. It is natural to want to “congregate” either in church or out of church with people who think like we do. Jesus challenges us to go into the world and find people who do not think like we do.  And teach them, not the culture of our earthly homeland, but the culture of God’s kingdom.

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