Readings: Mark 11:15-33 and Matthew 21:33-46
When Jesus was in Jerusalem this week, it's clear He was unhappy with what He saw in the Temple. This was God's House, but He was not pleased with what it had become. The temple had evolved into a commercial enterprise with rules that restricted access to only certain people. In other words, it was there to make money and to reinforce exclusivity. After overturning many of the tables of the merchants and moneychangers, Jesus said, "My house shall be a house of prayer for all nations" (emphasis added). Jesus made this statement while standing near a short wall that displayed a threatening sign to those who were not Israelites. Foreigners who tried to pass the wall would be killed, and Temple police were armed and ready to enforce this rule. For Jesus to pronounce His house (the Temple) as a house of prayer for all nations is a remarkable statement.