They came into Jerusalem. After entering the temple, he threw out those who were selling and buying there. He pushed over the tables used for currency exchange and the chairs of those who sold doves. He didn’t allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. He taught them, “Hasn’t it been written, My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations?[b] But you’ve turned it into a hideout for crooks.”[c] The chief priests and legal experts heard this and tried to find a way to destroy him. They regarded him as dangerous because the whole crowd was enthralled at his teaching. When it was evening, Jesus and his disciples went outside the city.
– Mark 11:15-19, Common English Bible (C) 2011
I really like the idea that the temple – the place of worship – is to be a place of prayer for ALL – not just some, not just the orthodox (those who practice worship the “right” way), not just the pre-approved, not just Jews or Christians or Muslims or Buddhists or whatever other religious group. It is to be a place of worship, of prayer, for all nations.
But notice the chief priests and the scribes. They are afraid of Jesus. Afraid. Fear can lead us down strange paths and cause us to do things that are not always in our own – or anyone else’s – best interest. Fear can also hold us back, keep us from experiencing something new – perhaps even something joyful, hope filled, or brimming with new life. No wonder we hear the words “fear not” over and over again in scripture!
-Teressa Clark, 2012, 2019
Lenten Reflections 2019: Following Jesus from the Mount of Olives to the Tomb ~ Day 4