December 5, 2018

Luke 19:46 (NLT) — 46 He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.”

The court of the Gentiles was the only place in the temple that was available to the Gentiles. There the Jews could witness to their “pagan” neighbors and tell them about the one true and living God. But instead of being devoted to evangelism, the area was used for a “religious marketplace” where Jews from other lands could exchange money and purchase approved sacrifices. The money exchange was anything but fair and the approved sacrifices had inflated prices. The priests managed this business and made a good profit from it.

A den of thieves is where thieves go after they have committed their evil deeds. Instead of praying for the people the priests were ‘preying’ on the people. The religious leaders were using the services of the holy temple to cover up their sins.

I don’t want to come down to hard on these people because when I look back on my own life there were times and probably still are times that I robbed people of seeing Jesus because of my bad behavior and harsh tongue. I have also robbed people of the opportunity to hear about Jesus because I didn’t open my mouth to speak. And I also have come to worship on a Sunday and have given the impression that all was well and I was living a godly life when if truth be told all was not well and not every area of my life was godly.

But like the people in verse 48, But they could think of nothing, because all the people hung on every word he said, I hang onto Jesus’ words because it is there that I find grace, mercy, and forgiveness. The enemy certainly has plotted to kill me (verse 47) but thank God there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ.

Romans 8:1 (NLT) — 1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.

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