Read: Luke 19:28-48
By: Pastor Jarren Rogers
“Jesus is never upset at sinners; he is only upset with people who do not think they are sinners.” — Richard Rohr
“When Jesus entered the temple courts, he began to drive out those who were selling. ‘It is written,’ he said to them, ‘My house will be a house of prayer’; but you have made it a den of robbers’” (Luke 19-45-46).
At first glance, it appears that Jesus may have thrown a temper tantrum. It looks like Jesus was angered at the people in the temple because they were selling things in the House of God.
While this is true, I think it goes a little deeper than that.
You see, Jews were the only ones allowed in the temple. However, it is in this area just outside the temple – in these courts – Gentiles were allowed to gather.
It was here that they may be able to hear and maybe even see what was going on just inside. It was in the courts that they would catch snippets of the story of God and hear stories of His grace.
I think that one of the reasons that Jesus was so angered was because this place where non-believers could gather was taken over by people selling animals and goods.
This place where the non-believer had the chance to become a believer had become a Bible period flea market.
I think if we aren’t careful, we can do the same thing in the church today. Are there things we do or say, the way we behave or act, that might inhibit a non-believer from entering the church for a chance at salvation?
As we think about the mission of the church I think we will see that a part of this mission is to welcome all people. As the Church, we are called to be a light to the nations.
We are among people every day that do not know the love of God or the grace he has to offer. We should take these opportunities to show them who God is in our actions and also our words.
It is important that we as Christians set up our boundaries, our beliefs, and our values to separate us from the world around us. But, we shouldn’t let them get in the way of our witness.
While we should have values that set us apart from the world around us, we are still called to take Jesus, and the Good News He brings, to the Gentile.
We are called to invite the unbeliever into the walls of the church and into the grace of God so that they can experience Him.
That is our mission.