By Josh Taylor
In the prophet Isaiah we find these words:
"...these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations."
Jesus comes and declares judgement on the temple because it has turned inward, serving the needs of those who benefit most from religious observance.
God is a missional God, a God who reaches out. In Genesis 12 we see where God calls Abraham and makes a promise to bless him. But the blessing is so that Abraham my in turn be a blessing. This is the call of God's people: blessed to be a blessing. The problem we encounter in Mark 11:12-25 is that the people of God: a people called to be a blessing to all the nations have held back on their end of the deal. This temple of all places was to be a place where God's holiness and love were on display, instead Jesus finds what he describes as a den of robbers.
We, the church are called together in God's name as God's people. We indeed are blessed. But, we are blessed to be a blessing. Would Jesus come in to our midst and praise the way holiness and love is displayed in our local community through our witness, or would he find that we are turned inward?