Mark 11:17
“My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’ But you have made it a ‘den of thieves.”


Journeying through the gospels, we have many glimpses into the emotions of Christ. We see His compassion upon the multitudes and the sick, His love toward the rich young ruler, His sadness at the death of Lazarus, His tenderness toward the children, and so much more. As we encounter Him at the Temple, it is His anger that becomes evident to us. We read of Him turning tables over and driving people out of the Temple. Whatever we do not understand about this event, it is clear to all that Jesus is very upset with what is going on in the Temple courts. The key to unlocking the meaning of this event is in the words of Jesus Himself. He said,

“My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’ But you have made it a ‘den of thieves.”

The Temple and it’s ministries, we’re designed by God with the purpose of bringing sinful men into fellowship with God. A person would bring an offering to the priest, the offering was sacrificed, and sin covered. The Temple should have been a place where people loved and longed to go. When Jesus arrived, things had changed. The courts had turned into a market place and worship became a way of making a buck. The money changers charged a high rate to convert the Roman coinage, used on the streets, into the Temple coins, used for offerings. The priests required the people to purchase sheep from them for sacrifice. All this was turning people away from fellowship with God, and restricting worship.

Today the church ought to be a place where sinners are drawn to Jesus, and people are able to fellowship with Christ. Just like priests, we can become guilty of doing things that hinder others from coming to Christ. Perhaps an attitude toward a neighbor or co-workers is keeping them from Christ. Perhaps a prejudice toward a certain group of people is hindering you from inviting them to church. We should seek to do our best to be sign posts that point people to Jesus, rather than road blocks that keep them away.

Is there anyone  to whom you may have been a stumbling block? Anyone who, because of your behaviors, may have reason not to come to church? Take a few minutes to pray for them, that God would make you a positive influence upon them.

Pastor Jim

Questions for Mark 11

  1. According to verse 6, why were the disciples successful on the mission Jesus sent them on?
  2. What does the word “hosanna” mean?
  3. What was Jesus expecting to find on the fig tree? Why?
  4. What do you think Jesus is expecting to find in your life?
  5. Why was Jesus so upset at the events that were taking place in the Temple?
  6. What do we learn about forgiveness from Verses 25-26?
  7. Is there ANYONE who you are holding a grudge against, who you are unwilling to forgive? Take some time to pray for them and for you.
  8. The religious leaders were unwilling to answer the question because of the fear of people. What are you unwilling to do because you are afraid of others?
  9. Ask God to help you fear Him more than you fear people of acceptance.

Old Testament:
Exodus 27- The Altar
Exodus 28- Burden Bearers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s