The Master’s House

by Joseph Franks

The Son of God is on his planet. He is dwelling on the heavenly sphere he spoke into being “in the beginning.”

The Son of God is in his country. He is a citizen of the elect nation he chose and preferred.

The Son of God is in his city. He has arrived again in Jerusalem — Zion, the city of David, the city of the Messiah, the “city of the Great King.”

The Son of God is in his house. Upon arrival in Jerusalem, he straightway goes to the Temple. Here is the place where sins are recognized, confessed, ceremonially placed on the head of sacrificial animals, and where forgiveness is pronounced. Here is the place where sacramental washing with water takes place representing that performed by the Holy Spirit. Here is the place where people sing, priests minister, teachers teach, sacred candles burn, holy bread is eaten, and sweet incense ascends to the Father. Jesus is in the most revered building containing the Holy of Holies, and this sacred space he calls, “My house.” And upon visiting his earthly house of worship, Jesus is very displeased with what he witnesses:

And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers.” And he was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people were seeking to destroy him, but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were hanging on his words.     (Luke 19:45-48)

In Jesus’ eyes, his earthly Temple is to be a house of prayer. This has been stated most clearly in ancient scripture. (Is. 56;7) Jesus affirms this again through his words of exhortation and condemnation, “My house shall be a house of prayer.”

In Jesus’ eyes, his earthly Temple is to be a house of scriptural teaching. Jesus affirms this by his current practice. In this very text we see him teaching in the Temple – daily, and he does so in such a manner that people are hanging on his words.

In Jesus’ eyes, his earthly Temple is to be a house of encouragement and edification for all people. In Mark’s account Jesus calls his Temple “a house of prayer for all nations.” (Mk. 11:17)  Though having Jewish roots, it is to improve Samaritans, Greeks, and worshipers from every tribe, tongue and people group. Though led by men, it is to be a place where women and children are equally included and blessed. Rich and poor, locals and aliens, formerly reputable or disreputable, all are to be invited, accepted, and improved. However, Jesus’ house has become a place where, in the name of religion, some are selling sacrificial animals, exchanging currency, and getting rich while others are being used and abused.

Therefore, even though the Temple is revered, beautiful, full of people, ruled over by ordained men of the cloth, and full of God-directed religious ceremonialism, Jesus enters the temple and begins to clean house. He drives out those selling and those bringing products into the temple, and he overturns the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who are selling pigeons. And he refuses to allow anyone to carry anything through the temple.” (Mk. 11:15-16)  Jesus is not impressed with the worship programs and priorities of those who led activities in his Temple, in his church building, or in His House.

Fellow worshipers, Jesus will be visiting his house again this Lord’s Day. Let’s enjoy and glorify him and put a smile on his face. He loves to see his children learning, praying, and caring for one another. It is his house; he is the host. Therefore, let us follow his lead and enjoy his presence. The Master’s House, it is to be a place of prayer for all nations. 

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