The next day when they went out from Bethany, he was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree with leaves, he went to find out if there was anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for it was not the season for figs. He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!” And his disciples heard it.
They came to Jerusalem, and he went into the temple and began to throw out those buying and selling. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves, and would not permit anyone to carry goods through the temple. He was teaching them: “Is it not written, My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations? But you have made it a den of thieves!”
I will bring them to my holy mountain
and let them rejoice in my house of prayer.
Their burnt offerings and sacrifices
will be acceptable on my altar,
for my house will be called a house of prayer
for all nations.”
Do you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal, and follow other gods that you have not known? Then do you come and stand before me in this house that bears my name and say, “We are rescued, so we can continue doing all these detestable acts?” Has this house, which bears my name, become a den of robbers in your view? Yes, I too have seen it. This is the Lord’s declaration.
The chief priests and the scribes heard it and started looking for a way to kill him. For they were afraid of him, because the whole crowd was astonished by his teaching. Whenever evening came, they would go out of the city.
1) Ask Jesus for grace to abide in Him and bear fruit for Him. (reference for further reading: John 15:1-8; 2 Tim. 4:2; 1 Peter 3:15)
Jesus, help us to always abide in You so that we will continually bear good fruit. Help us to always be ready to share your “good news” in word and deed, in season and out of season, wherever You lead us.
2) Ask Jesus to help us always have our hearts set on Him. (ref. 1 Chron. 22:19a; Rom. 8:5-6; Rom. 12:2; Col. 3:1-2; Heb. 12:1)
Jesus, help us to be holy as You are holy. Help us to be set apart for Your will and Your purposes. Help us to present our bodies to You as living sacrifices. Let us not give in to greed and selfish ambition. Let us not get lost following our own way, but keep our eyes and our heart set on You. May our hearts be free of idols and may we worship and live for You alone.
3) Ask Jesus to bring reconciliation among the various people groups of our community.
(ref. Psalm 133; John 13:34-35; John 17:21; James 2:1, 8-9)
Jesus, help us to welcome and make a place for anyone who desires to seek You. Let us truly be a “house of prayer” for all peoples and all ethnicities. May our bond with You, Jesus, be stronger and more desirable to us than any connection we have to this world. Give us a heart for unity and reconciliation. May we bring You glory by our love for each other.
*Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible, Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Christian Standard Bible and CSB are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.