The Grace of God to All Nations
Jesus echoed the prophets when He rebuked the abuses in the temple during His day. God shows His grace to all the nations and Jesus made this clear.
Turn northward and command the people, “You are about to pass through the territory of your brothers, the people of Esau, who live in Seir; and they will be afraid of you. So be very careful. Do not contend with them, for I will not give you any of their land, no, not so much as for the sole of the foot to tread on, because I have given Mount Seir to Esau as a possession. Deuteronomy 2:3b-5
And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.” Mark 11:17
Throughout the Old Testament God indicates that He has other nations in view as He brings salvation through Israel. How instructive to discover that God provided and protected lands for the descendants of Esau who was not the chosen son of Isaac! The Lord also provided lands for Lot’s heirs, the Ammonites and the Moabites. He even restricted those lands from Israelite takeover.
Jesus clearly understood and taught this global perspective as indicated in today’s selected verse from Mark. The temple was to be a house of prayer for all the nations. Even before Jesus’ day, Judaism had degenerated into a very inward focused religion, and the Lord quotes from the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah in His rebuke of the money changers (Isaiah 56:7; Jeremiah 7:11). But Jesus was making disciples who were going to go to the Gentiles in the entire world with His gospel.
Think about it
Unless you can trace your ancestry back to Jews, you are, like me, a Gentile. You are, like me, a beneficiary of God’s grace to Israel, whereby came the Scriptures and our Lord Jesus Christ. Should we not be humbled by His amazing grace to all the nations? Praise God that He has seen fit to call to Himself a people for His glory from all the tribes and tongues of the earth.