citing Isaiah 56:7
…these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.”
and Jeremiah 7:11
Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I myself have seen it, declares the Lord.
This is my first attempt at using a new study idea based on a book — Old Made New[a]. It’s a how-to book with a different premise; to let the New Testament read the Old Testament to me thru its citations. I’m going to use the Scripture references in the book for my post each Wednesday and pay attention to those citations. What is it about them that mattered to Jesus and may change my mind about what I read? Here we go…Week 1.
The Book of Jeremiah was written between 630 and 580 B.C. and Isaiah was written sometime during the ministry of Isaiah (approximately 740–701 B.C.). I can’t be the only one who’s forgotten the antiquity timeline is a countdown. So…Isaiah wrote first, then Jeremiah. Their words show the progression of their choice to neglect those old words. Luke is reminding his readers that Jesus saw their choice and grieved over the loss of God’s purpose for the purity of His house of prayer.
Jesus had paused to look over the city as he neared Jerusalem and was moved to tears over the “things that make for peace” that are no longer visible there. They no longer had any claim to innocence. The passage of time showed the result of neglect to those old Words. Jeremiah had to pass along God’s harsh observation about His house looking like a den of robbers. I don’t know how to explain why Jesus chose such uncharacteristic behavior in the Temple. Maybe it was anger, frustration, judgment and grief all combined at their willing acceptance of what had been lost. Did they even notice the decline?
I’ve noticed something because of following those citations in this passage. My emphasis changed as I read from wondering about Jesus’s unexplainable behavior to thinking about mine. It’s a choice to pay attention to old Words like Isaiah’s promise of acceptance and Jeremiah’s warning about neglect. It’s become a reality check about not neglecting old Words. Romans 8:12 says we do have an “obligation.” Our obligation to the “house that is called by [God’s] name is not our innocence, Adam took care of that. It’s our choice! Jesus is calling us to choose purity and He’s given us a completely different how-to Book filled with everything that can make that a reality in our life.
[a] Old Made New