This post is part of a Lenten reading plan created to compliment the Lenten sermon series at Southland Baptist Church in San Angelo. You can follow that reading plan here.
Today’s reading: Isaiah 56:3-8
Key Verse: My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations - Isaiah 56:7
In Isaiah 56, the prophet envisions a day when those previously excluded from the worship of the Lord will be gathered in and given both a place within the temple courts and a name better than sons and daughters (56:5). Outsiders of every type will be made the most valuable of insiders.
Jesus' entire ministry served as a fulfillment of the prophet's vision. His table included so many undesirables that the religious establishment nearly lost their minds. They excelled at excluding others. They believed that sin was contagious and you needed to keep as far away as possible from so called sinners.
Jesus wasn't afraid to rub shoulders with sinners. In fact, he came to catch our sin so that we might be infected with his holiness (see 2 Cor 5:21). He knew that making all people holy had been God's plan all along.
One of the reasons Jesus cleared the Temple on that Monday morning was because those in charge of worship had strayed so far from Isaiah's vision. He had come to announce that this Temple's time of service had come to an end. A new Temple, his own body, would replace it. In him, all people would find a place in the presence of God.