The Court of the Gentiles was an area out side of the temple in Jerusalem where people from any nation or ethnic heritage could seek God’s face. This was an expression of God’s grace. He was availing Himself to everybody.
When Jesus cleansed the temple (Mark 11) of the sellers and money-changers, He was clearing out the Court of the Gentiles. This place for seekers was overrun by Israelites making their own worship “easier.” How nice for God’s people coming to the temple to not worry about preparing before they arrived — no doves to bring, no sheep to prepare, no grain offering to carry. For a price, one could purchase the items for their offerings right there in the Court of the Gentiles.
All of this chaos, however, preempted any worship or prayer by the non-Israelite people among them. The noise, shouting, exchange of money, bleating of sheep and chooing of doves eliminated any kind of opportunity for silence or meditation. The insensitivity of God’s people drove away any chance for Gentiles to find God.
I’m grateful that Edinbrook Church has cleansed the “Court of the Gentiles” in recent years. We have made it possible for lost people to find God. We want this! We pray for this! We are seeing it happen regularly.
- After one of our worship services this past Sunday, an Edinbrook couple introduced me to another couple they had brought to church with them. They were homeless and had met “on the street.” Being invited to attend church together, the homeless pair were picked up and escorted to our worship service. They were encouraged, loved, prayed for, and inspired. They genuinely enjoyed their experience and each left Edinbrook with a new Bible in hand, something they did not even own before their arrival. They plan to return with a little help from their friends. They experienced the “Court of the Gentiles” on Sunday.
- A young man at Edinbrook has been “hanging out” with a young lady — 20 years old or so. She has never been to a church service in her entire life. She attended for the first time three weeks ago and has been coming each Sunday since. And–she really likes church! She is experiencing the “Court of the Gentiles” at Edinbrook.
We have made it possible, through the Spirit’s leading, to have the most authentic worship ever at Edinbrook. In sync with this, we are also providing an atmosphere and experience where lost people can find God. Jesus’ disgust toward religious leaders who are oblivious to seekers is clearly expressed with His temple tantrum in the court. In contrast to this, God’s great favor is lavished upon those who cleanse and prepare the court for the lost to find God.
I am humbled and grateful for what God has done and continues to do among us. May He continue to “add to our number day by day those who are being saved.”