“My house is a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of robbers!” (Luke 19:45-48)


Καὶ εἰσελθὼν εἰς τὸ ἱερὸν ἤρξατο ἐκβάλλειν τοὺς πωλοῦντας ἐν αὐτῷ καὶ γοράζοντας λέγων αὐτοῖς· γέγραπται ὅτι ὁ οἶκός μου οἶκος προσευχῆς ἐστιν· ὑμεῖς δὲ αὐτὸν ἐποιήσατε σπήλαιον λῃστῶν.

Καὶ ἦν διδάσκων τὸ καθ᾿ ἡμέραν ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ· οἱ δὲ  ρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς ἐζήτουν αὐτὸν  πολέσαι καὶ οἱ πρῶτοι τοῦ λαοῦ, καὶ οὐχ εὕρισκον τὸ τί ποιήσουσιν· ὁ λαὸς γὰρ ἅπας ἐξεκρέματο αὐτοῦ  κούων.

Then Jesus entered into the temple, and he began to drive out those who bought and sold in it,saying to them It is written that my house is a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of robbers!

He was teaching every day in the temple, but the chief priests, the scribes and the leading men among the people were looking for a way to destroy him. However, they could not find a way to do so because all the people were captured by every word that he said.

Luke 19:45-48, Eastern Orthodox Bible New Testament



Having entered into Jerusalem with glory, the Lord now shows the mark of His own authority by cleansing the peddlers from His Father’s house. Although He had done this before at the beginning of His preaching, as John relates [John 2:14-16], He does it now for the second time as an even greater condemnation of the Jews: for they did not amend their ways after His first correction but continued their profiteering. They even called Him an enemy of God at the very moment that He was honoring God the Father by cleansing the peddlers from the Father’s house. Therefore He brings against them as their accuser Isaiah, who said, My house shall be called a house of prayer [Isaiah 56:7]

St. Theophylact of Ochrid (Macedonia, 11th c.), Explanation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Luke (tr. from the Greek by Fr. Christopher Stade; Chrysostom Press, 2004)



My house is the house of prayer (Luke 19:46). And indeed, just enter into a church, and it calls you to prayer. Everything there is arranged and done in order to dispose to prayer and assist him in it. Therefore, if you want to enkindle prayer in your heart, go to the church of God more often. You will not pray at home the way you can in church. There are those who pray warmly at home too, but if they pray this way at home, how much higher is their prayer in church? But when you are in church, be there not only in body, but even more so in spirit. Stand where it is quieter and, beholding the Lord before you with your mind, pour out your soul before Him. Drive away daydreams, do not allow concerns, and attend to only one task-the task of prayer. Raise up your heavy soul on high and break down its corpulence through contemplation of Divine things. If you have something (on your conscience), remove it through repentance and a promise of correction. If your conscience is not satisfied, add deeds of self-denial and love. While standing in church, store up these feelings within yourself for all the time that you will not be in church. Do not step away from the Lord in thought, but always see Him before you, that your steps might not stray from the right path to the wrong one. Then, when you come to church, it will be easier for you to be as you ought to be there. Again, by standing appropriately in church, it will be easier for you to hole your attention before the Lord when you are outside of church …. Thus your (state of] abiding in the Lord will become higher and higher. What more could one desire?

St. Theophan the Recluse (Russia, 19th c.), Thoughts for Each Day of the Year (tr. from the Russian by Lisa Marie Baranov, St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, 2010)

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