“His disciples remembered that it is written, ‘Zeal for your house will consume me.'” (John 2:17)

This verse is a quote of Psalm 69:9 where the psalmist is crying to God because of the opposition he has endured from his enemies.

The major reason that his enemies have a strong opposition to him is because of his profound commitment to the temple.  This zeal that is shown in David is fulfilled in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ who is shown to be consumed with zeal for His Father’s house.

Zeal is defined as an intense positive interest in something.  Jesus has intense emotions towards His Father’s house and He would not tolerate that which detracts from His Father’s glory.  The zeal of the Lord is defined as a zeal that consumes Him.  In the parable of the sower the birds are shown to consume the seed that fell upon the path.

Metaphorically the word consume is used to show the consumption of the strength of the body and mind.  Jesus had such a zeal for His Father’s house that it consumed all of His bodily strength and mind.  Jesus’ zeal for His Father’s house would drive Him to the point of death for the sake of the church.  In John 2:22 of the disciples are said to understand these things after He was raised from the dead.

In other words, Jesus’ zeal for the church is ultimately pictured in Him being swallowed up in death.  Jesus’ vision of the church was one that was driven by a desire for pure worship and that the place where people gather to worship, be held in sacred honor.    Jesus was willing and did die for this.

Jesus’ response to the temple in disarray is not a response of running down the street to find a better place, but rather a response that demonstrates reform.  Jesus sought to put His life on the line for the purification of His Father’s house.  He not only would not tolerate the unhealthy practices that were going on in the temple, but He would do what was necessary to reform the temple.

He could not bear to walk away and remain silent while such injustice was being done. Dearly beloved, I pray that you will examine your zeal for the local church.  Do you have a holy passion for the Lord’s church or do you find yourself like a consumer who uses the church for you own selfish gain?

Does your life demonstrate zeal for the church or does your life reveal a shallow view of the church?  Is the church simply a market where you buy what you want or have you found the local church worth dying for?

J. Randall Easter, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Briar, Azle, TX.
II Timothy 2:19
“He who sells cheapest shall have most customers; the devil knows that it is a cheap and easy doctrine which pleases the flesh, and he doubts not but he shall have customers enough.” (Thomas Watson)

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