From the gospel of John we read,
- “And He made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and He poured out the coins of the moneychangers and overturned their tables; and to those who were selling the doves He said, ‘Take these things away; stop making My Father’s house a house of merchandise.’ His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘Zeal for Thy house will consume me.'” (John 2:15-17 – NASB)
A familiar passage of Scripture, one we have probably read often. And if we haven’t read it we probably heard about it. Jesus, in righteous anger, driving the “moneychangers” out of the temple, angered by the fact that these profiteers were desecrating HIs “Father’s house,” making it into a “house of merchandise” instead of a “house” of worship. As He did this the “disciples” remembered that it was written” (Psalm 69:9) that the Messiah would have a “zeal for” the “house” of God. It would be a “zeal” that “consumed” Him.
Two words I’d like for us to note in our text. First, the word “zeal.” The Greek word for “zeal” is used in the New Testament in a good sense and in a bad senses. Obviously in our text it is in the good sense. It means, “jealousy, ardor (ardor meaning, “fervor, intense devotion, burning heat”)” (Strong). Secondly, note the word “consume.” Here we have a word that in the original means, “to eat down, i.e., devour” (Strong). In our translation from the NASB it is translated, “consume.” In the KJV and NKJV it is translated as “eaten . . . up.”
The Lord had a “fervor,” an “intense devotion,” a “burning heat-like” emotion toward the “house” of God. And it was a “zeal” that “consumed” Him, it was intense to the point of bringing out a holy rage. And He made a “scourge of cords” and He “drove” the “moneychangers” from the Temple.
A “zeal” for the things of God! A “burning heat” for the things of God! A “zeal” that literally, “eats (us) up!” Do you have such a “zeal” for the things of God?
As I was running on the treadmill yesterday afternoon, I had the TV on, the one that is attached to the treadmill itself. (NOTE: Isn’t it interesting how we even try to keep ourselves entertained when we’re exercising? Funny isn’t it? TV’s on a treadmill . . . a concept that still amuses me.) The NFL was on! The Bears and the Vikings. And I noticed the fans and the outfits they wore (some even despite the cold and snow), and the intensity of their involvement in the game, and the “zeal” they had for their team.
It is not an uncommon thing in this country for people to have a “zeal” for sport games, not uncommon at all. And it doesn’t take much to see that they are “eaten up” by it, “consumed” by their “zeal” for their respective teams.
As I watched this I thought of this text and I thought of the “zeal” that Jesus was “eaten up” with . . . and I asked myself, “Do I have this zeal for the things of my God?” I used to be a sports nut, especially before I got saved. Oh the fervor I would display when my team was playing, whether I was at the game or watching on the tube. One might say by watching me at that time, “Man, He is consumed by his allegiance to that team or that player!” And I was! But, I believe I would be viewed differently now . . . .
- “Oh Lord . . . my most wonderful Lord . . . may I have a “zeal” that is like Your “zeal,” a proper “zeal,” a “zeal” for the Father’s “house” . . . a “zeal” to be more and more like You . . . and may I be “eaten up” by this “zeal,” may I be “consumed” by it! Oh Lord, that is my prayer to You!”
How about it brethren, will you join me in this prayer?
Have a good day . . . and as you walk be consumed with a zeal for our God, our Savior, our Lord, His Word, and all that which is His.
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