Zealous for God

Scripture: John 2:15, ‘So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.’

 

Observations: Jesus goes to Jerusalem and visits the Temple where he finds people selling animals and exchanging money in the Temple courts. Jesus makes a whip out of cords and drives the animals out of the temple area, overturning the tables of the money changers and scattering their coins. Although John doesn’t say it, Jesus is clearly angry. He says to those who were selling doves, ‘How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market. (v16)’ And the disciples seeing this recall Psalm 69:9, ‘Zeal for your house will consume me. (v17)’ The Jews in the temple area ask Jesus to prove he has the authority to do such a thing (v18), to which Jesus responds by predicting his resurrection from the dead (v20-22). John wants to point out Jesus’ anger at how the religious leaders were dishonouring God. Instead of using the Temple as a place to worship God they were using it as a place to make money.

 

Application: Firstly, we too need to be aware of how easy it is to think life is about making money instead of worshipping God. Jesus refers to his body as the temple (v21), and Paul talks about our body also as a temple (1 Cor 3:16; 6:19), and his point is that we should use our body, or our life, not to honour ourselves, but to honour God, not to please ourselves, but to please God. Secondly, like Jesus are we zealous for God, are we passionate about the things that God is passionate about, do the things that anger God anger us? Do you get angry at injustice? Do you get angry when people dishonour God, or twist God’s truth? Of course we must show our anger in a godly way.

 

Prayer: Dear Heavenly, I confess that all too often I am just like the religious leaders in this story, I live my life for comfort and pleasure. Lord, all too often my life is about me, rather than You. And Lord, that should make me angry with myself, that I would put myself before You. Lord, forgive my pride, and help me to honour You with my life. Lord, help me to be zealous for You, to be passionate about Your honour and glory. Lord, may I get angry at the things that make You angry. Lord, help me to work towards justice in this world, help me proclaim Your will in all things, not just the things that are easy and safe. I want You to be first in my life. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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