Scripture of Interest: John 2:17
When people think about Jesus Christ, they often think about how wonderfully loving, powerful and graceful he is.
As a matter of fact, one of my favourite portions of scripture is when Jesus showed mercy to the woman caught in adultery in John 8:1-11. When the Pharisees were suggesting this woman be stoned, Jesus said “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her” (v.7). This was one of those wow moments where you see the amazing grace of Christ.
When I read John 2:13-17, I was really amazed about how aggressive Jesus was in dealing with the situation at hand.
To summarize, Jesus had seen merchants selling several things – such as cattle, sheep and doves for sacrifices – in the Temple area in Jerusalem.
He was so furious that he used a whip to chase them out of the temple, whiles turning over tables and scattering money on the floor. This was quite different from his calm approach of correcting the woman who was caught in adultery. The moment was really captured in verse 17 (see below)
New Living Translation Version – “Then his disciples remembered this prophecy from the Scriptures:’ Passion for God’s house will consume me”
Amplified Version – “And His disciples remembered that it is written [in the Holy Scriptures], Zeal (the fervor of love) for Your house will eat Me up. [I will be consumed with jealousy for the honor of Your house.] [Ps. 69:9]”
King James Version – “And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up”
New King James Version – “Then His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up”
What can we take away from this passage?
The Significance of the Temple
One thing that is made clear is that, Christ is really passionate about the temple of God.
The word temple is defined as “An edifice or place dedicated to the service or worship of God”
If we take a look at 1 Corinthians 6:19 it says “Do you not know, that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not on your own”.
In other words, as Christians we must understand that our bodies (physically and spiritually) do not belong to us, but is rather a temple of the Holy Spirit (property of God). In accepting this, we must live our lives believing that the Holy Spirit actually lives in us.
If the president of the United States is visiting your home for an entire week, would you want the house dirty?
You would rather spend extra time, cleaning your house up so that it is presentable enough for the President to stay in.
As Christians, we often fail to acknowledge that the most significant being in all of creation (God) resides within our bodies as the Holy Spirit.
Instead we turn him into a 2nd, 3rd or even last priority when it comes to life (I struggle with this everyday)
I am not suggesting that you must be perfect before you can come to God and become saved. But for the sake of God’s love, we must make room for the things of the Spirit (Romans 8:5-6)
The Fury of Christ
Notice how angry Christ became when the people turned his Father’s house into a market place. They turned the temple from a place of worship into a place of profitable business for their own benefit.
Many of us treat our bodies in the exact same manner. Despite being called to live holy lives, we often decide to sell our bodies off to worldly pleasures such as drunkenness, sexual immorality, love of money, etc for our own personal benefit.
The amplified version states “I will be consumed with jealousy for the honor of Your house”.
Our God is a jealous God (Exodus 34:14). He does not want 99.99 % of us, he wants our entire life to be a service of worship.
How Do We Worship God?
“I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.2 Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]” [AMP]
We ought to literally give up all of ourselves to God (body, mind and soul). Is God your motivation towards your entire life, or do you simply depend on him towards your success and happiness?
Worship is not something we do to earn favour, it is a service of thanksgiving onto God we give because we are already favoured.
At this point you’re probably thinking, “how do I practically worship God?”
Truth is, the topic of Worship is so deep that it deserves a post of its own.
However the easiest way of understanding the things which please God is making every effort in reading, meditating, studying and obeying his word.
“How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping watch [on himself] according to Your word [conforming his life to Your precepts]. With all my heart I have sought You, [inquiring of You and longing for You];
Do not let me wander from Your commandments [neither through ignorance nor by willful disobedience].Your word I have treasured and stored in my heart,
That I may not sin against You”
We have been privileged to embody the Holy Spirit. Let’s maintain the cleanliness of God’s temple for his glory
Soli Deo Gloria