The Zeal for My Father's House
Scriptures: John 2:15-17 Isaiah 1:11-12 Revelation 2:3-5
John 2:15-17 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise. And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.
Zeal is the fervour or tireless devotion for a cause, a determination in its furtherance. A burning emotion that has diligent enthusiasm.
Jesus had a “fervour, an intense devotion, toward His Father’s house. It was a “zeal” that consumed Him, it was intense to the point of bringing out a Holy rage.
In righteous anger, He made a scourge of small cords, cords that would have been lying all over the floor of the Temple because there were animals everywhere and the animals would have been tied with ropes, crates that would have contained birds for the sacrifices would be secured by cords of all shapes and sizes.
Jesus would have collected some of these cords and braided them into a scourge, this was a calculated act of zeal on Jesus part. He certainly would not have been walking around with a whip in His belt to chastise those who were doing wrong.
Josephus records that there could have been as many as a quarter of a million animal sacrifices offered at a Passover, so this scourge doesn’t seem much of a weapon against what may have been tens of thousands of people all of whom would have plenty of reason to resist what He was doing. But Jesus, in righteous anger he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables;
Isaiah asks, hundreds of years before, what are your multiple sacrifices to Me, says the Lord, ‘I’ve had enough of burnt offering of rams and the fat of fed cattle. I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. When you come to appear before Me, who requires this at your hand to trampling in My courts?
Isa 1:11-12 To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts?
Do we have such a “zeal” for the things of God? A burning desire for His presence! A “zeal” that literally eats us up.
The risen Lord in Revelation sends a message to the church in Ephesus, I know your works, your labour, and your patience, nevertheless I have somewhat against you, because thou hast left your first love. Jesus encourages them to return to their first love.
Remember how fervent and zealous you were when you first knew the Lord? At the time, there was no sacrifice too great for you to make for the Lord, no price too high to pay, no valley too low to cross, no ocean too deep to traverse: You were completely and totally sold out for the Lord. Always remember who our First Love is.
Lord as we go about our daily life, even though it may include good works and great deeds for the Kingdom, let us have a Zeal for the Lord. Never let us forget who our first love is and the glory in which You dwell.