On completion of our awakening conference, I found myself praying, “Father, let the zeal of thine house consume me.” I don’t want to be lukewarm towards the house of God, I want intense ardour.
To those who sold the doves, he said, “Take these things out of here! Don’t make my Father’s house a marketplace!” His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will eat me up.” John 2:16-17
The verse is full of interest in many ways. It gives us the thought of the disciples at the time (comp. John 2:22) which could be known only to one of their number. It shows us what we too seldom realise in reading the New Testament, that the Jewish mind was filled to overflowing with thoughts of the Old Testament. The child was taught to say by heart large portions of the Law and Psalms and Prophets, and they formed the very texture of the mind, ready to pass into conscious thought whenever occasion suggested. With the exception of the 22nd Psalm, no part of the Old Testament is so frequently referred to in the New as the psalm from which these words are taken (Psalm 69:9), and yet that psalm could not have been in its historic meaning Messianic (see, e.g., John 2:5; John 2:22-25).
Zeal of thine house – “Zeal” is intense ardor in reference to any object. The “zeal of thine house” means extraordinary concern for the temple of God; intense solicitude that the worship there should be pure, and such as God would approve.
Hath eaten me up – Hath absorbed me, or engaged my entire attention and affection; hath surpassed all other feelings, so that it may be said to be the one great absorbing affection and desire of the mind. Here is an example set for ministers and for all Christians. In Jesus this was the great commanding sentiment of his life. In us it should be also. In this manifestation of zeal he began and ended his ministry. In this we should begin and end our lives. We learn, also, that ministers of religion should aim to purify the church of God. Wicked men, conscience-smitten, will tremble when they see proper zeal in the ministers of Jesus Christ; and there is no combination of wicked men, and no form of depravity, that can stand before the faithful, zealous, pure preaching of the gospel. The preaching of every minister should be such that wicked men will feel that they must either become follower of Yeshua or leave the house of God, or spend their lives there in the consciousness of guilt and the fear of hell.