Then his disciples remembered this prophecy from the Scriptures: “Passion for God’s house will consume me.” John 2:17
Here in the second chapter of John, we are told about two different events. Although differing in action, both showed me that Jesus knows the condition of our hearts.
The first miracle Jesus performed was turning water into wine at a wedding. In those days, running out of wine would be an extreme embarrassment for the bride and groom. Some commentaries believe that Mary might have had a family member in this wedding because of her great concern.
Based on Jesus’ answer to Mary in verse 4, there is a possibility the hearts of these people were not quite ready to receive Jesus and all His Glory. Whether or not I’m right, I do believe there are times God will reveal Himself in our lives and when God will choose to sit back. Ready and willing hearts can definitely be a proponent for Him to display His power. In the end, to appease His mother’s request, Jesus still displayed His power but it was only to a small group of people.
After the wedding, they traveled to Jerusalem for the Passover. For this particular custom, the Law of Moses required the animals being sacrificed must be unblemished and that they pay a temple tax. In addition, the temple would not allow for “pagan” coins to be accepted, which was any coin with the image of the Roman emperor, who was worshiped by the pagans as a god. To “help” the outside visitors abide by these rules, they would set up a merchant market in the court of the temple; however, they would charge unruly prices for these animals. In other words, they were scam artists.
Here is where it gets intense. Jesus’ righteous anger is shown by Him cleansing this temple with a chord and flipping over tables. Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the money changers’ coins over the floor, and turned over their tables (verse 15). Can you just picture that scene for a second? The bible states that the Lord is compassionate and slow to anger (Psalm 103:8), so this obviously was disgraceful enough in His eyes for Him to cleanse the temple the way He did.
Our key verse this week is pivotal for us to grasp the meaning behind this cleanse. The disciples are watching this unfold and Psalm 69:9 comes to mind. Passion for God’s house will consume me. Jesus is consumed by the condition of His Father’s house. I believe we can take this literally and figuratively. Quite literally, the merchants were staining the temple with their crookedness, but their hearts were also filled with deceit. Since the bible tells us that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, shouldn’t we be concerned with what we are staining the temple with? (1 Corinthians 6:19)
What do we fill our hearts with on a daily basis? Is it gossip? Are we harboring unforgiveness? Or anger? Or even disbelief? Whether large or small, the bible tells us that when we walk in the Spirit, we do not fulfill the lust of the flesh (Galatians 5:16). Let’s allow Jesus to use His chord and turn tables over in our own hearts. He is the only one who knows what is hidden deep down. Though it may be painful as we allow Him to do His cleanse, we need to remember that our Heavenly Father is consumed with passion by the eternal condition of our hearts. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me (Psalm 51:10).
be free. xo