MONDAY 10TH APRIL 2017
TOPIC: A HEART OF ZEAL: A HOUSE OF PRAYER
TEXT: Matthew 21:12-13 “And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the Temple and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves….”
The word zeal isn’t one you hear very often. The dictionary defines zeal as “great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or objective, a passion, Vigor, intensity, devotion, fervor, and fire. As Jesus’ final days on earth continued, His issues With the established religious order escalated, starting when He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. As the people were shouting praises and laying down palm branches, the indignant Pharisees said, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples but He answered and said to them, I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out’ ” (Luke 19:39-40). Things heated up more the following day, as Jesus walked into His Father’s house and saw those He referred to as ” taking advantage of God’s people. He disrupted the business of religion which drew the anger of the religious leaders Who had already planned to have Jesus killed.
Naturally, Jesus — being zealous for God ‘s house and God ‘s children — took action. Jesus would not stand for such abuse upon those Who sought to be closer to God. These were men and women coming to the temple in order to Offer a sacrifice to the Lord, and they were being taken advantage of. In that Moment, He showed Himself once again to be the voice Of the voiceless and the defender Of the defenseless. His righteous anger led to a holy and teachable moment.
Later, we see His disciples preaching and demonstrating the same fire as Jesus. In Acts 4, Peter and John had been making waves in the temple,
healing a lame man and proclaiming the message of Jesus and His resurrection boldly. They, like their Master, disrupted the religious order, the temple. Not for the sake of dissention, but to set those held captive by an unreachable religious standard free, to receive the grace of God that comes by faith in Christ. What are you zealous for? Where does your passion and devotion lie? For Jesus and His disciples, it was all about serving the lost and broken, bringing hope and freedom to all who would receive it. As Christ followers, our zeal should be for God’s temple,
because you are His temple. Your neighbour is His temple. Your enemy is His temple! Ask God to show you how you can clear the temple so that His
Spirit may fill it!
MEDITATION: Jeremiah 7:11
Lev. 14; Ps. 17; Prov. 28; 2 Thess. 2