Revelations from the Word

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Zeal for Your house consumes Me

by Jean-Louis Coraboeuf

"Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers' money and overturned the tables. And He said to those who sold doves, Take these things away! Do not make My Father's house a house of merchandise! Then His disciples remembered that it was written, Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up. So the Jews answered and said to Him, What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?” (John 2:13-18).

When Jesus went up to Jerusalem to celebrate the solemn Feast of the Jewish Passover, the Jews who were in the Temple said to Him, "What miracle can you show us?". The cleansing of the Temple at Jerusalem was therefore considered as a prophetic act, which revealed the object of Jesus' ministry to the people of God: to re-establish zeal for God by transforming a den of thieves into a holy Temple. Jesus prefigured a change in God's plan: the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem as God's habitation and the creation of new temples, which were to be God's new habitations. The latter represent our bodies (John 2:21), which are to become temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19) in the image of Jesus Christ raised from the dead.

We are to consider the cleansing of the temples of our bodies as God's second miracle, which follows that of our new birth (to be born of the Spirit). The enemy of our souls has for a long time used our bodies to glorify himself by transforming them into his image. When we accept Jesus Christ into our lives as Saviour, He redeems us, so our bodies belong to Him. He becomes our new owner, who then wishes to reign in us as Lord. That is why He wishes to cleanse us of all that remains of Satan's kingdom in us in order to make us holy temples for the Holy Spirit. That is the miracle of sanctification that the Holy Spirit alone can progressively carry out in us.

When Jesus Christ reigns in our lives, we become zealous for Him and God's Kingdom. We then become strangers to those near to us (Psalm 69:9) and we bear the outrages against the One (Christ) who lives in us (Psalm 69:10); we attract the dishonour from the anti-Christs (Psalm 69:11) and we become the object of their sarcasms (Psalm 69:12); all because we have miraculously changed kingdoms. This change carries the risk of powerfully affecting our relations with others, but in His goodness, God redeems us from the mud into which we are in and removes us far from the flow of our enemy's words, to deliver our souls (Psalm 69:14-19).