Lenten Reader | Day 4

God's House

When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”

Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”

They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” But the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.

John 2:13-22
Wow! The scripture, “Zeal for your house will consume me” brings such peace, hope, and excitement to me. How could the Jewish people have made the place where they were to worship and honor the God who rescued them out of Egypt such a chaotic place?! The Jewish people had turned the Passover into another thing they had to do, just going through the motions, and causing a separation for them and the Gentiles who believed in God. 
I believe some of us may be doing this today. We have lost the zeal of God’s house. We have lost the desire to make God’s temple (our own bodies) His home where we revere His presence and make it a place where we honor and worship Him. We may have gotten stuck in the day-to-day routines and the weekly meeting together as a chore or ritual, and I believe He is calling us to rekindle the flame of praise and love we once had for Him and recognize that His presence lives in his new temple – us! 
The beautiful part is that we don’t need Jesus to turn over tables and chase out the money changers, but we may need to allow the Holy Spirit to chase those things that do not honor Jesus out of us. We need to allow Jesus to search our hearts and get rid of anything that is not holy so He can take up residence and live within us! Are we willing to allow Him to do this; or do we allow the things of this world and our own rituals to take up residence and steal the zeal of the house of the Lord and to make it a house of robbers instead of a house of praise. 
I challenge all of us this Lenten season to remember that Jesus has a zeal for the house of God which is us and to strive for this: that it is no longer I (or you) who lives, but Christ in me (you), which brings the hope of heaven before me and leaves the grave behind. I hope the words of God help us all to have a zeal for Him again! 
Mary Brown