The Gospel of John has a unique account of Jesus overturning tables of the money changers in the temple. After all the animals had been driven away and the money poured out, Jesus says “Take these things away, do not make My Father’s House a place for merchants.” Then His disciples remembered that it was written “zeal for Your House consumes me.” John 2:17.
The more knowledgeable you become in the Word of God, the more the Holy Spirit is able to speak to you in every situation. Jesus had created a very perilous environment for Himself and the disciples, and most people under these circumstances would be thinking “let’s get out of here, now!” The disciples must have been captivated to see the Word of God being played out before their eyes. This was not the first time they were witnessing prophecy fulfilled, and their hearts would soon be broken to watch what they refused to accept. Even though Jesus warned them three times, their minds refused to accept that the Christ would soon be crucified. The remembrance of Jesus’s words would have a devastating effect. Put yourself in the shoes of Peter when he was confronted by the crowd and accused of being a follower of Christ. He began to curse and deny knowing the man, until the rooster crowed.
And Peter remembered the word of Jesus which said unto him “before the rooster crows you shall deny me three times”. And he went out and wept bitterly. Matthew 26:75.
Oh that we could remember the Word of the Lord before we speak! This is why we must pray like David; “keep your servant from presumptuous words, let them not have dominion over me. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight O Lord my strength and my Redeemer. Psalms 19:14. For even the meek Moses failed to enter the Promised Land, because he failed to sanctify the Lord before the people and spoke presumptuously at the waters of strife, or Meribah. Psalms 106:32 & 33 and Numbers 20:10-13.
The Remembrance the disciples experience at this incident at the temple is found in Psalm 69, which is one of several Messianic visions of David. Beginning in verse 5 he says: God you know my foolishness and my sins are not hid from you. Let not them that wait on you O Lord be ashamed for my sake; let not those that seek you be confounded for my sake God of Israel. The anointing of Christ must place a burden of responsibility on the stewards of the Gospel to not offend someone to the detriment of their soul. James wrote: “if a man offends not in word, the same is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.” James 3:2. We must discipline our tongue before we can ever discipline our flesh.
Psalm 69 continues to verse 9; for the zeal of your house consumes me, and the reproaches of them that reproached you are fallen upon me. The second half of this verse is quoted by Paul in Romans 15:3. He says: “let every one of us please our neighbors for the good of edification. For even Christ did not please Himself but as it is written…” This is his overriding theme that began in the previous chapter. Romans 14 is devoted to the exhortation that concern for our brethren must direct our actions. A zeal for God’s House can now only be expressed through our concern for each other.
Therefore let us not judge one another anymore but judge this rather that no one put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in a brother’s way. Romans 14:13.
The other three Gospels give a different rendering of this event. In Matthew 21:13, Isaiah 56:7 is quoted. “It is written: My house shall be called the house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.” Then a significant event immediately follows the merchants being driven from the Temple.
And the blind and the lame came to Him and he healed them. Matthew 21:14.
The blind and the lame entered the Temple for the first time because the Lord made the way for them. Their exclusion from the Temple was brought about by a curse spoken by David in anger, and is found in 2 Samuel 5. David and his men went to take Jerusalem from the Jebusites and are taunted by them saying “unless you can defeat the blind and the lame you will not come up here.” They considered the stronghold of Zion to be impregnable, but Joab led the men up the sewer and defeated the Jebusites and slew “the blind and the lame whom David’s soul hates.” Therefore it became a statute at the words of David that the blind and the lame shall not come into The House. Again, words spoken presumptuously by an anointed man of God became a curse that Jesus removed with His compassion.
Zeal for the house of God is expressed through compassion and loving kindness.