Living by Grace

Dedicated to providing guidance in daily living through the power of God's grace as experienced in our union with Christ.

Eaten Up With Spiritual Zeal

And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.  John 2:17

When Jesus rid the temple of those using it for a market place,

the disciples remembered the statement found in the Psalms concerning one being eaten up or consumed  with zeal for God’s house.

In Titus 2:12 Paul shows that Jesus redeemed and purified all believers so that they might be zealous for good works:

... who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. 

In Romans 12:11 Paul exhorts his readers to be "fervent in spirit." The C. B. Williams translation of the New Testament renders "fervent in spirit" as:

... always on fire with the Spirit ..."

This passage can refer to either the human spirit or the Holy Spirit. Even if Paul was referring to the human spirit, we still would understand that the zeal of the believer is not to be flesh-produced  emotion—as some of us have witnessed at times in worship services.

Jesus must have had the Holy Spirit-produced zeal in mind with His analogy of those who “hunger and thirst” for righteousness. It is easy to visualize those who are hungering and thirsting as being “eaten up” or consumed with desire for food and water.

It is this type of desire that Jesus had for the purity of the temple. It is this type of desire we should have to be all God wants us to be and to do all God wants us to do.

It is possible that some of us can remember being “eaten up” with a desire to know and serve God, to see the lost come to Christ, to know the Scriptures, and to be filled with righteousness. But it’s only a memory. It is a thing of the past.

It is the Holy Spirit who causes us to be “eaten up” for the things of the Lord. Therefore we can have those desires again. Our need is to continue to receive the filling of the Holy Spirit.