In the presence of the Son of Man,
the high priest is rebuked.

Reflection

The word zeal means to have great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective. You can always tell what a person loves by how much energy, passion, and focus they give towards something. The opposite is in most cases also true; we can see what truly doesn’t matter to someone by the lack of passion they show. It becomes especially sad when our zeal gets misapplied to the wrong things and we grow numb to this fact. There is nothing more frustrating than spending all your time and energy on the wrong thing!

In John 2, we see Jesus enter the temple and drive out the money changers. He makes a whip and turns over tables. Zeal for the house of his Father consumed him which harkened back to Psalm 69:9. This is an action of Jesus unlike most others of his ministry. The Jews had turned the temple into an open-air market by selling items and animals for use in the temple. It was never meant to be this way. They were taking all their time and energy and putting it toward the wrong thing.

Jesus’ objective that day with the Jews was to bring them back to their calling as a missional people. It was very much an indictment of the Jewish leaders who had allowed this to happen. In a deep sense, this is Jesus calling the priesthood to account for the mismanagement of the worship of God in the temple. Leadership is temporary and we are all accountable.

Discussion

  • What does zeal for God in the church look like today?
  • What has God given you to lead and in what ways is He calling you to that leadership?
  • Who can you be accountable to in the things God has you stewarding in His kingdom?
  • Have you seen your missional community encourage you in your missional calling? Has anyone ever called you out for not living into your missional calling?

Prayer

Holy One, creator of the stars and seas,
your steadfast love is shown to every living thing: your word calls forth countless worlds and souls; your law revives and refreshes.
Forgive our misuse of your gifts,
that we may be transformed by your wisdom
to manifest for others
the mercy of our cruci ed and risen Lord. Amen

Praxis

Have you sinned against someone by using your power or position over them? Apologize to them and ask for their forgiveness.

Pray for the health of all the churches that profess the gospel all around the world.

Take some time to fast this week without telling anyone about it. Reclaim your personal time with the Lord as private and intimate.

Is there someone you know who has been hurt by unrighteous behavior in the church? How can you reach out to them and minister to them? How can you apologize to them on behalf of the church?

Lectionary readings for this week: Exodus 20:1-7, Psalm 19, 1 Corinthians 1:18-25, John 2:13-22

Going Deeper

Sometimes, we get ahead of ourselves when we start to do work, even the work of God. Tim Keller writes in his book, Every Good Endeavor, to encourage us to nd ways to connect our work to the work God is already doing in our world.

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