Discovering Essential  Disciple-Making Fuel

“Then his disciples remembered this prophecy from the Scriptures: “Passion for God’s house will consume me.””

John 2:17 NLT

What picture comes to mind when I envision Jesus going into the temple for Passover, seeing the animal-sellers and the money-changers, making a whip to drive out the animals, and flipping the tables of the dishonest money changers?

I picture this incident taking place in the crowded temple area. I picture seeing and acting. I picture the whole event taking about five minutes.

But then I think about the event in real life terms. Could this really be done in five minutes? The Temple Mount is large. It would take Jesus a few minutes to find the rope, the cords, that He made the whip with. Because of the large crowd and the demand for animals to offer for sacrifices, there must have been a lot of animals. Maybe Jesus could drive a few out in five minutes, but this many animals? Corralling them, navigating through the crowds, moving toward the gate, gathering up the stray animals that got separated from the others. Then coming back through the crowd to the shocked money-changers and beginning to flip over table after table.

The more I try and imagine this, I can’t see it happening as quickly as I’ve always pictured. This probably took thirty minutes. It wasn’t fast and furious. It was long enough to get everyone’s attention and gather a crowd.

Imagine how Jesus’ disciples and family felt about this scene that unfolded before them.

Were they shocked? Were they amazed? Were they excited? Were they embarrassed?

Jesus refused to settle for “religion as usual.” This worship for profit practice was commonplace. He’d likely been seeing it for years when He made His annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the Passover. Maybe others also found it distasteful, but no one did anything about it.

Jesus’ zeal for true worship of His Father finally erupted.

Is His zeal mine? Am I passionate about worship? Do I want the Father to be honored? For Jesus, He was disgusted because the world had crept into the temple. In what subtle ways do I allow the world to creep in and, in so doing, dishonor the Father?

Jesus lived a life that exalted the Father. The temple was merely a symbol. It was to be central to a Jew’s life, and the worship that it represented was to filter through into every area of life. If they didn’t even honor God at the temple, how would they ever honor God in their everyday lives?

This crazy moment in the temple gets at the heart of worship. Honor God. Place Him first. It’s all about Him. Love Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Make Him your greatest priority, your greatest passion, your greatest pursuit.

Let a zeal for His honor consume you! A passionate zeal for God, loving Him with all our heart, is our essential disciple-making fuel. 

NOTE: This blogpost is based on Sonlife’s Knowing Him / A 50 Day Study in the Life of Christ / Day 10

Knowing Him has companion videos with our global leaders shot on location in Israel. Click HERE to watch.