Jesus is known for His love, His miracles, His sacrificial way of living and His devotion to people. But Jesus was full of zeal too. Remember when Jesus drove the money changers and the business people out of the temple? The Bible says that “His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”’ John 2:17 ESV
Jesus was zealous for His Father’s house. We know from the Scripture that we the church are God’s house, and not just a building. The Apostle Paul wrote:
“So, then you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.” Eph. 2:19-22 NASB
Do you see that? We are God’s household, and He is building us into a ‘holy temple’ in the Lord. We are not a physical building but a spiritual one. We could say that Jesus is just as zealous for us as His church, as He was for the Temple when he drove the merchants out of it.
One of our favorite Christmas scriptures is from the Prophet Isaiah:
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.
Isaiah 9:6-7 NIV
The Word of God here says that the entire plan of salvation for the world started with God seeing the pain of the world and sending His Son as a remedy, as a cure, for that pain. This plan was accomplished because of the intentional, zealous, passion that the Lord Almighty has for that plan and for us.
We can see that joyful zeal in our Lord as we read the accounts of His life in the Gospels. That same zeal that was in Jesus God wants to see in all of us too.
Let’s turn to Paul’s letter to Titus to see God’s promise to put that zeal in us. There Paul writes about Jesus that He…
14 … gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. Titus 2:14 ESV
Jesus came to purify us so that we could be His. Jesus is not going to spend the rest of eternity with people who live to satisfy their own passions. No, His great grace is changing us from the inside-out to be people who are full of passionate zeal to do what is good.
People who are eager to serve, to love, to put others first, that’s what marked Jesus and that should mark every Christian. So, let me ask you, with all respect, how zealous are you to do the things of the Lord? How compassionate are you really? Do you eagerly look for ways to serve others, or do you inwardly look for ways to avoid serving?
If you recognize that perhaps you aren’t as zealous to serve others as you would like to be, then just tell Him, “Lord, I want to be more like you, more zealous for the things that matter and less concerned about myself. Please teach me to change, and I commit to being more teachable. I love you Lord and I truly want to be a servant who eagerly brings you glory. In Jesus Name!”
If you prayed that prayer, then you can count on God’s grace to manifest to you. So be blessed and have a Merry Christmas!