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The LORD, Whose Name is JEALOUS!
A Jealous Love!
Recently I was asked to lead a women’s bible study on John Chapter 2. I published the first half of the study in my hub Water to Wine: More Than a Miracle! The second half of this chapter takes a completely different turn. While the first half focused on the wedding feast, the second half deals with the jealousy of the Bridegroom!
John 2:13 PASSOVER in Jerusalem
This passage begins with the time of year; it was Passover. The reason for the Passover festival was to commemorate God’s protection and sanctification (setting apart) of His people when He sent the final plague to Egypt, forcing Pharaoh to set them free. Before God sent the angel of death to claim the lives of every first-born male, He directed His people to place the blood of a lamb on their doorposts so that the angel of death would pass over their households.
Every year since, the Jews came to the temple to sacrifice a lamb to “pass over” their sins from that year to the next. After the lamb was sacrificed, they would eat the lamb. The Passover meal is called the Seder, which is concluded with the wish, “Next year in Jerusalem”.
In my previous hub we reviewed Jesus’ purpose for coming to mankind. He was the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world! We saw that His death had an appointed time to take place at Passover. We read about the last supper (the Passover meal) at which time Jesus compared the bread and wine to his body and blood, instructing his disciples to “eat of His flesh and drink of His blood”, for He was the Passover Lamb of God.
John 2:14-17 Zeal for Thy House
Because Jesus was born a Jew and came to save them, He lived according to the Law and never sinned. Just like His people, Jesus made His way to the temple on Passover. However, when He got there, His heart became enraged!
“And He found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the moneychangers seated.
“And He made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the moneychangers, and overturned their tables;
“And to those who were selling the doves He said, ‘Take these things away; stop making My Father’s House a house of merchandise!
“His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘Zeal for Thy House will consume Me.”
Considering what we’ve read thus far and understanding Jesus’ purpose and Who He was, can we understand WHY He was so angry? Have you witnessed church organizations today that give as much, if not more, credence to the selling of merchandise as they do to preaching? Do you see preaching that is littered with the promotion of merchandise? Would Jesus respond in the same way today as He did back then? How do you respond?
John 2:17 His Name is Jealous!
The disciples remembered what was written in Ps 69:9, “Zeal for Thy House will consume Me.” ZEAL is the Greek word zelos meaning “to have warmth of feeling for or against, to be zealous or jealous”.
The book of Exodus (which means ‘a journey by a large group to escape from a hostile environment’) is all about the deliverance of Israel from Egypt. God not only sent Moses, then the plagues, but even parted the Red Sea for His people. He took care of them in the desert places, yet they turned back to idols in spite of it all! In Ex 34:14 we read, “-- for you shall not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God”! This is WHY God gave Moses the 10 Commandments, the FIRST of which is “I AM (YHWH) the LORD (Yehovah) thy God (Elohiym); thou shalt have no other gods before Me.”
While Jesus partook of the joy of the wedding feast in the first part of John 2, we are now reading about the jealousy of our Lord. Did you know God is our Husband and He is jealous for us?
Jer 3:14 "Turn, O backsliding children, said the LORD; for I am married to you".
Jer 31:31-32 “'Behold, days are coming,' declares the LORD, 'when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a Husband to them,' declares the LORD."
That time had come! The New Covenant was present! How His heart must have been broken to see His Bride polluting the House of God with merchandise and moneychangers! For Jesus had already made it clear in Matthew 6:24 and Luke 16:13 that “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth (money).”
Righteous or Sinful?
Obviously, we can see that Jesus was angry (provoked, enraged). The root of His anger came from righteous jealousy (to earnestly desire). Jesus never sinned, so being angry was not a sin in this account.
There is a sinful form of anger and jealousy. When we are angered by others, we are not to sin in our anger, nor let the sun go down upon our wrath (Eph 4:26). If we are envious or covetous of something or someone that belongs to another, it is sinful.
Rom 12:19 tells us “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord.”
Not only does the 10th Commandment tell us not to covet, 1 Cor 13:4 says that “love is not envious/jealous”. We are not to “desire earnestly” that which is not ours, nor give place to anger that results from that jealousy. Furthermore, we don’t sin by taking what does not belong to us!
However, God used jealousy for His glory in the case of the gospel being preached to the Gentiles. It was prophesied in De 12:21, “They have made Me jealous with what is not God; They have provoked Me to anger with their idols. So I will make them jealous with those who are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation."
The Apostle Paul said in Rom 11:11-14, “…But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous… I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them.”
Paul had righteous jealousy as shown in 2 Cor 11:2 “For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one Husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.” Ah; we see the marriage referenced here once more!
John 2:18-22 The Temple belongs to the LORD
When Jesus tore through the temple, the Jews asked Him, “What sign do you show to us, seeing that You do these things?” The NIV states it this way: “What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?"
“Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I WILL RAISE IT UP.
“The Jews therefore said, ‘It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will YOU will raise it up in three days?’
“But He was speaking of the temple of His body.
“When therefore He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this; and they believed the Scripture, and the word which Jesus had spoken.”
Not only was the resurrection of Christ a sign to the Jews, but indeed is the proof provided by God to all the world, that all men might believe.
John 12:2: “"And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself."
Acts 17:31 states, “He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead."
While Jesus exhibited His zealous jealousy at the physical, literal temple we must understand that when we believe and receive Jesus Christ in our hearts we are betrothed to Him. We are saved, sanctified, cleansed and made a spotless virgin by the blood of the Lamb! He puts His Spirit within us and seals us as His Own until the Day of Redemption, when the marriage feast will take place! Just as the Spirit of God birthed Jesus into the world, that same Spirit now gives us new birth!
1 Cor 6:19 states, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?”
John 2:23-25 The Heart of the Matter
“Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, beholding His signs which He was doing.
“But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, and because He did not need anyone to bear witness concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man.”
Let’s take a look at Mat 10:17b-22
Jesus said, “…If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.
“he said to Him, ‘Which ones?’ And Jesus said, ‘You shall not commit murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honor your father and mother; and You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
Let’s observe something here for a moment. Did you notice Jesus didn’t mention the first commandment? I wonder, because He knew the heart of the man asking, if He did this for a reason ~ of course He did! Let’s continue:
“The young man said to Him, ‘All these things I have kept; what am I still lacking?
“Jesus said to him, ‘If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.’
“But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieved; for he was one who owned much property.”
Hmmm. Do you think this was a test? Some believers/churches naively think this is yet another commandment ~ ‘sell everything you have and give it to the poor’. The truth of the matter is, Jesus was testing him as to the first commandment, confirmed in the fact we cannot serve two masters: God and money. Many people also misquote the scripture about money being evil. Money is not evil; it’s the LOVE of money that is the root of all evil (1 Tim 6:10).
Consider this as found in Mat 15:18-20: “But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders [do you see the 10 commandments referenced here?]. These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man.”
If you read my previous hub Water to Wine: More Than a Miracle!, the washing of hands was an ordinance Jews practiced daily. While this young man kept the Law outwardly, it didn’t mean he was inwardly righteous. Rom 2:29 confirms this: “But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.”
This is the point Jesus made when He said in Mat 5:27-28, “You have heard the commandment that says, 'You must not commit adultery.' but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
For more on this subject, I invite you to read my hub Will He Know You?
Does Your Heart Belong to Jesus?
Let’s read 1 Cor 6:15-19
“Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? May it never be!
“Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a harlot is one body with her? For He says, ‘The two will become one flesh’.
“But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.
“Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.
“Or do you now know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit Who is in you, Whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
“For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”
The Greek word for "immorality (fornication)" is "porneia", which means harlotry. So, if anyone engages in pornography, it’s the SAME THING. Furthermore, we can commit spiritual porneia as shown in Rev 14:8: “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who has made all the nations drink of the wine of the passion of her immorality (pornea).”
Considering Jesus taught us that circumcision is that of the heart, and the keeping of the commandments is also that of the heart, salvation is also that of the heart!
Acts 15:8-9 “And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us; and He made no distinction between us (Jews) and them (Gentiles), cleansing their hearts by FAITH.”
Truly, when we are filled with His Spirit we have the heart of Christ in us. We are transformed by the renewing of our minds...into His likeness. Indeed, when this is manifest we will share in His passion! AMEN.