At the beginning of his public ministry, the apostle John says that Jesus “found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. 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 money changers 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 place of business.’ His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘ZEAL FOR YOUR HOUSE WILL CONSUME ME'” (John 2:14-17, NASB).
Jesus did not let the Jews corrupt his Father’s house. It was “a house of prayer for all the nations” (Mark 11:17), but they were treating it as if it were a “place of business” (John 2:16, NASB).
The Father also did not allow the true temple of God to undergo corruption. Jesus was the dwelling place of God in the flesh (John 2:21). When the Jews crucified him, the Father did not abandon him but resurrected Jesus physically so that his flesh would not see corruption (Acts 2:31).
Do we follow the Father and Son’s example? That is, does the zeal of his house consume us?
According to 1 Corinthians 3:17, the true house of God is the church or the group of the saved. The church has the sublime purpose of bringing the message of salvation to this lost and dying world. The only “bait” used by these “fishers of men” was the word of God (Luke 8:11, Mark 16:15, Acts 8:4). Additionally, the church has the purpose of building or promoting the spiritual growth of those who are already Christians through the teaching of the word of God (Acts 20:32, Ephesians 4:11-16, 1 Corinthians 14:26). Finally, it has the responsibility to provide for needy brethren (Romans 15:25-26, 1 Corinthians 16:1).
If we sit with our arms crossed while others try to corrupt the true nature of the church with commerce, recreation, and other social activities, we cannot say that the zeal for his house consumes us. We must purify the temple of these things!
However, we may guard the church from doctrinal corruption, but how are we doing with respect to removing the corruption of our own bodies, which are also temples of God (1 Corinthians 6:19)? It is not enough for us to preach the correct doctrine in the church, where God dwells, without also ridding ourselves of the filth of the flesh, where God also dwells.
–(Adapted) Brigham Eubanks