He was just six months from the cross when He saw the blind man whose affliction some attributed to his sins or those of his parents. Jesus seized the opportunity to show His compassion and then to teach that it is wrong to associate sickness with sin. His explanation for interrupting His plans for that day was, “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work” (John 9:4). His zeal, His devotion to doing the will of God, is so needed by many Christians today.
We need to be zealous in honoring that which is holy. When Jesus saw the desecration of the temple, He made a whip and drove out all those who had robbed that holy place of its sacredness. As His disciples watched all this take place, they remembered the words of David and knew they applied to Jesus, “The zeal for Your house has eaten Me up” (Psa. 69:9; John 2:17). In an age of complacency and secularization of all that is holy, we, too, should be consumed protecting the holy.
We need to be zealous in protecting the integrity of the church. In the closing chapters of Isaiah, the Messianic prophet saw the church (Palm Beach Lakes) clothed with garments of salvation and robes of righteousness and adorned with jewels like a bride at her wedding (61:10). He saw us as the glorious crown in the hand of Jehovah and as a royal diadem ready to be placed on the head of God! When he imagined how others might hide her beauty and dim the lamp of righteousness and salvation shining from her, he said, “For Zion’s sake I will not hold my peace and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest” (62:1). O how the world would be changed if Christians were as Isaiah was for cherishing the glorious beauty of His bride. O how we all should be concerned about her integrity!
We need to be zealous in edifying the church. The church in Corinth was selfishly competing for spiritual gifts. They had elevated their own self-interests above the needs of the church. Paul said, “Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel” (1 Cor. 14:12). Christ did not shed His blood so I could put my own interest above the building up of the body of Christ. The Lord wanted them to go beyond just being zealous and to reach the level of excelling!
So what about you? Do you remember the zeal you had when you first obeyed the gospel? How does your present zeal compare to what it once was? God help us to let the zeal we have for His house, the church, consume us!