16He told those who were selling the doves, ‘Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a market-place!’ 17His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘Zeal for your house will consume me.’

Anger is not mentioned as motivating Jesus in his dramatic action in the Temple. Instead his dramatic behaviour reminds Jesus’ disciples

Christ Cleansing the Temple Luca Giordana (1634-1705) Bob Jones University

of Psalm 69:9 in which the Psalmist says to God,

It is zeal for your house that has consumed me.

The Greek used to explain Jesus’ motivation is zelos. It is the source of the English word “zeal”; it also lies at the root of the English word “jealous.”

Jesus is consumed with a passion for the sacred space of God’s dwelling place. He is jealous for holiness.

This is not the jealousy of envy, resentment, self-pity or covetousness. The zeal/jealousy of Jesus is the single-minded focus of absolute devotion.

I am so often divided. I want to go in one direction but at the same time, there is something in me that seeks to go a different way. Part of me longs to be gentle, flexible, and compassionate; part of me is determined to get my way, prove my point, and protect my assets. My words and actions are seldom pure. They are too often mixed with self-interest and complicated motives.

It is worth asking: To what am I single-mindedly devoted? How often am I genuinely focused on one goal? What passion consumes and drives my life?


What are the forces in my life that keep me from being single-minded? What are the divisions I see within myself that make it hard for me to go in a consistent direction towards the good and the beautiful that I desire to embody?