Can you imagine what the disciples felt while this was going on? They had not been with Him very long… He had done and said many amazing things. They believed with all their hearts He was the expected Messiah. Yet the first thing He does is uncalled-for activity. Imagine: This practice had been going on for decades and, without warning Jesus drives out the money-changers, the animals, and even some of the people with a whip! What would you think?
As they watched Him, there came flashing into their minds a verse from the 69th Psalm. The Psalm describes the suffering and the agony of the One who was to be Messiah. Into their minds came this one verse, “The zeal for thy house has consumed me.” (Psalm 69:9a) - “it has burned Me up, has seized Me and devoured Me.” There came for the first time, perhaps, the quiet realization that God does not compromise with evil.
This touches one of the great paradoxes of our Christian faith. Throughout John's Gospel we will see how anyone can come to Christ, no matter how evil, or what their background. Murderers, prostitutes, liars, perverts, drunkards, self-righteous, cynics, religious hypocrites, self-sufficient snobs -anyone who sees the sin in their life - anyone who wants to be free can come to Jesus. Jesus said, “Come unto Me all you that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
But now the disciples understand, something else - that if you come, Jesus is not going to leave you the way you are. He may leave you alone for awhile. Many young Christians have misunderstood that. Because He brings us in love and He deals with us in patience, we think that He is going to let us get by with some of the sins and wrongful habits we have built into our lives. But He won’t. One day we will find Him coming with a whip, Jesus begins to deal with our sin whether we like it or not. Our prayer today should be: “Lord, cleanse my heart of all that defiles so that it may be a house of prayer that is pleasing to You.”
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