February 04, 2013
From the desk of Dr. A.J. Higgins
Zeal for God
And His disciples remembered that it was written,
“The zeal of Thine house hath eaten Me up.”
Psalm 69 is one of the most referenced Psalms in the New Testament, and therefore Messianic in character. The activity of the Lord Jesus in cleansing the Temple at Passover, and His words concerning His Father’s house, reminded His disciples that it was written in Psalm 69 that, “The zeal of Thine house hath eaten Me up.” The thought behind “eaten Me up” is to be consumed by something.
Here was a Son Who was consumed with zeal for everything related to His Father. Public opinion, the animosity of foes, and the status quo of the establishment did not hinder Him from faithfulness to His Father. His eyes saw what was inconsistent with His Father’s honor and He moved to bring everything into conformity and consistency with that goal.
It was going to be a costly journey for the Son as He sought at every turn to honor the Father. How could it be otherwise when He was moving amongst men who were seeking their own honor? (John 5:39-44) While men were seeking their own honor and receiving honor from one another, He sought only to honor His Father. His zeal was for another and not for Himself. We cannot begin to identify with a totally selfless Man. There was never a thought of self promotion or of self advancement. Did it honor the Father? This was the guideline for all His actions.
In the context of Psalm 69, His zeal for His Father’s house was so evident, that His “own house” did not recognize Him. “I am become a stranger unto My brethren (the nation), and an alien unto My mother’s children (His own family).”Psalm 69:8
1. John is the Gospel of the burnt offering. One of the four parts laid upon the altar in Leviticus 1 was the fat of the animal. It was linked with the head. This is often linked with the inward energy and zeal of the Lord Jesus. Trace His zeal which is almost always linked with His knowledge throughout the Gospel.
2. In light of His zeal, why is it so fitting that John alone records the words, “It is finished!”?