THE ALL CONSUMING PASSION OF CHRIST
"For zeal for Thy house has consumed me." Psalms 69:9, John 2:17
The scripture reference above was "originally" spoken by David in Psalm 69:9. He was called "a man after God's own heart" because he had an all consuming passion to build a house for the Lord. He didn't feel that it was right that God's house (on earth) was just a tent (the tabernacle). He wanted to build Him a permanent home.
The Zeal of Christ
If you take a good look at the Lord's life here on earth you can see one undeniable pattern running throughout. Especially in the Gospel of John, which depicts the Lord's spiritual, inward life, you can see this line running throughout the whole gospel. You can tell by what He talked about. Let me give you a little hint. It wasn't miracles. It wasn't saving us from our sins. It wasn't the second coming or preaching the gospel to the lost. It was His Father! This man was absolutely obsessed with His Father! I've never done it, but if you were to add up all the times that Jesus mentioned His Father in the Gospel of John, you would be amazed. It seems that His "secret" was His internal fellowship with His Father. It is in this secret communion that everything is determined for Him. Timing, methods, preaching, works, are all determined by this inward fellowship.
In John 7, at the beginning of the chapter, the people tried to coerce Jesus into going to the Feast of Tabernacles in Judea. He told them that He could not go because it was not yet "His time." Yet later on in this same chapter we see that He did go up to the feast and was speaking in the temple.
No Outward Distractions
The Lord did not allow outward things to distract Him. He had a purpose, and that was to do the will of His Father. Within that secret fellowship, the Father's will was communicated and nothing could deter Him from that. The plans, programs, and devices of men could not sway Him from the Father's purpose. Human influence had no power over Him. He had one goal and that was to build a house for the Father and nothing was going to stop Him from doing that!
I know that many bible scholars believe that when the Lord used the phrase, "My time," He was referring to the cross. I agree with that basically, however, I think there is a little more to it than that. Could it be that when he said "My time has not yet come" he was referring to the timing with His Father? In other words, it was not yet time for Him to go up to the feast because the Father had not yet directed Him to do so.
A House for God
In His all consuming passion for the Father, the Lord Jesus could not help but have an all consuming desire for the Father's desire. God's plan, God's purpose was the driving force behind the life of Christ. How could He be consumed with the Father without also being consumed with the Father's purpose?
The Father has always wanted a house, some place where He could dwell, some place where He could be inside. If you look at the history of the ark, tabernacle, and temple throughout the Old Testament, you will see God's desire to have a house here on earth where He could dwell. Those Old Testament examples are only shadows or types of the real house that God wanted. He didn't just want to dwell among men, He wanted to dwell within man and be one with him!
Christ came to fulfill the desire and purpose of His Father. He wanted a place that He could call home; a place where He was comfortable and could rest His head. A place where all His works were completed and He could just be Himself and relax. I know I'm speaking in human terms here, but I think you get the point. Christ came to build the house for His Father. Just as Solomon built the temple for his father David, so a greater than Solomon is here!
"So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household, having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the chief cornerstone, growing into a holy temple in the Lord; in Whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit." Eph. 2:19-22
It's very clear in the scriptures that God wants a house. But what kind of house does He want? Steven gives us a hint:
"… the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands…" Acts 7:48
This was a direct assault against temple worship and the idea that God lives inside of physical buildings. This tells us what kind of a house God doesn't want!
Jesus gave us another hint when he spoke to the woman at the well.
"Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, shall you worship the Father." "… the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth." John 4:21,23a
So we can see from these scriptures that the house of God is not in any particular "place" at all. Or is it? Actually, it's in a place called "spirit and truth"; spirit, meaning the invisible realm, and truth, meaning reality. Simply put, the Father's house is Christ! The fullness of the Godhead resides within Christ. Since you and I are in Christ, we are in the house!