17 Then His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.”
The disciples were with Jesus during His cleansing of the temple. Having watched in amazement how Jesus attacked the merchants in the temple, His disciples saw justification for this in the Bible.
17 Then His disciples remembered that it was written,
The disciples remembered the quote from the messianic Psalm 69:9, the most quoted Psalm in the New Testament. This remembrance may have occurred much later, when they reflected on these events.
“Zeal [vehemence] for Your house has eaten Me up [devoured].”
Jesus’ disciples feared that what happened to David would happen to Jesus. Jesus would have to suffer for protecting the temple.
“Zeal” here is devotion to the temple. The Psalmist cries out to God because of those who opposed his commitment to the temple. David’s zeal for the temple put him in a place of danger. Zeal for God’s temple would lead to Jesus’ death. Jesus was like David in Psalm 69. The disciples feared that what happened to David would happen to Jesus, that His zeal would be consumed by temple authorities.
Jesus Himself quoted Psalm 69:4 in John 15:25. He again alluded to Psalm 69:21 on the cross (Jn 19:28). It is obvious that Psalm 69 was messianic.
David’s same thoughts as he reflected on the temple were the Messiah’s thoughts. One of the purposes of the Messiah was to restore the temple and the kingdom of Israel to the rule of God.
Jesus did not tolerate irreverence toward the temple. The Messiah had a consuming zeal to correct the wrongs going on in the temple. This attitude took Him to the cross.
We see God’s plan more clearly when we wait.
God’s designs are not always plain to us. Sometimes it takes time for us to absorb what He is doing in our lives. There are times when we have to wait patiently to see what God is doing with our lives.