John 2:17 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 2:17, NIV: "His disciples remembered that it is written: 'Zeal for your house will consume me.'"

John 2:17, ESV: "His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”"

John 2:17, KJV: "And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up."

John 2:17, NASB: "His disciples remembered that it was written: 'ZEAL FOR YOUR HOUSE WILL CONSUME ME.'"

John 2:17, NLT: "Then his disciples remembered this prophecy from the Scriptures: 'Passion for God's house will consume me.'"

John 2:17, CSB: "And his disciples remembered that it is written: Zeal for your house will consume me."

What does John 2:17 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jesus was certainly humble, gentle, friendly, and loving. And yet, He was not the soft-skinned, passive sage seen so often in works of art. Reading what He endured at the cross vouches for His physical fitness. But the gospels also describe Jesus as passionate, direct, quick-minded, and brave. A fragile pushover could never have single-handedly cleared a courtyard full of merchants, or stood His ground against the commotion that came after. The disciples are reminded of Psalm 69:9, which refers to the Messiah. "Zeal" is defined as "passion, energy, and devotion." Jesus' passion for the purity of the temple is clear.

At the same time, His anger is controlled. Recall that Jesus didn't pick up a whip, or pull one out of his belt. According to verse 15, He made the whip, which requires a purposeful, intentional act. There is no biblical reason to think Jesus harmed anyone, or any animal, or damaged any property. And yet, He single-handedly drove out all of the vendors and moneylenders, without being arrested or mobbed. This says a lot about the powerful presence Christ must have had. Even so, this kind of incident generated hatred from the local religious leaders, who would eventually "consume" and kill Jesus.