The passage in John 2:17 is an expression which graphically describes the tremendous and inspiring enthusiasm of one who is aflame with a righteous purpose. The disciples were doubtless surprised at the courage of One whom they had regarded as so meek and gentle, setting himself to a task from which the bravest might have shrunk. It was a new side to their Master's character, but thinking it over, they realized that it was one that the prophets had predicted of him. His indignation at seeing the house that had been dedicated to God so prostituted made him regardless of his own safety. It absorbed him, or as John says, "ate him up"ómade him forget everything else.