Perhaps the least familiar of the twelve apostles appointed by Jesus was a man called Simon Zelotes, or Simon the Zealot. Outside of his designation as an apostle, nothing else is said of him in the Scriptures, although some scholars associate him with a political party of the day, the Zealots—a radical group committed to overthrowing by force the Roman rule over Judaea.
Though it's unlikely that Jesus would have been drawn to Simon Zelotes because of political extremism, he may have recognized in Simon a characteristic that is absolutely essential for the radical mission of Christian healing and redemption—that characteristic being spiritual zeal. Much has been said about the necessity of humility, purity, and love in the holy activity of healing. Equally important, though, is a quality Saint Paul calls the "zeal of God." However, he sounds a cautionary note about a particular kind of zeal that is "not according to knowledge." Romans 10:2.
The best kind of "zeal" is really the ardor of conviction, an unflagging devotion and fervor that moves one to act. Infused with spiritual wisdom, this kind of zeal is a force that cuts through with laserlike penetration any resistance to the Christly message of salvation. When zeal is based on willpower or self-righteousness, however, it accomplishes little that is good, and much that is destructive to spiritual progress.