It’s Monday, just three short days until Jesus’s crucifixion. What happened on this day in the life of Christ, and what can we learn from it? According to Matthew 21, Mark 11, and Luke 19, Jesus made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem to the cheers and excitement of the entire city on Palm Sunday. The following day, upon his return, he visited the Temple area. This was a place that was suppose to be dedicated to God. A place that was suppose to be holy, pure, and a shining example of what the Kingdom of God is like. Instead, it had become full of worldly, deceitful, greedy, and power hungry people. Jesus was not impressed

Matthew 21:12–13 (HCSB) —12Jesus went into the temple complex and drove out all those buying and selling in the temple. He overturned the money changers’ tables and the chairs of those selling doves. 13And He said to them, “It is written, My house will be called a house of prayer. But you are making it a den of thieves!”

Jesus is zealous for his people and his church. After causing a real commotion in the temple, Matthew records that “the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple complex, and He healed them.”  The children in the temple area praised Jesus  shouting “Hosanna to the Son of David!” causing the chief priests and scribes to become more indignant. And when the time came, Jesus returned to the town of Bethany (about a two-mile walk over the Mount of Olives).  He most likely spent the night in the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus.

So what can we learn from this day in the life of Christ? We see Jesus’s passion for His church. Even with the crucifixion approaching, he is intent on cleansing the worldliness from the temple. Also, Jesus took time to minister to the blind and lame, teaching us that even in difficult and disappointing days, ministry should be a priority for our lives.

What would Jesus want cleansed from your temple today? There are perhaps many things you would point to in your church, but unless you are on staff or in leadership, you likely cannot change them. Remember what Paul teaches in 1 Corinthians 3:16, “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?”  This is something you can consider and change. Consider what Jesus wants cleansed from your life today.  Finally, who can you help? Who can you pray for? Who can you minister to today? Like Jesus did on the Monday before his crucifixion, take some time to serve others and spread your zeal.