“May 20–26. Matthew 21–23; Mark 11; Luke 19–20; John 12: ‘Behold, Thy King Cometh’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: New Testament 2019 (2019)
“May 20–26. Matthew 21–23; Mark 11; Luke 19–20; John 12,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2019
Record Your Impressions
The Savior was hungry after traveling from Bethany to Jerusalem, and a fig tree in the distance looked like a source of food. But as Jesus approached the tree, he found that it bore no fruit (see Matthew 21:17–20; Mark 11:12–14, 20). In a way, the fig tree was like the hypocritical religious leaders in Jerusalem: their empty teachings and outward demonstrations of holiness gave no spiritual nourishment. The Pharisees and scribes appeared to keep many commandments yet missed the two greatest commandments: to love God and to love thy neighbor as thyself (see Matthew 22:34–40; 23:23).
In contrast, many people had begun to recognize good fruit in Jesus’s teachings. When He arrived at Jerusalem, they welcomed Him with branches cut from trees to pave His path, rejoicing that at long last, as ancient prophecy said, “Thy King cometh” (Zechariah 9:9). As you read this week, think about the fruits of the Savior’s teachings and atoning sacrifice in your life and how you can bring “forth much fruit” (John 12:24).
In Jesus’s day, many people assumed that the publicans, or tax collectors, were dishonest and stole from the people. So because Zacchaeus, the chief publican, was wealthy, he may have been even more suspect. But Jesus looked on Zacchaeus’s heart. What does Luke 19:1–10 reveal about Zacchaeus’s heart? You might make note of the words in these verses that describe what Zacchaeus did to show his devotion to the Savior. What are the desires of your heart? What are you doing to seek the Savior, as Zacchaeus did?
The Savior’s interaction with the scribes and Pharisees forms an interesting contrast to his interaction with Zacchaeus. As President Dieter F. Uchtdorf explained, “[Jesus] rose up in righteous anger against hypocrites like the scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees—those who tried to appear righteous in order to win the praise, influence, and wealth of the world, all the while oppressing the people they should have been blessing” (“On Being Genuine,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2015, 81).
In Matthew 23, the Savior used several metaphors to describe hypocrisy. Consider marking or listing these metaphors and noting what they teach about hypocrisy. What are you inspired to do differently because of the Savior’s teachings?
The accounts in Matthew 21:1–11; Mark 11:1–11; Luke 19:29–44; and John 12:12–16 describe the beginning of the last week of the Savior’s life, including His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Those who recognized Him as their King showed their devotion by anointing Him (see John 12:1–8), putting clothes and palm branches along His path into Jerusalem, and shouting praises. Consider how the following resources can deepen your understanding of the events that began the last week of the Savior’s life.
An ancient example of anointing a king: 2 Kings 9:1–13
An ancient prophecy of the triumphal entry: Zechariah 9:9
The meaning of the word hosanna: Bible Dictionary, “Hosanna”
How can you receive the Savior as your Lord and King?
See also “The Lord’s Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem” (video, LDS.org).
If you ever feel overwhelmed as you strive to follow Jesus Christ, the Savior’s words to the lawyer in Matthew 22 can help you simplify and focus your discipleship. Here’s one way to do this: Make a list of several of the Lord’s commandments. How does each item on your list connect to the two great commandments? How would focusing on the two great commandments help you keep the others?
Phylacteries were leather boxes containing strips of parchment with scripture passages written on them. Jews attached these small boxes to leather bands and wore them around their foreheads or arms as a way to remember the commandments (see Deuteronomy 6:6–8). Out of pride, the Pharisees wore unusually large phylacteries so that everyone would see how much they loved the word of God.
As you read the scriptures with your family, the Spirit can help you know what principles to emphasize and discuss in order to meet the needs of your family. Here are some suggestions:
How did Mary show her love for the Savior? How do we show our love for Him?
How can we show respect to others as they express or defend their religious beliefs? What social consequences sometimes discourage us from expressing or defending our belief in Christ? For examples of people who would not give in to social pressure, see Daniel 1:3–20; 3; 6; John 7:45–53; 9:1–38; and Mosiah 17:1–4.
How do we show our reverence and respect for the temple? What can we “cast out” of our lives that keeps us from experiencing the temple as a “house of prayer” (Matthew 21:12–13) and a place of spiritual healing? Consider singing “I Love to See the Temple,” Children’s Songbook, 95.
What lessons from the parable of the man with two sons might help your family? For instance, you could use the story to discuss the importance of sincere obedience and repentance. Perhaps your family could write a script to dramatize the parable and take turns acting out different roles.
What are some of the “things that are God’s” (verse 21) that we should give Him?
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.