“May 20–26. Matthew 21–23; Mark 11; Luke 19–20; John 12: ‘Behold, Thy King Cometh’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: New Testament 2019 (2019)
“May 20–26. Matthew 21–23; Mark 11; Luke 19–20; John 12,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2019
Record Your Impressions
During the week before class, invite a few class members to be prepared to share an experience they had with studying this week’s assigned chapters. What blessings come to them as they study the scriptures during the week?
Your class members have likely felt overlooked or forgotten at times in their lives. The account of Zacchaeus can help them understand that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ know them and care about them. To help class members liken this account to their lives, invite them to imagine themselves as Zacchaeus. What do you think he learned about the Savior from his experience? What can we learn from Zacchaeus’s efforts about seeking the Savior?
It might also be helpful to ask class members to think of other instances in the scriptures where the Lord called people by name. (Some examples are provided in “Additional Resources.”) You might also invite class members to share experiences that have confirmed to them that the Lord knows them personally.
A simple activity could introduce a discussion about the Savior’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem: Several class members could draw on the board things associated with a king, such as a crown or a throne, while the others guess what they are drawing. Then other class members could draw a colt and tree branches. What do these things have to do with a king? You could then show the picture of the Savior’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem from this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families and invite class members to read Mark 11:1–11. How did these people recognize Jesus as their King? How do we worship Jesus Christ as our King through our words and actions?
To help class members understand that Jesus Christ is our King, you might ask them to review the hymn “Come, O Thou King of Kings,” Hymns, no. 59, or another hymn about Jesus as our King. What words from the hymn remind us of the truths in Matthew 21:1–11; Mark 11:1–11; Luke 19:29–44; and John 12:12–16?
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf taught that making things other than the two great commandments the center of our lives is like shooting arrows at a blank wall and drawing targets around the arrows (see “Aiming at the Center,” Ensign or Liahona, Jan. 2017, 4–5). Would exploring this analogy help class members understand Matthew 22:34–40? One way to do this would be to lay a large sheet of paper on the floor and let class members take turns dropping a pen or pencil onto it. Then they could draw targets where their pens or pencils hit the paper and label each target with a commandment. After reading Matthew 22:34–40 together, you could draw a new target that encircles all of the other targets and label it “Love God and Love Your Neighbor.” How does focusing on the two great commandments help us obey God’s other commandments? How can we make sure we focus our obedience on these two commandments?
Would your class members benefit from discussing the term “blind guides,” which the Savior used to describe the spiritually blind Pharisees and scribes? (Matthew 23:16). You might think of a way to demonstrate what it would be like for someone to follow a person who couldn’t see. Or the class could list on the board the characteristics of a blind guide, as described in Matthew 23:13–33. To add to the list, consider looking at additional scriptures that teach about spiritual blindness, such as 2 Corinthians 4:3–4; 2 Nephi 9:28–32; and Jacob 4:14. How can we recognize and avoid blind guides?
You may want to help class members understand that the scribes and Pharisees were more focused on the gold and gifts in the temple than the true meaning of the temple (see Matthew 23:16–22). To do this, consider sharing the parable of the pearl and the box by President Boyd K. Packer in “Additional Resources.” What might distract us from enjoying the true blessings of the temple? of sacrament meeting?
Some people who believe in Jesus Christ may be unwilling to stand up for His gospel, especially in societies that disregard or mock religious beliefs. What lessons does John 12:42–43 have for us today? You could invite the class to search the following scriptures and identify people who desired to please men and people who desired to please God: Exodus 32:1–8; 1 Samuel 15:18–25; Matthew 14:1–10; 1 Nephi 6:1–6; Mosiah 17:1–12; and Moroni 8:16. What do we learn from these examples? For more about our responsibility to express our faith in public settings, see Elder Robert D. Hales, “Preserving Agency, Protecting Religious Freedom,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2015, 111–13.
The Savior prophesied that in the last days even the very elect could be deceived (see Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:22). To inspire class members to read Joseph Smith—Matthew 1; Matthew 25; Mark 12–13; and Luke 21 next week, you could tell them that they will find in these chapters the key to avoiding deception in the latter days.
Elder Neal A. Maxwell declared: “I testify to you that God has known you individually … for a long, long time (see D&C 93:23). He has loved you for a long, long time. He not only knows the names of all the stars (see Psalm 147:4; Isaiah 40:26); He knows your names and all your heartaches and your joys!” (“Remember How Merciful the Lord Hath Been,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2004, 46).
President Boyd K. Packer shared this parable: “A merchant man seeking precious jewels found at last the perfect pearl. He had the finest craftsman carve a superb jewel box and line it with blue velvet. He put his pearl of great price on display so others could share his treasure. He watched as people came to see it. Soon he turned away in sorrow. It was the box they admired, not the pearl” (“The Cloven Tongues of Fire,” Ensign, May 2000, 7).