Matthew 21–23; Mark 11; Luke 19–20; John 12

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Matthew CHAPTER 21 Jesus rides in triumph into Jerusalem—He cleanses the temple, curses the fig tree, and discusses authority—He gives the parables of the two sons and the wicked husbandmen.

Matthew CHAPTER 22 Jesus gives the parable of the marriage of the king’s son—Pay tribute to Cæsar and to God—Worldly marriages endure in this life only—The first commandment is to love the Lord—Jesus asks, What think ye of Christ?

Matthew CHAPTER 23 Jesus pronounces woes upon the scribes and Pharisees—They will be held responsible for killing the prophets—They will not escape the damnation of hell.

Mark CHAPTER 11 Jesus rides into Jerusalem amid shouts of hosanna—He curses a fig tree, drives the money changers from the temple, and confounds the scribes on the matter of authority.

Luke CHAPTER 19 Jesus came to save souls—He gives the parable of the pounds—He rides in triumph into Jerusalem, weeps over the city, and cleanses the temple again.

Luke CHAPTER 20 The chief priests oppose Jesus—He gives the parable of the wicked husbandmen—Render unto Cæsar and God that which is theirs—Jesus teaches the law of marriage.

John CHAPTER 12 Mary anoints Jesus’ feet—His triumphal entry into Jerusalem is recounted—He foretells His death—To receive Christ is to receive the Father.

The Savior Goes to Jerusalem

New Testament Coloring Book “Jesus’s Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem”

Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: New Testament 2023 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?

Heavenly Father and Jesus know me by name.

Luke 19:1–10

Come, Follow Me—For Primary: New Testament 2023 “Matthew 21–23; Mark 11; Luke 19–20; John 12” As you read about the Savior’s interaction with Zacchaeus, what messages do you find that may bless the children you teach?

  • Show a picture of Zacchaeus in the Sycamore Tree (in this outline or at ChurchofJesusChrist.org). Help the children find Zacchaeus and say his name. Create actions for the children to do as you tell the story of Zacchaeus and Jesus—for example, standing on their toes to see over a crowd or pretending to climb a tree. Explain that the Savior saw Zacchaeus and called him by name. Testify that the Savior also knows each of the children and their names.

Latter Day Kids “The Story of Zacchaeus” Lesson ideas

  • Bring an empty picture frame to class, or make one out of paper. Invite each child to take a turn holding the frame around his or her face while the rest of the class says, “Heavenly Father and Jesus know [child’s name].”
  • Sing together a song about Heavenly Father’s love, such as “I Am a Child of God” (Children’s Songbook, 2–3). Help the children listen for things that help them know Heavenly Father loves them.

Friend May 2023 “Come, Follow Me Activities: Listening Tree”

Story: Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus, but a large crowd blocked his view. Zacchaeus climbed a tree so he could see and hear Jesus better. (See Luke 19:2–8.)

Song: “If I Listen with My Heart” (Music for Children, ChurchofJesusChrist.org)

Activity: Make a hand tree! On a piece of paper, trace your hand and arm. Your arm will be the trunk and your fingers will be the branches. Around each branch, write or draw ways you can listen to Jesus.

As I seek the Savior, I will find Him.

Luke 19:1–10

Come, Follow Me—For Primary: New Testament 2023 “Matthew 21–23; Mark 11; Luke 19–20; John 12” You might use the story of Zacchaeus to help the children think of things they can do to come closer to the Savior.

  • Read Luke 19:1–10, pausing every few verses to discuss what the verses reveal about Zacchaeus. What did Zacchaeus do so that he could see Jesus? How did he respond when Jesus asked him to come down from the tree? Ask each child to share one reason why they would want to see Jesus. If the Savior came to our city, what would we do to prepare?
  • Invite the children to think of people they know who, like Zacchaeus, might be seeking the Savior. Ask the children what they might do to help someone else learn about the Savior.
  • Invite the children to share experiences when they felt that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ were aware of them and loved them.

The temple is a sacred place.

Matthew 21:12–14

Come, Follow Me—For Primary: New Testament 2023 “Matthew 21–23; Mark 11; Luke 19–20; John 12” Jesus’s reverence for the temple, as described in these verses, can help the children you teach understand that the temple is a sacred place.

  • Show the picture Jesus Cleansing the Temple (Gospel Art Book, no. 51), and tell the story recorded in Matthew 21:12–14. Help the children find money and animals in the picture. Then discuss why the Savior wanted the money changers and the people selling animals to leave the temple.
  • Show pictures of temples (for examples, see Gospel Art Book, nos. 117–19), and ask the children to share how they feel when they see a temple. You might explain that the temple is a place where we go to make promises with God, seek answers to prayers, and feel close to God. Help the children identify feelings from the Holy Ghost telling them that the temple is a special place. Ask the children to act as they would if they were inside the temple. For instance, they could talk in whispers and sit reverently.

Friend July 2022 “Jesus Said”

  • Sing together a song about the temple, such as “I Love to See the Temple” (Children’s Songbook, 95), and invite the children to make a goal to go inside the temple someday.

The temple is a sacred place that I should respect.

Matthew 21:12–14

Come, Follow Me—For Primary: New Testament 2023 “Matthew 21–23; Mark 11; Luke 19–20; John 12” How can the account of the Savior cleansing the temple help you teach the children about the sacredness of temples?


New Testament Seminary Student Manual (2023) “Matthew 21:12–16” Jesus went to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover and visited the temple. Worshippers who came to Jerusalem needed to exchange their money for currency that could be used at the temple to purchase animals for the sacrifices that would be made in their behalf by the priests. Even though this business was necessary and served a good purpose, handling it at the temple was disrespectful and irreverent. The phrase “a den of thieves” suggests that the moneychangers and merchants were more interested in making a financial profit than in worshipping God and helping others worship.

Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: New Testament 2023 How do Jesus’s words and actions in Matthew 21:12–14 show how He felt about the temple? How do we show how we feel about the temple? What can we “cast out” (verse 12) of our lives to make our home more like the temple?

  • Invite the children to share how they have felt when they have gone inside a temple, visited temple grounds, or looked at pictures of temples. What helped them know the temple is a sacred place? You might share with the children why you love the temple. Why is it sacred to you?

Friend July 2015 “What Do We Do in the Temple”

  • Invite one or more youth to come to class and talk about how they have prepared to enter the temple. If they have been to the temple, ask them to talk about how they felt when they were there.
  • Cut a picture of a temple into puzzle pieces, and give each child one piece. Ask the children to write on the back of their puzzle piece one thing they can do to prepare to enter the temple. As each child shares an idea, add his or her piece to the puzzle.

Friend October 2021 “Build a Temple” Cut along the dotted lines to make a puzzle of what the Bangkok Thailand Temple will look like.

  • On the board, write the following:  can help me prepare to serve in the temple. Invite the children to suggest ways to complete this sentence. Some ideas might include “Keeping my baptismal covenants” or “The Holy Ghost.”

I can be obedient.

Matthew 21:28–32

Come, Follow Me—For Primary: New Testament 2023 “Matthew 21–23; Mark 11; Luke 19–20; John 12” Heavenly Father wants us to be obedient. The parable of the two sons is an opportunity to teach about the importance of obedience.

  • Draw a picture of two sons on the board, and use the drawings as you recount the parable in Matthew 21:28–32. Which son did the right thing in the end? Ask the children to name things they can do to be obedient at home. Let them draw pictures of themselves doing one of those things.
  • Invite the children to share experiences they have had with being obedient to their parents. How were they blessed for being obedient?

Friend August 2018 “Puddles and Blessings” Marcel doesn’t want to go on a hike in the rain with his mom and the Young Women. His mom  tells him something good might happen because there are blessings from obeying parents. At the hike he finds that his friend Noah is there and they have a blast playing in puddles together.

Friend August 2016 “Micah Obeys” Micah learns that he can help his family be happy when he obeys.

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Jesus wants me to be righteous in my actions and my desires.

Matthew 23:25–28

Come, Follow Me—For Primary: New Testament 2023 “Matthew 21–23; Mark 11; Luke 19–20; John 12” Jesus taught the scribes and Pharisees about the importance of truly living the gospel—not just pretending to be righteous. What would help the children understand this truth?

  • As you read Matthew 23:25–28 with the children, consider sharing this definition of hypocrite from the Bible Dictionary: “One who pretends to be religious when he is not.” Why is it bad to be a hypocrite?
  • Show the children a cup that is clean on the outside but dirty on the inside to help illustrate the metaphor in Matthew 23:25. How can we make sure we are clean and pure on the inside?

“Lesson 20: ‘Woe unto You, … Hypocrites’” New Testament: Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual  Explain that Jesus compared the Pharisees to a cup that is clean outside but dirty inside (Matthew 23:25–26). The Pharisees paid a great deal of attention to outward ordinances and actions that would make them appear righteous, but they were not as concerned with actually being righteous in their hearts. For this Jesus referred to them as hypocrites. This lesson will discuss the Savior’s condemnation of hypocrites—people who try to appear righteous but who do not try to live righteously.

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).

Additional Resources

The Red Crystal Lesson ideas

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