Luke 19–21

“Luke 19–21,” New Testament Teacher Resource Manual (2002), 98–99


The Life of Jesus Christ


Events in these chapters likely occurred within this period

First year of the Lord’s ministry

Second year

Third year

Christ’s birth

First Passover

Second Passover

Third Passover

Final Passover and last week


As you read Luke 19–21, ponder the excitement associated with Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem during the final week of His mortal life. Elder Bruce R. McConkie reflected on this scene with these words:

“‘Behold,’ O Jerusalem, the Holy City, for ‘thy King cometh unto thee.’ He cometh from Bethany on the east, where but yesterday he sat at meat with Lazarus, whom he raised from death; where in the house of Simon the leper, his beloved Mary anointed his royal head and poured costly spikenard on his kingly feet—all in token of his burial, which is to be later this week.

“Hail him as your King; heed his words, for ‘he is just, and having salvation.’ Accept him as the Just One, your Deliverer—from death, hell, the devil, and endless torment. Know that all who believe in him shall be saved; he is your Savior; salvation comes by him; he is the resurrection and the life, as he said” (Mortal Messiah, 3:338).

Prayerfully study Luke 19–21and consider the following principles before preparing your lessons.

Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For

Additional Resources

  • The Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles, 131, 139–41.

  • “The Last Week of the Savior’s Life,” 288 in this manual.

Suggestions for Teaching

Choose from the following ideas, or use some of your own, as you prepare lessons for Luke 19–21.

Luke 19:1–10. Jesus Christ will save those who earnestly seek Him.

(25–30 minutes)

Before class, place a picture of Jesus Christ on a top shelf or a tall piece of furniture in the classroom. Position the picture so no one can see it without climbing on a desk or chair. When class begins write on the board: Did you see the picture? Describe the picture, tell students that it is within the room, and ask them to try to find it.

After someone finds the picture, invite students to read Luke 19:1–10. Ask: How is the account of Zacchaeus like looking for the picture of Jesus? Discuss the similarities they find.

Tell students that the Gospel writers included several examples of people earnestly seeking the Savior. Have them read some of the following examples: Matthew 2:1–2; 5:1; 8:1–2; Mark 1:35–37; 5:24–28; Luke 2:15–16; 7:1–4. Ask:

  • Why do you believe people were so anxious to be near Jesus?

  • What are some other scriptural examples of people who sought to be near the Master?

  • What do these examples have in common?

  • What blessings did Jesus Christ offer those who came to Him?

  • What blessings have people received in our day by making similar sacrifices?

  • What actions in our lives show we are seeking the Savior today?

Remind students that Zacchaeus was short and needed to climb a tree in order to see Jesus.

  • What other efforts did Zacchaeus make in order to be prepared to meet the Savior? (see v. 8).

  • What blessing did he receive because of his efforts? (see vv. 9–10).

Read Doctrine and Covenants 93:1and ask students to name five requirements that will enable us to come unto Christ.

  • Which of these things did Zacchaeus do?

  • Are you capable of doing these same things?

  • What can keep us from coming to the Savior?

Read John 17:3and ask: According to this scripture, why is it so important to seek Jesus Christ? Testify that all can come to the Savior, and encourage students to make the effort to first seek Him and then do what is required to come unto Him.

Luke 19:11–27 (see also Matthew 25:14–20). The Lord will return to the earth and reward those who do His work.

(25–30 minutes)

Ask students to silently work on an assignment while you leave the room. Wait several minutes, and then return and discuss how easy or difficult it is to complete an assignment while unsupervised. (You may want to give a reading or writing assignment from Luke 18:15–41. Those incidents were treated in the teaching suggestions for Matthew 19:16–26 and Mark 10 and are not covered again, so a review might be helpful.)

Ask questions like the following:

  • How much work did you get done while I was out of the room?

  • What distracted you or made it difficult?

  • How would you feel if this assignment were graded?

  • How could you compare this experience to our test during mortality?

Invite students to read Luke 19:12–15and compare it to the unsupervised assignment. Ask: Who or what do you think the following parts of the parable could represent?

  • The nobleman

  • The servants

  • The pounds

  • The citizens

  • The nobleman’s return

Share Elder Bruce R. McConkie’s interpretation of this parable:

“Christ is the nobleman; the far off country is heaven; the kingdom there to be given him is ‘all power … in heaven and in earth’ [Matthew 28:18]; and his promised return is the glorious Second Coming, when the literal and visible kingdom shall be set up on earth. The ten servants are the members of the Church to whom he has given physical, mental, and spiritual capacities (pounds) to be used in his service. Those designated as ‘citizens’ are the other people in the world, those who are subject to him because he is the God of the whole earth, but who have not accepted his gospel and come into his fold as servants. The servants are commanded to labor in the vineyard on their Lord’s errand until he returns. …

“When the nobleman returns to judge the world, he will reward his servants in accordance with their works. All shall not receive the same status in the mansions which are prepared; there are degrees of glory. Some will rule ten cities, others five, and those who were slothful shall be disinherited entirely.

“Unused faculties are lost; rightly used abilities can be increased until perfection is attained. ‘Unto every servant who is diligent shall be given great reward; and from him who is slothful shall be taken away even the light, abilities, and faculties which he had.’” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary 1:572–73).

While on earth, away from God’s presence, we each handle our responsibilities in different ways. Read Luke 19:16–27and ask:

  • What do these verses teach about how we should fulfill our duties?

  • What rewards did the nobleman give those servants who were profitable?

  • How do those rewards compare with the work done by the servants?

Have students read 2 Nephi 28:30 and Doctrine and Covenants 60:2–3, and ask: What do these passages teach about what God expects of those who serve Him? Read Luke 19:11and ask: What misconception did the people have about the Messiah’s first coming? Share with students the commentary for Luke 19:11–28in The Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles (p. 131).

  • In what ways could this parable help the people in Christ’s time who thought His first coming would be in glory?

  • What misconceptions do people have today about Christ’s Second Coming?

  • How could the truths taught in this parable help correct those false ideas?

  • What can we do to fulfill God’s expectations and become faithful servants?

Testify that rather than being overly concerned about when Christ will come again, we should concentrate on being wise servants and keeping the covenants and commandments we have received from Him.

calendar iconLuke 19:28–48(see also Matthew 21:1–16; Mark 11:1–18; John 12:12–19). We should worship and praise Jesus Christ, who is our Lord and King.

(35–40 minutes)

Display as many pictures of Jesus Christ as you can around the classroom. Sing “How Great Thou Art” (Hymns, no. 86) for the devotional. Ask students to look at the pictures and think about the Savior while they sing.

Teach students that one week before He was crucified, Jesus triumphantly rode into Jerusalem, and the people glorified Him as their King and Savior. Show the picture Triumphal Entry (Matthew 21:1–11) (item no. 62173). Read Luke 19:28–40and think about what it might have felt like to be there that day.

  • Where would you like to have been standing?

  • What would you have said or done as He passed by?

Give each student a copy of the “Triumphal Entry” chart from the appendix as a handout (p. 287). Explain that each detail of the triumphal entry adds a beautiful witness to the divinity of Jesus Christ and His role as King of Kings. Ask several students to read the quotes in the “Significance” column, and then discuss them as a class.

  • What made this event so important?

  • In what ways is this event similar to what you know about Christ’s Second Coming?

Within one week of the triumphal entry, many of the people of Jerusalem would seek to have Jesus crucified. Read Luke 19:41–44and ask:

  • How did the Savior react toward Jerusalem and its people?

  • Why do you think He reacted in this manner?

  • What does this teach you about His love for others?

Conclude class by giving students the opportunity to honor the Savior. Consider the following ideas:

  • Invite those students who would like to share their testimony of Jesus Christ with the class to do so.

  • Invite students to select one of the pictures of the Savior that is displayed. Have them tell the class why they like it and how they feel about Jesus when they look at it.

  • Ask students to select their favorite hymns about Jesus Christ, and sing some of the ones they select.

Luke 20–21(see also Matthew 21–24; Mark 11–13). During the final week of the Savior’s mortal ministry He taught daily in the temple.

(10–15 minutes)

Write the phrase House of the Lord on the board. Ask:

  • Where can that phrase be found? (The words “Holiness to the Lord—the House of the Lord” appear on modern temples.)

  • Why do you think each temple is considered a house of the Lord?

Spend a few moments discussing what your students like about some of the temples.

Remind students that by the time of the events recorded in Luke 19, the Savior had entered the last week of His mortal ministry. Read Luke 19:45–48and ask students to look for where the Savior spent much of His time during that week.

  • How could being in the temple bless and prepare the Savior for what He would face at week’s end?

  • What do these verses teach about how His time in the temple blessed others?

  • How did the Savior show His reverence for the temple? (He drove out the moneychangers.)

If desired, have students turn to the photograph of the Temple of Herod, number 9 in the photographs section of their Bibles, and remind them that it too was a house of the Lord. Ask: If you knew you only had one week to live, where would you want to spend that week?

Tell students that many of the parables, stories, and doctrines Jesus Christ taught during His last week are recorded in Luke 20–21. Remind them that they studied many of these accounts in the books of Matthew and Mark (see the teaching suggestions for Matthew 21:18–22:46, pp. 49–50; Joseph Smith—Matthew, pp. 51–52; and Mark 12:41–44, p. 69). Tell students that before you study about the Atonement, death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the book of Luke (Luke 22–24), you would like them to briefly read some of the Savior’s last teachings from Luke 20–21.

Invite students to take ten minutes and choose at random several verses from Luke 20–21. Ask them to read these teachings while imagining what it might have been like to hear the Savior give them in the temple. Invite students to share with the class what they learned or felt. Ask them to tell why they think the teaching was important enough to be given during the Savior’s last week.