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

This week’s readings focus on Jesus’ identity: he was widely recognized as king and as God’s holy son. He was challenged on his authority but he continually claimed his right.

“The Question of Authority and Jesus’ Parable of the Two Sons in Matthew 21,” John W. Welch, BYU New Testament Commentary
This parable (Matt. 21: 28–31) can be read as Jesus’ lesson about the war in heaven and his mission: the father is God the Father, and the two sons are Christ and Lucifer. It tells what each son is willing to do. Looking closely at the Greek reveals that the first son says, “Not as I will,” which shows Christ bending to his Father’s will and not insisting on his own way.

“The Anointing at Bethany according to John,” Eric D. Huntsman, LDS Seasonal Materials blog
Are the stories about a woman anointing Jesus with oil in the Gospels all the same event? Eric Huntsman reasons that they are not, as these anointings serve different purposes. 

“Palm Sunday,” Eric D Huntsman, LDS Seasonal Materials blog
The Palm Sunday triumphal entry was the people showing that they recognized Jesus as a holy king. IN fact, in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Like) the cleansing of the temple can be directly connected with a royal interpretation of the Triumphal Entry: Jesus as King had authority to do what he did.

“The Great Commandment: Principle or Platitude?” Howard A. Christy, Religious Educator 3, no.1 (2002): 71–85
All Christians are familiar with Jesus’ instruction in Matthew 22:35–40 to love God and to love your neighbor. “Jesus was doing far more than merely responding to a single lawyer’s catch question to canon law. He rather seems to have been seizing the occasion first to clarify and then to nail down for the benefit of humankind the single, all-embracing principle of His gospel.”

“The Savior’s Questions: Teaching from the Last Week of His Life,” Rick B. Jorgensen, Religious Educator  10, no. 2 (2009): 31–46
“The last week of Christ’s mortal life truly was a hostile teaching environment.  Most gospel teachers do not experience such fierce opposition while teaching, although some called to teach may have felt as if all were against them. Perhaps the most valuable finding from his analysis is Christ’s ability to use questions to his advantage while teaching. “