Matthew 21:12–17 (ESV)
Jesus Cleanses the Temple
12 And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. 13 He
said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”
14 And the blind and the lame came to him in
the temple, and he healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant,
16 and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read,
“ ‘Out of the mouth of infants
and nursing babies
you have prepared praise’?”
17 And leaving them, he went out of the city to Bethany and lodged there.
Immediately after being acclaimed Messiah, Jesus further
provokes the Jewish leaders by driving merchants and money-changers out of the temple. Sometimes financial concerns eclipse the Church’s real priority: faithfully teaching the Word and administering the Sacraments. Jesus responds to our misuse of holy
things not by yanking them away from us but rather by correcting us and calling us to receive them worthily, unto faith and salvation.
I pray: “Almighty, ever-living God, grant that … all my worship may be acceptable
unto Thee; through Jesus Christ, my Lord.” Amen. 
Matthew 21:1–11 (ESV)
The Triumphal Entry
when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” 4 This
took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying,
5 “Say to the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold, your king is coming to you,
humble, and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’ ”
6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. 8 Most
of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” 10 And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” 11 And the
crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”
Palm Sunday is a high point, as a crowd at the Jewish capital openly acclaims Jesus as Messiah. It is also a turning
point, however, since it galvanizes His opponents. Like the crowds in Jerusalem, we are prone to fickleness—today all for the Lord, tomorrow turning from Him. Though we often prove faithless, Jesus remains constant. His love and forgiveness never falter.
I pray: “‘Hosanna in the highest!’ That ancient song we sing; For Christ is our Redeemer, The Lord of heav’n our King.” Amen.
Matthew 20:29–34 (ESV)
Heals Two Blind Men
29 And as they went out of Jericho, a great crowd followed him. 30 And
behold, there were two blind men sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” 31 The crowd rebuked them, telling them to be silent,
but they cried out all the more, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” 32 And stopping, Jesus called them and said, “What do you want me to do for you?” 33 They said
to him, “Lord, let our eyes be opened.” 34 And Jesus in pity touched their eyes, and immediately they recovered their sight and followed him.
Though the nearness of the crowd and His own impending death weigh heavily on Him, Jesus is not too preoccupied to help two men in desperate need.
Like the people in Jericho who tried to silence the two blind men, we also may tend to treat persons in need as nuisances. Yet Jesus painstakingly extended His ministry to all in need, showing care and concern for them. We, too, have received His grace.
I pray: “Amazing grace—how sweet the sound—That saved a wretch
like me! I once was lost but now am found, Was blind but now I see!” Amen. 
Matthew 20:20–28 (ESV)
A Mother’s Request
20 Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him with her
sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. 21 And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left,
in your kingdom.” 22 Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” 23 He
said to them, “You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” 24 And when the ten heard it, they were indignant
at the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 26 It shall
not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, 28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but
to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Jesus continues to convince His disciples that in His kingdom, humility and service, not acclaim and power, are most highly valued. Just as it was among the Twelve, so also today
the lust for power and control over others continues to be a problem in the Christian community. Though many things make Jesus great—among them His role in creating and preserving all things—it is His sacrificial death that is most wonderful for
I pray: We thank You, Lord Jesus, for though You were unspeakably rich, You willingly became poor, that by Your great poverty we might become rich. Amen.
Jesus Foretells His Death a Third Time
17 And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them, 18 “See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be
delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death 19 and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.” 
For a third and final time, Jesus predicts His Passion. Ironically, Jesus’ three predictions match the number
of Peter’s denials. The depth of humanity’s sin is such that only the death of God’s Son can atone for it. No one took Jesus’ life from Him, as His Passion predictions make clear. Rather, He willingly laid down His life in order to
I pray: “Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast Save in the death of Christ, my God.… Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul,
my life, my all!” Amen.