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Come, Follow Me — New Testament Study and Teaching Helps
Lesson 19, May 1 — 7
Luke 12–17; John 11 —
“Rejoice with Me; for I Have Found My Sheep Which Was Lost”

Luke 12 Teachings

As the time draws nearer for the Savior’s atoning sacrifice and death, the anticipation strikes Him sharply, as He expressed in Luke 12:50: “I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!” But He continued on:

  • As Jesus traveled and taught, look for the various cautions and promises that He gave in Luke 12, verses 1, 3, 8, 11-12, 15, 16-21, 31, 34, 37, 40, 45-46, 48. Which of these verses stand out most for you?
  • Read verses 6-7. Sparrows are part of God’s creations, and He cares for them. It is a common bird, numbering in the millions, weighing only an ounce or two and captured/sold as food for the poor. But God cares for them all, even to the point where He cares about the fall or death of one little sparrow (see Matthew 10:29-31). What does this mean for you, as one of God’s greatest creations?
  • What do you learn about “treasures” from verses 13-21? Is being rich a bad thing? (Read Jacob 2:17-19.)
  • What does it mean to be “rich toward God”? (verse 21). Are there any “things” in your life that are occupying too high a place of priority?

Luke 13 Another Sabbath Healing

Read verses 10-17. For you, what do these verses teach about Sabbath-day observance? In contrast to His blessing for the infirm woman, read His rebukes for the hard-hearted among His listeners, in verses 3, 7, 24-29, 34-35.

Luke 14:1-6 … And Another

The Gospels record about forty miracles performed by Jesus, including seven different occasions when He healed people on the Sabbath day. Read verses 1-6. What two questions did Jesus ask the lawyers and Pharisees? (verses 3, 5). Why do you think the lawyers and Pharisees “could not answer” Jesus? How would you answer these two questions?

Luke 14:7-33 “When Thou Makest a Feast”

Jesus was in the home of a Pharisee for a Sabbath meal, and He taught a parable focusing on the need for humility and compassion. In the Joseph Smith Translation, verse 7 is changed to read: “And he put forth a parable unto them concerning those who were bidden to a wedding; for he knew how they [the Pharisees] chose out the chief rooms, and exalted themselves one above another; wherefore he spake unto them, saying ….” Continue by reading verses 8-14.

Who were your last dinner guests? Have you ever invited someone who could not return the kindness? It seems that in all cultures and societies, people want to invite and associate with “the upper echelon.” Jesus teaches us to “call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind” (verse 13).

The theme continues; read verses 16-24. If the “great supper” is the gospel—being offered to God’s children—who are those who reject it, and who receives it? According to verses 25-27, 33, what are some of the extreme sacrifices that may be required, in order to fully receive and live the gospel of Jesus Christ?

Luke 15 Lost and Found

We now encounter another of Jesus’s best-known parables, the Prodigal Son (although “prodigal” is not used in the text). Jesus teaches us about God’s work of redeeming spiritual rebels and outcasts. It is preceded by two other parables of things lost and then found—a sheep and a coin. Verses 1-2 give us the setting: publicans and sinners gathering to hear Jesus, while Pharisees and scribes are also there, but only to murmur and criticize:

  • Verses 3-7 Even having 100 sheep, the Good Shepherd cares about one going unaccounted for. Repentance is a principle of joy, for the one who finds the lost (verses 5-7) as well as for the one who is found (in the April 2022 general conference, President Russell M. Nelson invited us to “discover the joy of daily repentance”).
  • Verses 8-10 The lost “piece” was a coin equal in value to a workman’s daily wage. Again, the Savior ties His message to repentance.
  • Verses 11-19 What were the actions and thoughts of the younger son?
  • Verses 20-24 What do the father’s actions and words teach you about our Heavenly Father?
  • Note that the father had been waiting and watching for his son’s return (verse 20). And the son knew that there was a home he could return to and still be received with great love, in spite of his rebellious mistakes.
  • In our own ways, we are all like the prodigal son. The Lord gives us more than we deserve. He waits and hopes for our return, even when we feel unworthy to be accepted. We must arise and go to our Father, and help others to do so.
  • How do we react to sinners and repenters among us?
  • Verses 25-32 The elder son is good, but his heart isn’t fully right. Why was he angry? How did his father “intreat” him? (verses 31-32).
  • Do we ever feel self-righteous or behave in such ways? What is the cure for this spiritual ailment?

Luke 16 Two More Parables

The parable of the unjust steward (verses 1-8) teaches us that we can be wiser in our everyday interactions and transactions, and even take a clue from the strengths of those we would consider “worldly.” In brief, a rich man was told that his steward was being foolish and dishonest with his finances, so he asked for an accounting. The steward feared he would be fired, so he negotiated with the rich man’s debtors for full discharge of their debts, in return for partial payment:

  • Jesus then states, “the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely,” followed by the observation that at times those “of this world” are “wiser than the children of light” (verse 8).
  • What additional conclusions did Jesus then pronounce, in verses 10-12?
  • How did the Pharisees react to these teachings, in verse 14? What was Jesus’s response to them, in verse 15?

This response of the Pharisees presents the context for Jesus’s parable of the rich man and Lazarus, in verses 19-31:

  • Read verses 19-21 to see the sharp contrast in the lives of the rich man and the beggar.
  • What was the sin of the rich man?
  • Then the Lord turned the tables. Read verses 22-26, then read also D&C 56:16; D&C 104:17-18.
  • Are you “rich”? How can you “impart” your appropriate “portion” to the poor and needy?
  • Read the rest of the parable, in verses 27-31. Note that later, Jesus raises a man named Lazarus from the dead, and Jesus Himself will rise from the dead; yet these miracles did not lead these mockers to repent.

Luke 17:5 “Increase Our Faith”

Read verse 5. Do you feel to say this to the Lord?

Luke 17:11-19 Jesus Heals Ten Lepers

What does it do for you when you are feeling thankful? This story is often cited to emphasize the importance of gratitude, which was expressed by only one of the ten:

  • Read verses 11-19 and look for things to learn about mercy, obedience, and faith.
  • Note that the Samaritan leper went from being “cleansed” (verse 14) to “healed” (verse 15), to “whole” (verse 19). What might the differences be?
  • To whom can you be more expressive with your gratitude?

Luke 17:20-33 The Coming of Christ

In verse 20 some Pharisees “demanded” of Christ to know “when the kingdom of God should come.” According to the Joseph Smith Translation, Jesus’s initial answer was, “behold, the kingdom of God has already come unto you,” evidently referring to Himself and His mortal ministry (which they rejected; verse 21). Then Jesus continues by teaching of His Second Coming:

  • Verses 22-23 appear to refer to the long time between Jesus Christ’s mortal ministry and His coming in glory in the last days.
  • Read verses 24, 26-33, looking for new insights from Jesus’s own prophecies of the Second Coming.

John 11 “I Am the Resurrection”

This is the third time that Jesus raises someone from the dead (see also Matthew 9:18-26; Luke 7:11-17). In John 11, Jesus again visits the home of Martha and Mary in Bethany (next to Jerusalem):

  • Read verses 1-8. Note the motivating principle of love, in spite of the threat of personal danger.
  • Read verses 11-15. It is clear that the Savior delayed, with a purpose.
  • Read verses 16-17, noting the courage of Thomas, who is often referred to as “doubting Thomas” (the Joseph Smith Translation for verse 16 tells us that Thomas and the other disciples “feared lest the Jews should take Jesus and put him to death”).
  • With this background, now read the conversations between Jesus and Martha (verses 21-27); between Jesus and Mary (verse 32); and between Jesus and the others who were mourning (verses 33-37). Why do you think Jesus wept? (verse 35).
  • Note the different faith expressions of Martha in verse 22; Mary in verse 32; and some of the others in verse 37.
  • Read verses 38-46. Note again the different reactions in verses 45-46.
  • In verses 47-48 the chief priests and the Pharisees knew that Jesus did “many miracles,” yet they refuse to “believe on him.” According to verse 48, what is the real issue of importance for them? So what did they conclude, in verse 53? Things are looking more and more ominous.

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