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Come, Follow Me — New Testament Study and Teaching Helps
Lesson 27, June 26 — July 2
Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20-21 — “He Is Risen”

Mark 16:1; Matthew 27:52-53; 28:1-10; Luke 24:9-11; John 20:1-18 Death Is Conquered

Have you ever received such magnificent news that you were reluctant to believe it? In Jerusalem, the cruel and dreadful events have passed and it is now early “Sunday” morning, bringing the sublime second part of the Atonement of Jesus Christ—His resurrection. Take in all parts of these breathtaking accounts by reading in this order:

  • Mark 16:1; Matthew 28:1-8; and Luke 24:9-11 The inspiring experiences of faithful, loving women. Matthew 28:6 may be considered the greatest news of all time.
  • John 20:1-10 Peter and John see and believe.
  • John 20:11-18; Matthew 28:9-10 Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene and to other women.
  • In John 20:17 the JST changes the wording to “hold me not” (or, “do not detain me”); Jesus’s words which follow (“for I am not yet ascended to my Father”) confirm that He had been elsewhere—which we know to be the world of spirits; see D&C 138:27.
  • Matthew 27:52-53 Many former saints who had died also resurrect and appear to many.

Matthew 28:11-15 Bribery and Secrecy

Perhaps it is not surprising that the Jews’ chief priests apparently knew that Jesus would resurrect, and even after accomplishing His execution, they still took steps to silence Him, His message, and His ministry. In reading these verses, we see that the adversary never stops trying to foil and usurp the work of Heavenly Father and His Son.

Luke 24:13-35 Jesus Appears to Two Disciples on the Road to Emmaus

There are additional witnesses of the resurrected Redeemer:

  • Read this delightful story in Luke 24:13-35, putting yourself in place of the two disciples (note that the distance from Jerusalem to Emmaus—“about threescore furlongs”—was about seven miles.
  • The two disciples are likely returning to their home in Emmaus after being in Jerusalem to observe the Passover. One of them is Cleopas (verse 18), but the name of the other is not given; it could be Mary, the wife of Cleopas (see John 19:25; although some scholars are not certain that this is the same Cleopas).
  • Imagine their conversation as they “communed together” (verse 15) regarding the final days of Jesus’s life and ministry. Their mood is one of sadness (verse 17).
  • Read verses 21-24. Do they seem to be believing of all they have heard?
  • Read verses 25-27, noting the things Jesus taught them. This is a key to our scripture study; we must look for things concerning Jesus Christ, and not be “fools” who are “slow of heart to believe”(verse 25).
  • In verses 28-29, the disciples invite Jesus to “abide” (stay) with them, as we do when we partake of the sacrament, which promises that we “may always have His spirit” to be with us (Mormon 4:3; D&C 20:77).
  • The high drama point arrives in verses 30-31. May the Lord open our eyes, that we may recognize Him and feel His presence and influence. Read also Hebrews 13:2.
  • Read Luke 24:32-35. The disciples’ profound experience prompted them to return to Jerusalem by night in order to report to the apostles. Think of times when your heart has “burned” within you over Christ, His word, His gospel, His blessings.
  • Note that verse 34 mentions an appearance of the resurrected Jesus to the apostle Peter, which is mentioned only here.

At this point, we know of at least five people who have personally seen the resurrected Christ: Mary Magdalene (John 20:11-16), “the other Mary” (Matthew 28:1, 8-10), the “two of them” on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-15, 30-31), and Simon [Peter] (Luke 24:34). This list of witnesses will grow.

Luke 24:33-48; John 20:21-29 Jesus Appears to Ten Apostles, Then Eleven

Read Luke 24:33-48:

  • What is the first thing Jesus said as He suddenly “stood in the midst” of His apostles? (Luke 24:36; see also John 20:19, 21).
  • Christ’s message of peace was one of His last teachings before His death (see John 14:27; 16:33) and is now one of His first messages after His resurrection.
  • What was the apostles’ reaction, in verse 37? How did Jesus reassure them, in verses 38-43? (perhaps Jesus retained the scars in His body as evidence of His identity; see also 3 Nephi 11:12-14; D&C 45:51-52). How have you gained a testimony that Jesus Christ lives?
  • In verses 44-48, what did the Savior say and do to strengthen their witness?
  • Read John 20:21-23 regarding the additional blessings Jesus pronounced upon the ten apostles.
  • In verse 24 we learn that Thomas “was not with them” in the prior experience. What did Thomas tell the other apostles in verse 25? (He has since been known as “Doubting Thomas,” but some have felt that Thomas was only doing what he had been taught to do, in order to certify his belief; see, for example, D&C 129:4-5.) Then, in verses 26-28, Jesus gave Thomas the opportunity to realize his expectation, as Thomas had expressed in verse 25.
  • In verse 29 Jesus said something significant in relation to your testimony. The Lord is willing to provide the gifts of belief and faith.

John 21 Jesus Appears at the Sea of Galilee

The prior appearances of the resurrected Jesus were in Judea (Jerusalem and Emmaus), and now He appears to apostles and others near the Sea of Tiberias/Galilee (verses 1-2). In verse 3, Peter and the others had returned to their fishing occupation, but the Lord often has other things—greater things—in mind for us. Read verses 4-13, looking for Jesus’s words and actions that can be symbolic of ways He operates in our lives.

In verses 15-17, Jesus revealed His specific calling for Peter. What lessons do you draw for yourself from the Savior’s charge to Peter? What does it mean to you to “feed His sheep”? Our feeding of God’s sheep is perhaps the most important way by which we show our love for Him.

In verses 18-19, Jesus foretold what Peter’s ministry would one day lead him to—death by crucifixion. As for John, verses 20-23 hint at his translation, wherein he would remain on earth until the Savior’s second coming; read also Doctrine and Covenants 7:1-8.

Matthew 28:16-20; Mark 16:15-20; Luke 24:49-53 The Great Commission and the Ascension

  • Jesus and His apostles are on a mountain in Galilee. Read His instructions to them in Matthew 28:16-20 and Mark 16:15-18.
  • What promises did the Savior make in Matthew 28:20 and Mark 16:17-18?
  • Next, back in Jerusalem, read of Jesus’s departure from them, in Luke 24:49-51; Mark 16:19-20. What did Jesus promise in Luke 24:49?
  • Note in Mark 16:20 that the Lord would be “working with them” (and with us; see also Jacob 5:72).
  • Read Luke 24:52-53. How were the apostles affected and influenced by the Savior’s resurrection, appearances, instructions, and promises? How do these truths affect you?

John 20:30-31; 21:24-25 Concluding Testimony

The words of the apostle John the Beloved began the story of Jehovah coming to earth as the Word and the Light of Men (see John 1:1-4, 14). John also finalizes this “greatest story ever told” with a powerful witness. Read John 20:30-31 and John 21:24-25. What can you add to John’s testimony, based on your experience studying the four Gospels?

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