“April 22–28. Matthew 18; Luke 10: ‘What Shall I Do to Inherit Eternal Life?’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: New Testament 2019 (2019)
“April 22–28. Matthew 18; Luke 10,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2019
Record Your Impressions
When you ask the Lord a question, you might receive an answer you did not expect. Who is my neighbor? Anyone who needs your help and love. Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? A child. Is it enough to forgive an offender seven times? No, you should forgive seventy times seven. (See Luke 10:29–37; Matthew 18:4, 21–22.) If you are seeking the Lord’s will, not to “justify [yourself]” (Luke 10:29), but because you really want to learn from Him, the Lord will teach you how to live in a way that leads to eternal life with Him.
Peter’s suggestion that he could forgive someone seven times might seem very generous, but Jesus taught a higher law. His response, “I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven,” was teaching not about numbers but rather about a Christlike attitude of forgiveness. As you read the parable of the unmerciful servant, ponder the times when you have felt God’s mercy and compassion. Is there someone who needs to feel mercy and compassion from you?
Elder David E. Sorensen of the Seventy taught: “I would like to make it clear that forgiveness of sins should not be confused with tolerating evil. … Although we must forgive a neighbor who injures us, we should still work constructively to prevent that injury from being repeated” (“Forgiveness Will Change Bitterness to Love,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2003, 12).
See also “Forgiveness,” Gospel Topics, topics.lds.org.
Following a pattern established in Old Testament times (see Exodus 24:1; Numbers 11:16), Jesus Christ “appointed other seventy,” in addition to His Twelve Apostles, to witness of Him, preach His gospel, and assist Him in His work. This pattern continues in the restored Church. Seventies are called to assist the Twelve in their mission as special witnesses of Jesus Christ to all the world. Seventies are organized into quorums. Members of the first two quorums are set apart as General Authority Seventies, while members of the other quorums are set apart as Area Seventies. (See also D&C 107:25–26, 33–34, 97.)
It is helpful to remember that the parable of the good Samaritan was Jesus’s way of answering a question: “Who is my neighbour?” As you read this parable, keep that question in mind. What answers do you find?
By Jesus’s day, the animosity between the Jews and Samaritans had lasted for centuries. The Samaritans were descendants of Jews living in Samaria who had intermarried with Gentiles. The Jews felt that the Samaritans had become corrupted by their association with Gentiles and had apostatized. Jews would travel miles out of their way to avoid passing through Samaria. (See also Luke 9:52–54; 17:11–18; John 4:9; 8:48.)
Why do you think the Savior chose a Samaritan, someone who was hated by the Jews, as an example of compassion and loving one’s neighbor? What does this parable inspire you to do to show more mercy to others?
Sister Bonnie D. Parkin, former Relief Society General President, taught: “Mary and Martha are you and me. … These two loved the Lord and wanted to show that love. On this occasion, it seems to me that Mary expressed her love by hearing His word, while Martha expressed hers by serving Him. … Jesus did not dismiss Martha’s concern, but instead redirected her focus by saying choose ‘that good part.’ And what is that? … The one thing that is needful is to choose eternal life [see 2 Nephi 2:28]. We choose daily” (“Choosing Charity: That Good Part,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2003, 104). How would you summarize the Lord’s counsel to Martha in your own words? Examine your schedule—is there something “needful” that needs more of your attention?
As you read the scriptures with your family, the Spirit can help you know what principles to emphasize and discuss in order to meet the needs of your family. Here are some suggestions:
What hymns can your family sing that relate to the truths taught in these chapters? Two examples are “Lord, I Would Follow Thee” and “Have I Done Any Good?” Hymns, nos. 220, 223, but there are many others. How do the words in these hymns help your family better understand the Savior’s teachings?
Why would Jesus want us to become like a little child? What are some characteristics of children that would make us more Christlike if we incorporated them into our lives? (see Mosiah 3:19).
What would make the parable of the good Samaritan come alive for your family? Would they enjoy wearing costumes and acting it out? Be sure to help family members see how they can be like the good Samaritan. Is there someone in need at school or church whom we might be overlooking? What can we do for this person?
Is it ever difficult to fit spiritual things into your family schedule? The story of Mary and Martha could inspire a family council or family home evening about how to do this. As a family, you could make a list of ways to choose “that good part” (see Luke 10:42).
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.