New Testament 2023
January 2–8. Matthew 1; Luke 1: “Be It unto Me according to Thy Word”

“January 2–8. Matthew 1; Luke 1: ‘Be It unto Me according to Thy Word,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: New Testament 2023 (2022)

“January 2–8. Matthew 1; Luke 1,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2023

Mary and Elisabeth

January 2–8

Matthew 1; Luke 1

“Be It unto Me according to Thy Word”

As you read and ponder Matthew 1 and Luke 1, record the spiritual impressions you receive. What doctrinal truths do you find? What messages will be of most value to you and your family? The study ideas in this outline may help you discover additional insights.

Record Your Impressions

From a mortal perspective, it was impossible. A virgin could not conceive—nor could a barren woman who was well past childbearing years. But God had a plan for the birth of His Son and the birth of John the Baptist, so both Mary and Elisabeth, against all earthly odds, became mothers. It can be helpful to remember their miraculous experiences whenever we face something that seems impossible. Can we overcome our weaknesses? Can we touch the heart of an unresponsive family member? Gabriel could easily have been speaking to us when he reminded Mary, “With God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37). And Mary’s response can also be ours when God reveals His will: “Be it unto me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38).

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Ideas for Personal Scripture Study

Who were Matthew and Luke?

Matthew was a Jewish publican, or tax collector, whom Jesus called as one of His Apostles (see Matthew 10:3; see also Bible Dictionary, “Publicans”). Matthew wrote his Gospel mainly to fellow Jews; therefore, he chose to emphasize Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah that were fulfilled through Jesus’s life and ministry.

Luke was a Gentile (non-Jewish) physician who traveled with the Apostle Paul. He wrote his Gospel after the Savior’s death primarily to a non-Jewish audience. He testified of Jesus Christ as the Savior of both the Gentiles and the Jews. He recorded eyewitness accounts of events in the Savior’s life, and he included more stories involving women compared to the other Gospels.

See also Bible Dictionary, “Gospels,” “Matthew,” “Luke.”

Matthew 1:18–25; Luke 1:26–35

Jesus Christ was born of a mortal mother and an immortal Father.

In Matthew 1:18–25 and Luke 1:26–35, notice how Matthew and Luke described the miracle of Jesus’s birth. How do their descriptions strengthen your faith in the Savior? Why is it important to you to know that Jesus was both the Son of God and the son of Mary?

President Russell M. Nelson explained that the Atonement of Jesus Christ “required a personal sacrifice by an immortal being not subject to death. Yet He must die and take up His own body again. The Savior was the only one who could accomplish this. From His mother He inherited power to die. From His Father He obtained power over death” (“Constancy amid Change,” Ensign, Nov. 1993, 34).

Luke 1:5–25, 57–80

God’s blessings come in His own time.

If you find yourself having to wait for a blessing or if it seems that God isn’t hearing your prayers, the story of Elisabeth and Zacharias can be a reminder that He hasn’t forgotten you. As Elder Jeffrey R. Holland promised: “While we work and wait together for the answers to some of our prayers, I offer you my apostolic promise that they are heard and they are answered, though perhaps not at the time or in the way we wanted. But they are always answered at the time and in the way an omniscient and eternally compassionate parent should answer them” (“Waiting on the Lord,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2020, 115–16). How did Zacharias and Elisabeth remain faithful? (see Luke 1:5–25, 57–80). Do you find yourself waiting for a blessing? What do you feel the Lord expects of you while you wait?

Elisabeth and Zacharias with baby John

After faithfully waiting, Elisabeth and Zacharias were blessed with a son.

Matthew 1:18–25; Luke 1:26–38

The faithful willingly submit to God’s will.

Like Mary, we sometimes find that God’s plans for our life are quite different from what we had planned. What do you learn from Mary about accepting God’s will? In the following tables, write statements from the angel and Mary (see Luke 1:26–38), along with the messages that you find in their statements:

The angel’s words to Mary

Message for me

The angel’s words to Mary

“The Lord is with thee” (verse 28).

Message for me

The Lord is aware of my situation and struggles.

The angel’s words to Mary

Message for me

The angel’s words to Mary

Message for me

Mary’s reactions

Message for me

Mary’s reactions

“How shall this be?” (verse 34).

Message for me

It’s OK to ask questions to better understand God’s will.

Mary’s reactions

Message for me

Mary’s reactions

Message for me

As you read about Joseph’s righteous example in Matthew 1:18–25, what do you learn about accepting God’s will? What additional insights do you learn from the experiences of Zacharias and Elisabeth? (see Luke 1).

See also Luke 22:42; Bible Dictionary, “Gabriel.”

Luke 1:46–55

Mary testified of Jesus Christ’s mission.

Mary’s words in Luke 1:46–55 foretold aspects of the Savior’s mission. What do you learn about Jesus Christ from Mary’s statements? You might compare these verses with Hannah’s words in 1 Samuel 2:1–10 and with Jesus’s Beatitudes in Matthew 5:3–12. What does the Spirit teach you as you ponder these verses?

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Ideas for Family Scripture Study and Home Evening

Matthew 1:1–17.As your family reads the genealogy of Jesus, you might discuss your own family history and share some stories about your ancestors. How does knowing about your family history bless your family? For more family history activities, see

Matthew 1:20; Luke 1:11–13, 30.Why might the people in these verses have been fearful? What causes us to feel fearful? How does God invite us to “fear not”?

Luke 1:37.To help your family build faith that “with God nothing shall be impossible,” you could search Luke 1 together and find things God did that might be considered impossible. What other stories can we share—from the scriptures or our own lives—in which God did seemingly impossible things? Searching through the Gospel Art Book could provide ideas.

Luke 1:46–55.What are some of the “great things” the Savior has done for us? What could it mean for our souls to “magnify the Lord”?

For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.

Suggested song: “He Sent His Son,” Children’s Songbook, 34–35.

Improving Our Teaching

Apply the scriptures to your life. After reading a scripture passage, invite family members to apply it to their lives (see Teaching in the Savior’s Way21). For instance, how can family members apply what they learn from Matthew 1 and Luke 1 about responding to the Lord’s call?

Gabriel appearing to Mary

Blessed Art Thou among Women, by Walter Rane