Individuals and Families
January 23–29. Matthew 3; Mark 1; Luke 3: “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord”


“January 23–29. Matthew 3; Mark 1; Luke 3: ‘Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: New Testament 2023 (2022)

“January 23–29. Matthew 3; Mark 1; Luke 3,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2023

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Nauvoo Illinois Temple. Baptistry

Stained-glass window in Nauvoo Illinois Temple, by Tom Holdman

January 23–29

Matthew 3; Mark 1; Luke 3

“Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord”

Begin by reading Matthew 3; Mark 1; and Luke 3. As you pray for the Holy Ghost to help you understand these chapters, He will give you insights that are especially for you. Record these impressions, and make plans to act on them.

Record Your Impressions

Jesus Christ and His gospel can change you. Luke quoted an ancient prophecy of Isaiah that described the effect that the Savior’s coming would have: “Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth” (Luke 3:5; see also Isaiah 40:4). This is a message for all of us, including those who think they cannot change. If something as permanent as a mountain can be flattened, then surely the Lord can help us straighten our own crooked paths (see Luke 3:4–5). As we accept John the Baptist’s invitation to repent and change, we prepare our minds and hearts to receive Jesus Christ so that we too can “see the salvation of God” (Luke 3:6).

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Integrated Curriculum Illustration

Ideas for Personal Scripture Study

Who was Mark?

Among the authors of the Gospels, we know the least about Mark. We know that he was a missionary companion of Paul, Peter, and several other missionaries. Many biblical scholars believe that Peter directed Mark to record the events of the Savior’s life. Mark’s Gospel was likely written before the other three.

See also Bible Dictionary, “Mark.”

Matthew 3:1–12; Mark 1:1–8; Luke 3:2–18

Repentance is a mighty change of mind and heart.

The mission of John the Baptist was to prepare the hearts of the people to receive the Savior and become more like Him. How did he do it? He proclaimed, “Repent ye” (Matthew 3:2). And he used images such as fruit and wheat to teach about repentance (see Luke 3:9, 17).

What other images do you find in the accounts of John the Baptist’s ministry? (see Matthew 3:1–12; Mark 1:1–8; Luke 3:2–18). Consider marking them in your scriptures or drawing pictures of them. What do these images teach about the doctrine and necessity of repentance?

True repentance is “a change of mind, a fresh view about God, about oneself, and about the world. … [It means] a turning of the heart and will to God” (Bible Dictionary, “Repentance”). In Luke 3:7–14, what changes did John invite the people to make to prepare to receive Christ? How might this counsel apply to you? How can you show that you have truly repented? (see Luke 3:8).

See also Russell M. Nelson, “We Can Do Better and Be Better,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2019, 67–69; Dallin H. Oaks, “Cleansed by Repentance,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2019, 91–94.

Matthew 3:7; Luke 3:7

Who were the Pharisees and Sadducees?

The Pharisees were members of a Jewish religious party who prided themselves on strict observance of the law of Moses and its rituals. The Sadducees were a wealthy Jewish class with great religious and political influence; they did not believe in the doctrine of resurrection. Both groups had strayed from the original intent of God’s laws.

See also Matthew 23:23–28; Bible Dictionary, “Pharisees,” “Sadducees.”

Matthew 3:11, 13–17; Mark 1:9–11; Luke 3:15–16, 21–22

Jesus Christ was baptized to “fulfil all righteousness.”

When you were baptized, you followed the example of the Savior. Compare what you learn from the accounts of the Savior’s baptism with what happened during your baptism.

The Savior’s Baptism

My Baptism

The Savior’s Baptism

Who baptized Jesus, and what authority did he hold?

My Baptism

Who baptized you, and what authority did he hold?

The Savior’s Baptism

Where was Jesus baptized?

My Baptism

Where were you baptized?

The Savior’s Baptism

How was Jesus baptized?

My Baptism

How were you baptized?

The Savior’s Baptism

Why was Jesus baptized?

My Baptism

Why were you baptized?

The Savior’s Baptism

How did Heavenly Father show that He was pleased with Jesus?

My Baptism

How did Heavenly Father show that He was pleased when you were baptized? How has He shown His approval since then?

See also 2 Nephi 31; Mosiah 18:8–11; Doctrine and Covenants 20:37, 68–74; “The Baptism of Jesus” (video), ChurchofJesusChrist.org.

Matthew 3:16–17; Mark 1:9–11; Luke 3:21–22

The members of the Godhead are three separate beings.

The Bible contains numerous evidences that the members of the Godhead are three separate beings. The accounts of the Savior’s baptism are one example. As you read these accounts, ponder what you learn about the godhead. Why are these doctrines important to you?

See also Genesis 1:26; Matthew 17:1–5; John 17:1–3; Acts 7:55–56; Doctrine and Covenants 130:22.

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Integrated Curriculum Illustration

Ideas for Family Scripture Study and Home Evening

Matthew 3.

John the Baptist held the Aaronic Priesthood. What can we learn from John’s example about the purposes of the Aaronic Priesthood? What blessings do we receive because of the Aaronic Priesthood? If you have a young man in your family, you might take time to help him understand how he can use the Aaronic Priesthood to bless others. (See also Doctrine and Covenants 13:1; 20:46–60.)

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Baptism

When we are baptized, our sins are washed away.

Matthew 3:11–17; Mark 1:9–11; Luke 3:21–22.

Have members of your family seen someone be baptized or confirmed a member of the Church? What did family members feel? Perhaps you could teach them about the symbolism of baptism and confirmation. How is being baptized and confirmed like a new birth? Why are we fully immersed in water when we are baptized? Why do we wear white when we are baptized? Why is the gift of the Holy Ghost described as a “baptism of fire”? (Doctrine and Covenants 20:41; see also Bible Dictionary, “Baptism,” “Holy Ghost”).

Matthew 3:17; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22.

When have we felt that God has been pleased with us? What can we do as a family to please God?

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

Suggested song: “Baptism,” Children’s Songbook, 100–101.

Improving Personal Study

Ask the Lord for help. The scriptures were given by revelation, and to truly understand them we need personal revelation. The Lord has promised, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matthew 7:7).

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John the Baptist Baptizing Jesus

John the Baptist Baptizing Jesus, by Greg K. Olsen