“February 13–19. Matthew 5; Luke 6: ‘Blessed Are Ye,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: New Testament 2023 (2022)
“February 13–19. Matthew 5; Luke 6,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2023
Record Your Impressions
By this point in His ministry, it was clear that Jesus’s teachings would be unlike what the people of His time were used to hearing. The poor will receive the kingdom of God? The meek will inherit the earth? Blessed are the persecuted? The scribes and Pharisees were not teaching such things. And yet those who truly understood God’s law recognized truth in the Savior’s words. “An eye for an eye” and “hate thine enemy” were lesser laws (Matthew 5:38, 43). But Jesus Christ had come to teach a higher law (see 3 Nephi 15:2–10), designed to help us one day become “perfect, even as [our] Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).
Everybody wants to be happy, but not everyone looks for happiness in the same places. Some search for it in worldly power and position, others in wealth or in satisfying physical appetites. Jesus Christ came to teach the way to lasting happiness, to teach what it truly means to be blessed. What do you learn about obtaining lasting happiness from Matthew 5:1–12 and Luke 6:20–26? How is this different from the world’s view of happiness?
What do these verses, together with Luke 6:46–49, teach you about being a disciple of Jesus Christ? What do you feel inspired to do to develop the qualities described in these verses?
See also Guide to the Scriptures, “Beatitudes,” scriptures.ChurchofJesusChrist.org; “Sermon on the Mount: The Beatitudes” (video), ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
Salt has long been used to preserve, flavor, and purify. Salt also had religious meaning for the Israelites. It was associated with the ancient practice of animal sacrifice under the law of Moses (see Leviticus 2:13; Numbers 18:19). When salt loses its savor, it becomes ineffective, or “good for nothing” (Matthew 5:13). This happens when it is mixed with or contaminated by other elements.
Keep this in mind as you ponder Matthew 5:13. How will you keep your savor as a disciple of Jesus Christ? How will you fulfill your preserving and purifying work as the salt of the earth?
See also Doctrine and Covenants 103:9–10.
The disciples may have been surprised to hear Jesus say that their righteousness needed to exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees (see Matthew 5:20), who prided themselves on how well they kept the law of Moses.
As you read Matthew 5:21–48 and Luke 6:27–35, consider marking both the behaviors required in the law of Moses (“Ye have heard that …”) and what Jesus taught to elevate these behaviors. Why do you think the Savior’s way is a higher law?
For example, what did Jesus teach in Matthew 5:27–28 about our responsibility over our thoughts? How can you gain more control over the thoughts and feelings that come into your mind and heart? (see Doctrine and Covenants 121:45).
See also “Sermon on the Mount: The Higher Law” (video), ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
President Russell M. Nelson taught:
“The term perfect was translated from the Greek teleios, which means ‘complete.’ … The infinitive form of the verb is teleiono, which means ‘to reach a distant end, to be fully developed, to consummate, or to finish.’ Please note that the word does not imply ‘freedom from error’; it implies ‘achieving a distant objective.’ …
“… The Lord taught, ‘Ye are not able to abide the presence of God now … ; wherefore, continue in patience until ye are perfected’ [Doctrine and Covenants 67:13].
“We need not be dismayed if our earnest efforts toward perfection now seem so arduous and endless. Perfection is pending. It can come in full only after the Resurrection and only through the Lord. It awaits all who love him and keep his commandments” (“Perfection Pending,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 86, 88).
Which principles taught in Matthew 5:1–9 could help your home be a happier place? You might choose one or two that seem especially important to your family. For example, what teachings do we find that can help us be peacemakers? (see Matthew 5:21–25, 38–44). What goals can we set? How will we follow up?
Eat together some food seasoned with salt and the same food without salt. What difference do we notice? What does it mean to be “the salt of the earth”? How can we do this?
To help your family understand what it means to be “the light of the world,” you could explore some of the sources of light in your home, your neighborhood, and the world. It might be helpful to show what happens when you hide a light. What did Jesus mean when He said, “Ye are the light of the world”? (Matthew 5:14). Who has been like a light for our family? How can we be a light to others? (see 3 Nephi 18:16, 24–25).
As your family reads the Savior’s words in these verses, you might talk about who, specifically, you feel you could love, bless, and pray for. How can we increase our love for them?
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.
Suggested song: “Shine On,” Children’s Songbook, 144.