“March 13–19. Matthew 11–12; Luke 11: ‘I Will Give You Rest,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: New Testament 2023 (2022)
“March 13–19. Matthew 11–12; Luke 11,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2023
Record Your Impressions
In many ways, the Pharisees and scribes had made worshipping Jehovah burdensome. They often emphasized strict rules over eternal truths. Rules about the Sabbath day, which was meant to be a day of rest, were themselves a heavy burden.
And then, Jehovah Himself came among His people. He taught them that the true purpose of religion is not to create burdens but to relieve them. He taught that God gives us commandments, including the one to honor the Sabbath, not to oppress us but to bless us. Yes, the way to God is strait and narrow, but the Lord came to announce that we need not walk it alone. “Come unto me,” He pleaded. His invitation, to all who feel “heavy laden” for any reason, is to stand beside Him, to bind ourselves to Him, and to let Him share our burdens. His promise is “Ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Compared to the alternatives—trying to carry on alone or relying on mortal solutions—His “yoke is easy, and [His] burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28–30.)
We all carry burdens—some resulting from our own sins and mistakes, some caused by the choices of others, and some that are nobody’s fault but are simply part of life on earth. Regardless of the reasons for our struggles, Jesus pleads with us to come unto Him so He can help us bear our burdens and find relief (see also Mosiah 24). Elder David A. Bednar taught, “Making and keeping sacred covenants yokes us to and with the Lord Jesus Christ” (“Bear Up Their Burdens with Ease,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2014, 88). With this in mind, ponder questions like the following to better understand the Savior’s words in these verses: How do my covenants yoke me to and with the Savior? What do I need to do to come unto Christ? In what sense is the Savior’s yoke easy and His burden light?
What other questions come to your mind as you read? Record them, and search for answers this week in the scriptures and the words of the prophets. You may find answers to some of your questions in Elder David A. Bednar’s message referenced above.
The teachings of the Pharisees differed from the Savior’s in many ways, but especially in how to honor the Sabbath day. As you read Matthew 12:1–13, you might consider how well your attitudes and actions regarding the Sabbath align with the Savior’s teachings. To do this, you could ponder statements like these:
“The Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day” (verse 8).
“It is lawful to do well on the sabbath days” (verse 12).
How might these teachings influence the way you approach the Sabbath?
One of the Savior’s main criticisms of the Pharisees was that they tried to appear righteous but their intentions were not pure. As you study the Savior’s warnings to the Pharisees in Matthew 12:34–37 and Luke 11:33–44, ponder the connection between our hearts and our actions. What does the phrase “good treasure of the heart” mean to you? (Matthew 12:35). How do our words justify or condemn us? (see Matthew 12:37). What might it mean for your eye to be “single”? (Luke 11:34). Ponder how you can become “full of light” (Luke 11:36) through the Savior’s power.
Matthew 11:28–30.You can help your family visualize the Savior’s teachings in these verses by having them take turns trying to pull something heavy, first by themselves and then with help. What are some of the burdens we carry? What does it mean to take Christ’s yoke upon ourselves? The picture at the end of this outline could help you explain what a yoke is.
Matthew 12:10–13.As you read about Jesus healing a man on the Sabbath, your family could talk about how we are “restored whole” by the Savior. How can the Sabbath be a day of healing for us?
Inspired by the Savior’s example in these verses, your family could make a list of ways you can “do well on the sabbath” (verse 12). Be sure to include opportunities to serve others. It could be helpful to keep your list and refer to it on future Sundays.
Luke 11:33–36.Ponder how you might teach your family what it means to be “full of light” (verses 34, 36). Would an object lesson help? You could also discuss ways to bring the Savior’s light into our lives, our home, and the world. For ideas, see the video “The Light That Shineth in Darkness,” ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
Luke 11:37–44.Perhaps your family could discuss these verses while washing dishes together. You could talk about why it would be a bad idea to wash only the outsides of things like bowls and cups. You could then relate this to the need to be righteous not just in our outward deeds but also in our inward thoughts and feelings.
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.
Suggested hymn: “How Gentle God’s Commands,” Hymns, no. 125.