“April 17–23. Matthew 18; Luke 10: ‘What Shall I Do to Inherit Eternal Life?,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: New Testament 2023 (2022)
“April 17–23. Matthew 18; Luke 10,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2023
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.) Unexpected answers from the Lord can invite us to change the way we think, feel, and act. If you are seeking the Lord’s will 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” (verse 22), was teaching not about numbers but rather about developing 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 gave this important caution: “Although we must forgive a neighbor who injures us, we should still work constructively to prevent that injury from being repeated. … Forgiveness does not require us to accept or tolerate evil. … But as we fight against sin, we must not allow hatred or anger to control our thoughts or actions” (“Forgiveness Will Change Bitterness to Love,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2003, 12).
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.
It is helpful to remember that the parable of the good Samaritan was Jesus’s way of answering two questions: “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” and “Who is my neighbour?” (Luke 10:25, 29). As you read this parable, keep these questions 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?
See also Mosiah 2:17; “Parable of the Good Samaritan” and “A Good Samaritan” (videos), ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
In Luke 10:38–42, Jesus gently invited Martha to think differently about the way she was spending her time. After quoting these verses, Sister Carol F. McConkie taught: “If we would be holy, we must learn to sit at the feet of the Holy One of Israel and give time to holiness. Do we set aside the phone, the never-ending to-do list, and the cares of worldliness? Prayer, study, and heeding the word of God invite His cleansing and healing love into our souls. Let us take time to be holy, that we may be filled with His sacred and sanctifying Spirit” (“The Beauty of Holiness,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2017, 11). You may want to examine how you spend your time—even on good things. Is there something more “needful” (verse 42) that deserves more of your attention?
Why would Jesus want us to become like a little child? What attributes do children have that we can develop to become more Christlike? (see Mosiah 3:19).
How can we apply the counsel in Matthew 18:15 to our family interactions? How would doing this bless our family?
What does this parable teach us about Jesus Christ? What does it teach us about how to treat others?
Family members may enjoy wearing costumes and acting out this parable. How are we sometimes like the different people in the parable? How is the Savior like the good Samaritan? How can we be like the good Samaritan?
You might consider singing together a hymn or children’s song that supports the truths in this parable. One example is “Lord, I Would Follow Thee” (Hymns, no. 220), but there are many others. Family members might enjoy finding a hymn or song and explaining how it relates to the parable.
Is it ever difficult to fit spiritual things into your family’s schedule? The story of Mary and Martha could inspire a family council or home evening about how to do this better. As a family, you could make a list of ways to choose “that good part” (Luke 10:42).
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.
Suggested song: “Jesus Said Love Everyone,” Children’s Songbook, 61.