“May 1–7. Luke 12–17; John 11: ‘Rejoice with Me; for I Have Found My Sheep Which Was Lost,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: New Testament 2023 (2022)
“May 1–7. Luke 12–17; John 11,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2023
Record Your Impressions
In most situations, 99 out of 100 would be considered excellent—but not when such numbers stand for beloved children of God (see Doctrine and Covenants 18:10). In that case, even one soul merits a thorough, desperate search “until [we] find it” (Luke 15:4), as the Savior taught in the parable of the lost sheep. Then the rejoicing can begin, for “joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance” (Luke 15:7). If that seems unfair, it’s helpful to remember that, in truth, there are none who “need no repentance.” We all need rescuing. And we all can participate in the rescue, rejoicing together over every soul who is saved (see Doctrine and Covenants 18:15–16).
Why would God say “Thou fool” to a hardworking, successful man who had built great barns and filled them with the fruits of his labors? (see Luke 12:16–21). In these chapters in Luke, the Savior teaches several parables that can help us lift our sights beyond the worldly to the eternal. Some of these parables are listed here. How would you summarize the message of each? What do you think the Lord is telling you?
The foolish rich man (Luke 12:13–21)
The great supper (Luke 14:12–24)
The prodigal son (Luke 15:11–32)
The unjust steward (Luke 16:1–12)
The rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19–31)
As you read the parables Jesus taught in Luke 15, what do you learn about how Heavenly Father feels about those who have sinned or are otherwise “lost”? How should a spiritual leader—or any of us—feel toward them? Consider how the Pharisees and scribes would have answered these questions (see Luke 15:1–2). Jesus’s response can be found in three parables in Luke 15. As you read, think about what Jesus was teaching the scribes and Pharisees with these parables.
You might also consider making a list of similarities and differences between the parables. For example, you could identify what was lost in each parable and why it was lost, how it was found, and how people reacted when it was found. What messages did Jesus have for those who are “lost”—including those who don’t think they are lost? What messages did He have for people who seek those who are lost?
Elder James E. Talmage explained one lesson we can learn from the parable: “Be diligent; for the day in which you can use your earthly riches will soon pass. Take a lesson from even the dishonest and the evil; if they are so prudent as to provide for the only future they think of, how much more should you, who believe in an eternal future, provide therefor! If you have not learned wisdom and prudence in the use of ‘unrighteous mammon,’ how can you be trusted with the more enduring riches?” (Jesus the Christ , 464). What other lessons do you find in this parable?
If you had been one of the ten lepers, do you think you would have returned to thank the Savior? What additional blessings did the thankful leper receive because he gave thanks?
You might also ponder the Savior’s words, “Thy faith hath made thee whole” (verse 19). In your opinion, how are gratitude and faith related? How do both help us become whole? The video “President Russell M. Nelson on the Healing Power of Gratitude” (ChurchofJesusChrist.org) can help you ponder these questions.
See also Dale G. Renlund, “Consider the Goodness and Greatness of God,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2020, 41–44.
The miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead was a powerful and irrefutable testimony that Jesus was truly the Son of God and the promised Messiah. What words, phrases, or details in John 11:1–46 strengthen your faith that Jesus Christ is “the resurrection, and the life”? What does it mean to you that Jesus is “the resurrection, and the life”?
Luke 15:1–10.Do your family members understand what it feels like to lose something—or to be lost? Talking about their experiences could start a discussion about the parables of the lost sheep and lost coin. Or you could play a game in which someone hides and other family members try to find him or her. How does this activity help us understand these parables?
Luke 15:11–32.How can we be like the father in this story when we have loved ones who are lost? What can we learn from the older son’s experience that can help us be more Christlike? In what ways is the father in this parable like our Heavenly Father?
Luke 17:11–19.To help family members apply the account of the ten lepers, you could invite them to leave secret notes of gratitude for each other. You could also sing together “Count Your Blessings” (Hymns, no. 241) and count the blessings your family has received.
John 11:1–46.Family members could watch the video “Lazarus Is Raised from the Dead” (ChurchofJesusChrist.org) and share their testimonies of Jesus Christ.
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.
Suggested hymn: “Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd,” Hymns, no. 221.