“January 7–13. Matthew 1; Luke 1: ‘Be It unto Me according to Thy Word’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: New Testament 2019 (2019)
“January 7–13. Matthew 1; Luke 1,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2019
Record Your Impressions
Give class members a few minutes to review Matthew 1 or Luke 1, and invite them to share their favorite verse and explain what doctrinal truths they learned. You may find it helpful to briefly review the events in these chapters first to give some context to the verses shared.
Class members are more likely to have meaningful experiences while studying the New Testament this year if they can draw lessons from the experiences of the people they read about. To help them do this, you could write the names of the people in Matthew 1 and Luke 1 on the board, along with scripture references about these individuals, as follows:
Mary (Luke 1:26–56)
Joseph (Matthew 1:18–25)
Elisabeth (Luke 1:5–7, 24–25, 40–45, 57–60)
Zacharias (Luke 1:5–23, 59–64)
Invite class members to pick one person they would like to learn more about, read the listed verses, and share with someone in the class what they learn from that person’s experience. What can we do to follow that person’s faithful example?
To help class members think more deeply about Mary’s character and role in the Father’s plan, you could show the videos “An Angel Foretells Christ’s Birth to Mary” and “Mary and Elisabeth Rejoice Together” (LDS.org) or read together Luke 1:26–38, 46–56, looking for things Mary said that reveal something about her character. What else do we learn about Mary? What can she teach us about accepting God’s will for us?
There may be people in your class who, like Elisabeth and Zacharias, are living righteously and yet have not received a hoped-for blessing. How could you help them learn from the examples of Elisabeth and Zacharias? You could start by asking class members to write down blessings they are hoping for. Then they could search Luke 1:5–25, looking for lessons they can learn from Elisabeth and Zacharias about waiting on the Lord. They could also read and ponder the quotations in “Additional Resources.” Encourage them to write what they learn next to the hoped-for blessing and, if appropriate, share their thoughts.
What other examples of waiting on the Lord’s timing can class members share from their own lives or from accounts in the scriptures? What do we learn from these examples?
Class members may at times wonder—as Mary did—how God’s plans for them or promises to them can be fulfilled. To help class members understand that through God’s power all things are possible, you could display the picture The Annunciation: The Angel Gabriel Appears to Mary (Gospel Art Book, no. 28) and invite them to read together Luke 1:26–38. What can we learn about overcoming the seemingly impossible by studying Mary’s words and actions? Ask class members to share experiences in which God helped them accomplish something they thought was impossible. For a modern example of Saints who with God’s help accomplished something that seemed impossible, watch the video “Sealed Together: The Manaus Temple Caravan” (LDS.org).
The Savior’s life demonstrated the truth that Gabriel declared: “With God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37). To illustrate this principle, you could ask class members to think of times when the Savior accomplished seemingly impossible things when doing His Father’s will (see, for example, John 9:1–7). To help class members see how this principle operates in their lives, you could invite them to ponder questions like the following: What difference does it make in your life to know that nothing is impossible with God? How does it change the way you serve in the Church? the way you interact with your family? It may also help to compare Luke 1:37 with the Savior’s words in Mark 14:36.
A main purpose of Matthew, Luke, and the other Gospel writers was to testify that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. How can you help class members recognize this purpose in the very first chapters they will read in the New Testament? Here is one idea: Divide the class into groups or pairs, and give each group a set of verses from Matthew 1 or Luke 1. Invite them to look for events or words that strengthen their faith in the divine mission of Jesus Christ as the Son of God and share with the class what they find. Some passages that you might suggest include Matthew 1:18–25 and Luke 1:26–38, 39–45, 46–55. Suggest to the class that as they study the New Testament this year, they might keep a list of passages that testify that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. You could even keep this list as a class.
To encourage class members to read Matthew 2 and Luke 2 for next week’s class, you could suggest that if they read the account of the Savior’s birth prayerfully, they will gain new insights, even if they’ve read it many times before.
Elder Neal A. Maxwell taught, “Faith … includes trust in God’s timing, for He has said, ‘All things must come to pass in their time.’ (D&C 64:32.)” (“Lest Ye Be Wearied and Faint in Your Minds,” Ensign, May 1991, 90).
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf taught:
“Every one of us is called to wait in our own way. We wait for answers to prayers. We wait for things which at the time may appear so right and so good to us that we can’t possibly imagine why Heavenly Father would delay the answer.
“I remember when I was preparing to be trained as a fighter pilot. We spent a great deal of our preliminary military training in physical exercise. … We ran and we ran and we ran some more.
“As I was running I began to notice something that, frankly, troubled me. Time and again I was being passed by men who smoked, drank, and did all manner of things that were contrary to the gospel and, in particular, to the Word of Wisdom.
“I remember thinking, ‘Wait a minute! Aren’t I supposed to be able to run and not be weary?’ But I was weary, and I was overtaken by people who were definitely not following the Word of Wisdom. I confess, it troubled me at the time. I asked myself, was the promise true or was it not?
“The answer didn’t come immediately. But eventually I learned that God’s promises are not always fulfilled as quickly as or in the way we might hope; they come according to His timing and in His ways. Years later I could see clear evidence of the temporal blessings that come to those who obey the Word of Wisdom—in addition to the spiritual blessings that come immediately from obedience to any of God’s laws” (“Continue in Patience,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2010, 58).