“February 4–10. Matthew 4; Luke 4–5: ‘The Spirit of the Lord Is upon Me’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: New Testament 2019 (2019)
“February 4–10. Matthew 4; Luke 4–5,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2019
Record Your Impressions
This week’s reading includes this statement: “They were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power” (Luke 4:32; see also Mark 1:22). What verses can class members share from these chapters that helped them feel that doctrinal power for themselves?
The account of the Savior resisting Satan could help class members recognize ways in which Satan tries to tempt them. Class members could select one of the temptations in Matthew 4:1–11 or Luke 4:1–13 and think of a modern, related temptation (the statements in “Additional Resources” might help). Why is it helpful to know that the Savior faced temptations similar to those we face today? Why was Christ able to resist temptation? For other scriptural examples of people resisting Satan, see Genesis 39:7–20; 2 Nephi 4:16–35; and Moses 1:10–22.
One way to encourage discussion about Matthew 4:1–11 and Luke 4:1–13 could be to write two questions on the board: What do we learn about Christ from this story? and What do we learn about Satan? Then invite class members to search the passages to find answers to these questions and write their answers on the board.
What could help your class resist temptation? You could ask class members to review instances in Matthew 4:1–11 or Luke 4:1–13 in which the Savior’s knowledge of the scriptures helped Him respond to Satan (by saying, “It is written”). Give class members time to find and share scriptures that could fortify and strengthen them when they feel tempted. (For ideas, they could look in the Topical Guide entry on “Temptation.”)
To help your class members better understand this account, you might explain that the titles Messiah and Christ both mean “the anointed.” As they read Luke 4:18–21, ask them to think about what it means to say that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, or the Anointed One. They may also find it helpful to read “Anointed One” in the Bible Dictionary. How does Jesus declare that He is the Messiah today? Invite class members to share how they came to know that Jesus Christ is their Savior.
There may be some helpful lessons to learn by exploring why the people of Nazareth did not accept Jesus as the prophesied Messiah. One way to do this could be to contrast their attitudes with those of the widow of Zarephath and Naaman in the Old Testament. You could contact some class members in advance and ask them to come prepared to summarize each of these accounts (see 1 Kings 17:8–24; 2 Kings 5:1–17; Luke 4:16–30). What do these accounts teach us about miracles and responding to God’s servants? Do class members see any messages for today’s Church members in the Savior’s words to the people of Nazareth?
Sometimes the direction the Lord gives us doesn’t make sense at first. Class members could search Luke 5:1–11, looking for what the Savior asked of Peter and why Peter might have doubted His instructions. How might this experience have affected Peter’s views about the Savior and himself? You could invite class members to share experiences in which they demonstrated their faith in divine guidance, despite not having a complete understanding. What was the result when they exercised their faith?
Just as the fishermen “forsook all” to follow Jesus Christ (Luke 5:11), there are things we have to forsake to become His disciples. What does Matthew 4:18–22 imply about the attitudes and faith of Peter, Andrew, James, and John? It might be helpful to bring a fishing net to class and invite class members to write down things they are willing to forsake or have already forsaken to follow Christ and place them in the net. Consider inviting a few class members to share how their lives have changed as they have chosen to forsake all to follow the Savior.
To inspire class members to read John 2–4 during the coming week, you could ask them to ponder what they think it means to be “born again.” Tell them that next week’s reading will help them answer this question.
“Jesus Declares He Is the Messiah” (video, LDS.org)
After speaking of the types of temptation that the Savior faced in the wilderness, President David O. McKay taught:
“Every temptation that comes to you and me comes in one of three forms:
“(1) A temptation of the appetite or passion;
“(2) A yielding to pride, fashion, or vanity;
“(3) A desire for worldly riches or power and dominion over lands or earthly possessions of men” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: David O. McKay , 82).
Speaking of Jesus’s experience in Matthew 4, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland taught:
“‘If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.’ …
“The temptation is not in the eating. … The temptation, at least the part I wish to focus on, is to do it this way, to get his bread—his physical satisfaction, relief for his human appetite—the easy way, by abuse of power and without a willingness to wait for the right time and the right way. …
“‘If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down’ from the pinnacle of this temple. …
“The temptation here is even more subtle than the first. It is a temptation of the spirit, of a private hunger more real than the need for bread. Would God save him? … Why not get spiritual confirmation, obtain a loyal congregation, and answer this Imp who heckles—all with one appeal to God’s power? …
“But Jesus refuses the temptation of the spirit. Denial and restraint are also part of divine preparation. … Even the Son of God must wait. The Redeemer who would never bestow cheap grace on others was not likely to ask for any himself. …
“… ‘All these things will I give thee, if thou will fall down and worship me.’
“Satan … [asks], ‘What is your price? Cheap bread you resist. Tawdry Messianic drama you resist, but no man can resist this world’s wealth. Name your price.’ Satan is proceeding under his first article of faithlessness—the unequivocal belief that you can buy anything in this world for money.
“Jesus will one day rule the world. He will govern every principality and power in it. He will be King of Kings and Lord of Lords. But not this way” (“The Inconvenient Messiah,” Ensign, Feb. 1984, 68–71).