“May 6–12. Luke 12–17; John 11: ‘Rejoice with Me; for I Have Found My Sheep Which Was Lost’” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: New Testament 2019 (2019)
“May 6–12. Luke 12–17; John 11,” Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School: 2019
Record Your Impressions
Application is an important part of learning, so invite class members to share how they chose to live something they learned from the scriptures this week.
To help class members study the parable of the great supper, you might invite them to an imaginary party that you will host. Let them share some reasons why they might or might not attend. Read Luke 14:15–24 together, and discuss the excuses the people in the parable made when they were invited to a feast that represented the blessings of the gospel. What excuses do people make today for failing to accept the Savior’s invitations to receive Heavenly Father’s blessings? Perhaps class members could share blessings they have received when they have made the sacrifices necessary to live certain gospel principles.
How can you inspire those you teach to seek out people who are “lost” because they do not have the blessings of the gospel and invite them to return? You might invite class members to think for a moment about “lost sheep” they know and then read Luke 15:1–7 with that person in mind. What do they feel inspired to do to reach out to that person with sensitivity and love? The story by President Thomas S. Monson in “Additional Resources” or Elder Mervyn B. Arnold’s address “To the Rescue: We Can Do It” (Ensign or Liahona, May 2016, 53–55) may help with this discussion.
Would it be helpful for class members to understand ways in which a person can become lost? Consider assigning groups of class members one of the three parables in Luke 15 to study. What do the parables suggest about how we should try to find those who are lost? What words in Luke 15 reveal how Heavenly Father feels about those who are lost? Singing “Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd,” Hymns, no. 221, together might be a meaningful addition to the teachings of these parables.
Your class members may benefit from focusing on the words and actions of the older son in the parable of the prodigal son. Perhaps they could write an alternate ending to the parable in which the older son’s attitude toward his brother is different. What does the father’s counsel in the parable teach us about how we should feel about those who are lost and those who return to the gospel? (See also Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s statement in “Additional Resources.”) Or you could ask class members to imagine that they are the father in this parable. What additional counsel would they give the older son to help him rejoice in the progress or success of others?
As they read about the raising of Lazarus this week, did any of your class members find anything that strengthened their faith that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the promised Messiah? Invite them to share what they found. What other experiences have built their faith in Jesus Christ? You may want to point out that at the time of this miracle, Lazarus was not resurrected but brought back to mortal life.
One way to examine John 11:1–46 is to ask class members to take turns reading the verses and invite them to stop when they find evidence of faith in Jesus Christ. Ask them to discuss what they have found. How can trials and infirmities strengthen our faith in Him?
Another way to read this account is to assign a few class members to consider the perspectives of the people involved—such as the Savior, the Apostles, Martha, Mary, and Lazarus. What can we learn from each of them? What can we learn about the Savior from John 11:33–35? Why is it important to know these things about Him?
To encourage class members to read Matthew 19–20; Mark 10; and Luke 18, you could ask a question like “How would you feel if you worked all day and got paid the same as someone who worked only one hour?” Tell them that there is a parable in next week’s reading that suggests how this could be considered fair.
President Thomas S. Monson shared the following experience he had while serving as a bishop: “I noted one Sunday morning that Richard, one of our priests who seldom attended, was again missing from priesthood meeting. I left the quorum in the care of the adviser and visited Richard’s home. His mother said he was working at a local garage servicing automobiles. I drove to the garage in search of Richard and looked everywhere but could not find him. Suddenly, I had the inspiration to gaze down into the old-fashioned grease pit situated at the side of the building. From the darkness I could see two shining eyes. I heard Richard say, ‘You found me, Bishop! I’ll come up.’ As Richard and I visited, I told him how much we missed him and needed him. I elicited a commitment from him to attend his meetings. … [Later], Richard said that the turning point in his life was when his bishop found him hiding in a grease pit and helped him to return to activity” (“Sugar Beets and the Worth of a Soul,” Ensign, July 2009, 6–7).
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland made this observation about the prodigal son’s older brother:
“This son is not so much angry that the other has come home as he is angry that his parents are so happy about it. Feeling unappreciated and perhaps more than a little self-pity, this dutiful son—and he is wonderfully dutiful—forgets for a moment that he has never had to know filth or despair, fear or self-loathing. He forgets for a moment that every calf on the ranch is already his and so are all the robes in the closet and every ring in the drawer. He forgets for a moment that his faithfulness has been and always will be rewarded.
“No, he who has virtually everything, and who has in his hardworking, wonderful way earned it, lacks the one thing that might make him the complete man of the Lord he nearly is. He has yet to come to the compassion and mercy, the charitable breadth of vision to see that this is not a rival returning. It is his brother. As his father pled with him to see, it is one who was dead and now is alive. It is one who was lost and now is found” (“The Other Prodigal,” Ensign, May 2002, 63).