The Stories of Jesus

    “The Stories of Jesus,” New Era, Dec. 1996, 21

    The Stories of Jesus

    Jesus Christ’s words, and the words written about him, should fill each of us with reverence and awe.

    Tell me the stories of Jesus I love to hear,

    Things I would ask him to tell me if he were here.

    Scenes by the wayside, tales of the sea,

    Stories of Jesus, tell them to me.

    (Children’s Songbook, p. 57)

    He walked the dusty roads and sailed with the fishermen. He read scriptures in the synagogue, gave a sermon on a hillside, and cleared the money changers from the temple. He healed the lame, fed the hungry, confounded the scholars, and raised the dead. In the end, he gave his life, then rose again.

    All along the way, he taught and blessed and healed his people. And in teaching them, he teaches us. Both in the stories he told and in the stories the scriptures tell about him, the events recorded are filled with gospel principles and with simple parables drawn from everyday life.

    The Primary song expresses love for the teachings of the Savior Jesus Christ. To celebrate the Christmas season, we invite you to feel that same love again, as on the next few pages, New Era readers share lessons they have learned from the stories of Jesus.

    I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. …

    My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me (John 10:14, 27).

    What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?

    And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.

    And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost (Luke 15:4–6).

    … What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out?

    How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days (Matt. 12:11–12).

    “I think it’s good that we have Christmas as a time of year when everyone can feel the Savior’s love. Christ is always watching over his flock, but it seems that Christmas is particularly a time when the flock reaches out to those that have gone astray and reminds them that they’re welcome where they should be—in church.”

    Emily McOmber, 17, Colorado Springs, Colorado

    And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. …

    But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,

    And went to him, and bound up his wounds … and brought him to an inn, and took care of him (Luke 10:30, 33–34).

    “We should all try harder to be more like the good Samaritan. Even if we don’t know a person, we should care about them. In this parable, I think Christ was trying to teach us to be kind to our neighbors no matter who they are or what they look like. In our families, we can be good Samaritans, too. We can do our chores without being asked and help family members no matter what they need help with.”

    Bryant Linebach, 12, Clayton, California

    “I like the parable of the good Samaritan because in that parable, even though the Jews despised the Samaritans and the Samaritans despised the Jews, this man came up and helped the man in need regardless of what his race or background was. The Samaritan did it because he knew it was the right thing to do. And I also know, just like the Samaritan, that this is also what I should do as a Latter-day Saint.”

    Lennon Pacardo, 15, Pasig, Philippines

    And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;

    And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side …

    Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth …

    And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:

    But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold (Matt. 13:3–5, 7–8).

    He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful (Matt. 13:22).

    “I love the parable of the sower. It is my favorite because I am the only member of the Church in my school, and I think my classmates could be my temptation, especially when they tempt me to cheat. I always pray at night that I will not be tempted. Hopefully at judgment day I can be gathered with the wheat and live with my Father in Heaven.”

    Rebecca Perez, 15, Cebu, Philippines

    And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.

    And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.

    And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:

    For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living (Mark 12:41–44).

    Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me (Luke 18:22).

    “The heart of Christmas is the giving and the service we can perform. It’s not what we get. A lot of people are thinking, ‘Great, it’s present day!’ when it would seem like you could go and shovel the snow from your neighbor’s driveway or do something for someone else. That’s the spirit of Christmas, which I think happy people have on Christmas day.”

    David Bronsell, 18, Colorado Springs, Colorado

    But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy.

    And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm (Luke 8:23–24).

    But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him! (Matt. 8:27).

    “I like the story about when the disciples were on the Sea of Galilee and Jesus was with them. Then this storm came, and Jesus was sleeping. They got worried, so they woke Jesus up so he could help them. Jesus told them that they should not worry and should feel safe. We learn from this that with Jesus we always feel safe and we should ask for his guidance.”

    Shirley Hope Sebastian, 15, Pasig, Philippines

    And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.

    And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.

    But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.

    And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him (Matt. 14:28–31).

    “When Peter went toward Jesus he was okay at first; then he went in the water. Jesus said Peter didn’t have enough faith. I was impressed with that statement. As we go through life, I know faith is a very important thing for us. I know if we have faith, we can accomplish much.”

    Dennis Dan Nunez, 17, Cebu, Philippines

    And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:

    And he opened his mouth, and taught them (Matt. 5:1–2).

    “I love the Sermon on the Mount. I am always uplifted when I read it, because the Lord promises that if we obey his commandments, heaven is there for us. If we will defend our faith in Jesus Christ, he will never lead us astray. He is the way, the truth, and the light.”

    Maricha Sasing, 16, Cebu, Philippines

    And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body (Matt. 26:26).

    “I like the scripture about when Jesus had the first sacrament. It makes me feel good because each Sunday as I’m preparing the sacrament for my ward, I’m doing the same ordinance he did with his disciples.”

    Kelepi Talakai, 15, South San Francisco, California

    And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives. …

    Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. …

    Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, …

    And he went a little further, and fellon his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt (Matt. 26:30, 36, 38–39).

    “I just can’t imagine the pain he went through in the Atonement, blood coming from every pore in his body. Then he was scourged with a whip and had thorns pushed down on his head, and then he was crucified. That’s what he went through to give us the gift of repentance. We should remember that he loves us, and keep his commandments. That way we can show him that we love him, too.”

    Amber Neal, 18, Colorado Springs, Colorado

    And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull, …

    … they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots …

    And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS (Matt. 27:33, 35, 37).

    And when Joseph [of Arimathaea] had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,

    And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed (Matt. 27:59–60).

    … Why seek ye the living among the dead? (Luke 24:5).

    And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.

    He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

    And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead (Matt. 28:5–7).

    “If I had been at the tomb and found Jesus was gone, I would have been in awe, to think that he was really resurrected. When I think about the pain he went through, it’s just overwhelming. I am so thankful for what the Savior has done for me, that I can repent of my sins. I look forward to the time when we will all be resurrected, when, if we’ve been righteous, we can be with him again.”

    Heather Gubler, 14, Henderson, Nevada

    “Christmas should be a time when we should realize how blessed we are. We have the restored gospel, which really is a freedom, too. If you don’t have all that sin you don’t have to worry about those problems, and life goes on a lot easier and with a lot less stress. Christmas should be a time when we realize and recognize Christ’s birth and enjoy it, really celebrate it, because we are blessed.”

    Mark Gardner, 16, Colorado Springs, Colorado

    “The Savior has opened a door to offer me mercy and a greater life. I believe in the Resurrection. It is real to me, not just a story or a symbol.”

    Thibault Crucy, 16, Gonches/Gondoire, France

    There are many marvelous stories of Jesus yet to be written, as we record in our lives and in our journals what we learn from him. During this Christmas season, we encourage you to make the Lord Jesus Christ the center of your celebration.

    As you do, we promise you the greatest Christmas present ever—to know he lives and loves you, and that by obedience and faith you can prepare to be included in another story—his triumphal second coming, and his life with those who have become worthy of a place in the kingdom of his Father.

    Scenic photographs by Richard M. Romney. Portraits by staff and contributors.

    Biblical scenes courtesy the Genesis Project, Inc., New York, N.Y. Used by permission.

    On a stony hillside near Bethlehem (background photo), a shepherd tends his sheep, much as shepherds tended their flocks on the night the Savior was born.

    The road still goes down from Jerusalem to Jericho, (inset, above) and it’s still a lonely, desolate place where anyone stranded would be grateful for a good Samaritan.

    Central Jerusalem is again a walled city today (background, both pages). It was within the walls of the Jerusalem of his day that the Lord saw the widow casting her coins into the treasury.

    On the shores of the Sea of Galilee, the Lord Jesus Christ gathered his disciples together and taught them the principles and doctrines known as the Sermon on the Mount.

    It was also in this place that Christ and Peter walked on the water, and that the Master calmed the same “sea” that today appears so tranquil when the sun rises early in the morning.

    In the Garden of Gethsemane (inset above), olive trees grow as they did when Christ prayed there and, accepting the will of the Father, took upon himself our sins.

    After the crucifixion, the body of Christ was placed in a new tomb, which may have resembled the one shown in the background here. His disciples rejoiced at the news of his resurrection, as we continue to rejoice today.