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Come, Follow Me — New Testament Study and Teaching Helps
Lesson 17, April 17 — 23
Matthew 18; Luke 10 — “What Shall I Do to Inherit Eternal Life?”

Matthew 18:1-6, 10-14 “Who Is the Greatest in the Kingdom?” (see also Mark 9:33-37, 42; Luke 9:46-48)

Read Mark 9:33-34, which is the setting and prelude to this story. Then, in Matthew 18:1, the Lord’s disciples asked Him, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

  • What “object lesson” did Jesus call forth in verse 2?
  • In verse 3, Jesus cited one key attribute for entering into the kingdom of heaven—to “be converted and become as little children.” What does it mean to you to be “converted” as a little child?
  • In verse 4, Jesus cited a second key attribute, stating that a person must “humble himself as this little child.” In what ways are little children an example of humility?
  • Going back to Mark 9:35, what is the third key cited by Jesus? What does it mean to you to be a “servant of all”?
  • Note that in verse 36, Jesus took a child in His arms as He sat in the midst of His disciples. What do you see in little children that the Savior wants us to emulate?
  • Back to Matthew 18, what do Jesus’s teachings in verses 5-6 add in regard to entering into God’s kingdom?
  • What does verse 10 add for you?
  • Next, in verses 11-14, Jesus taught about the importance of seeking and saving His lost sheep, including “these little ones” (verse 14).

Matthew 18:8-9 “If Thine Eye Offend Thee” (see also Mark 9:43-48)

Read Matthew 18:8-9 and consider what things in our lives may be represented by an “offending” hand, foot, or eye. The Joseph Smith Translation for the Mark 9 version of these teachings are as follows (the parts in italics are the JST changes):

“If thy hand offend thee, cut it off; or if thy brother offend thee and confess not and forsake not … it is better for thee to enter into life without thy brother, than for thee and thy brother to be cast into hell…. And again, if thy foot offend thee, cut it off; for he that is thy standard, by whom thou walkest, if he become a transgressor, he shall be cut off…. Therefore, let every man stand or fall, by himself…. And if thine eye which seeth for thee, him that is appointed to watch over thee to show thee light, become a transgressor and offend thee, pluck him out. It is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God, with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. For it is better that thyself should be saved, than to be cast into hell with thy brother” (JST, Mark 9:40-48).

It appears that there may be times when we should discontinue certain relationships, in order to be right with the Lord.

Matthew 18:20 “Where Two or Three Are Gathered”

Read this verse and consider how many times in your life this promise of the Lord has been fulfilled for you.

Matthew 18:21-35 Teachings on Forgiveness

The Savior repeatedly taught the importance of forgiving others. Read verses 21-22, then read the parable Jesus taught to emphasize His teaching:

  • In verses 23-27, the king mercifully forgave an enormous debt owed to him by a certain servant.
  • In verses 28-30, the same servant refused to forgive a debt owed to him, which was less than one-millionth part of the debt the king had forgiven (even this exaggerated figure may not completely represent our “debt” to the Lord, for all He does for us, forgives us, and offers us).
  • In verses 31-34, others informed the king (“their lord”) of the circumstance, and the king chastises and punishes the unforgiving servant.
  • In verse 35, how did Jesus summarize this parable’s lesson for us? What are the reasons why we should forgive everyone? Are there other lessons you can draw from this parable?

Luke 10:1-3, 17-24 “The Things That Ye See”

In verse 2 the Lord told those He had called as seventy, “The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few.” In our day also, those called to the Lord’s work are so few in comparison to the populations around us:

  • Read verses 2-3, 17, 20-21, 23. What things in these verses remind you of experiences you have had as you have labored in the work of the Lord?
  • Do you realize that in some ways—according to verse 24—you have seen things that former prophets and kings wished to see, yet did not?

Luke 10:25-42 The Good Samaritan

These verses present one of the Savior’s most well-known and best-loved parables, which is found only in Luke’s Gospel. It also presents us the opportunity to seriously consider what it means to love our neighbor. It begins in verse 25 with a “certain lawyer” (likely a scribe who was well-versed in Jewish law), who “tempted” Jesus, apparently wishing to catch Jesus in His words, as he asked, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

  • Rather than give a direct answer, what questions did Jesus ask of the lawyer, in verse 26?
  • What was the lawyer’s reply, in verse 27? (He is quoting directly from Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18.)
  • In verse 28 Jesus affirmed the lawyer’s reply, but then in verse 29 the lawyer asked a second question of Jesus, in order to “justify himself” (perhaps because of the teachings of some rabbis which specified that one’s “neighbor” only meant other Jews).
  • This leads to Jesus’s parable in verses 30-35. Read these verses. Who are the poor examples?
  • The good example is a Samaritan, hated by the Jews. What was the Samaritan’s motivation, according to verse 33?
  • What did the Samaritan specifically do, in verses 34-35? (In verse 34, we may compare the oil to our consecrated oil, used in healing; and the wine can be compared to Jesus’s blood and the sacrament wine/water, which cleanses and heals.)
  • What was the final exchange between Jesus and the lawyer, in verses 36-37?
  • We may consider this parable as symbolic of our lives: We are the ones “robbed and wounded,” having fallen due to our own sins; while the loving Samaritan represents the Savior, and the “inn” is the Lord’s Church and gospel. Is there another takeaway you can derive from this parable?
  • Is there a “neighbor” in your life toward whom you can show greater love?

Luke 10:38-42 Jesus Visits Martha and Mary

As Jesus enters the village of Bethany (next to Jerusalem), He is received into the house of two sisters. Read verses 39-42:

  • Is Martha a bad person? Is Mary lazy?
  • Are there times when we should be “cumbered about much serving”? (verse 40).
  • If Jesus came to your home, would you be “careful and troubled about many things” (verse 41), wanting to have everything just right?
  • What things can you do—or stop doing—to be a little more like Mary and a little less like Martha?
  • How can we discern when we should simply “sit at Jesus’s feet” and hear His words? How do you “sit at His feet” and hear Him?

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