Lesson 47: Luke 6:1–7:18

New Testament Seminary Teacher Manual, 2016


Introduction

Jesus taught about the importance of doing good to others, including on the Sabbath. After spending a night in prayer, He called the Twelve Apostles and then taught them and a multitude of people. He also healed a centurion’s servant and raised a widow’s son from death.

Suggestions for Teaching

Luke 6

Jesus heals on the Sabbath, chooses the Twelve Apostles, and teaches the multitude

(Note: Much of the content in Luke 6 was covered in the lessons for Matthew 5–7; 10:1–4; and Mark 3:1–6. This portion of the lesson will focus on Luke 6:31–38.)

Ask students to imagine that in their Church meetings on Sunday they hear an announcement about a service project for a family that lives nearby. After the announcement is made, they overhear four different responses. Invite four students to read aloud the following hypothetical responses:

  1. 1.

    “That family has been through a lot lately. I am happy to help in any way that I can.”

  2. 2.

    “There had better be refreshments afterward, because if there aren’t, I’m not going.”

  3. 3.

    “I don’t really want to go, but I could use some help next week with a project that I’m organizing, so I should probably help out now.”

  4. 4.

    “If my friend is going, I will go.”

  • What do these examples suggest about the reasons why people sometimes serve?

Ask students to consider opportunities they have had to serve and how they felt about serving. Invite them to look for principles as they study Luke 6–7 that can help them give service in more meaningful ways.

Summarize Luke 6 by explaining that while Jesus was in Galilee early in His ministry, He healed a man’s withered hand on the Sabbath, spent a night in prayer, and called the Twelve Apostles. Jesus then began to teach them and “a great multitude of people” (verse 17) how to receive heavenly rewards.

Invite students to read Luke 6:19 silently, looking for what Jesus did for the people before He began to teach them. Ask students to report what they find.

Invite several students to take turns reading aloud from Luke 6:31–35. Ask the class to follow along, looking for counsel Jesus gave His disciples.

  • What counsel did Jesus give His disciples?

  • According to verse 35, what should we expect in return for doing good to others? (You may want to invite students to mark the phrase “hoping for nothing.”)

  • What temporal rewards might people hope for when they give service?

  • If we do good to others without expecting anything in return, what does the Lord promise will happen? (Students should identify a principle similar to the following: If we do good to others without expecting anything in return, our reward will be great and we will be the children of the Highest.)

Explain that although we are all children of God, those who do good to others fulfill their divine potential by becoming like Heavenly Father.

  • Why is this promise the best reward for loving and doing good to others?

Invite a student to read Luke 6:36–38 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for examples that Jesus gave of ways in which we can do good to others.

  • According to verses 36–37, what examples did Jesus give of ways in which we can do good to others? (You may want to explain that those who do good in these ways will receive God’s mercy and forgiveness.)

To help students understand verse 38, bring to class a bucket, basket, or box and several other items, such as clothing, food, and bottles of water. Be sure to bring more items than can fit in the container you brought. Invite a student to come to the front of the class, and ask him or her to try to fit as many of the items into the container as possible. When the student has finished, ask him or her:

  • How do the phrases “good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over” (verse 38) describe your efforts to fill this container? (Thank the student, and invite him or her to sit down.)

  • How do these phrases describe the way in which Heavenly Father rewards us as we give to others? (Students may use different words but should identify the following truth: As we generously give to others, Heavenly Father blesses us more generously.)

  • In what ways can we be generous in giving to others?

Invite students to ponder a time when they or someone they know has given generously to others. Display the following questions (or provide students with copies of them), and invite students to respond to them in their class notebooks or scripture study journals (or on the handout you provided):

  • How were you or someone you know blessed by the Lord for giving generously?

  • What will you do to be more generous to others?

After sufficient time, consider inviting any students who are willing to share what they wrote. Encourage students to pray for the Lord’s help as they strive to be more generous to others.

Luke 7:1–10

Jesus heals the centurion’s servant

Explain that after teaching the multitude, Jesus entered a town called Capernaum.

Invite several students to take turns reading aloud from Luke 7:2–5. Ask the class to follow along, looking for who sought Jesus’s help after hearing that He had entered the town.

  • Who sought Jesus’s help?

Explain that a centurion was a Roman army officer in command of a company of 50 to 100 men.

  • What was troubling the centurion?

Point out that Jews generally disliked centurions because they represented the Romans’ political and military power over the Jews and their land (see New Testament Student Manual [Church Educational System manual, 2014], 153).

  • What kind of man was this centurion?

Invite a student to read Luke 7:6–8 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for how the centurion demonstrated great faith in Jesus Christ.

  • How did the centurion demonstrate great faith in Jesus Christ?

Ask a student to read Luke 7:9–10 aloud. Invite the class to follow along, looking for how this centurion’s faith was rewarded. Ask students to report what they find.

  • What principles can we learn from this account? (Students may identify several principles, including the following: By exercising faith in Jesus Christ, we can help bring blessings into others’ lives.)

Luke 7:11–18

Jesus raises a widow’s son from death

Explain that the day after the Savior healed the centurion’s servant, He performed another miracle.

Invite a student to read Luke 7:11–12 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Jesus and His disciples encountered as they approached a city called Nain.

video icon Instead of having a student read Luke 7:11–12 aloud, you could show a portion of the video “The Widow of Nain” (0:00–0:45) from The Life of Jesus Christ Bible Videos, which is available on LDS.org.

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  • What did Jesus and His disciples see as they approached the entrance to the city?

  • According to verse 12, why was the death of this young man particularly tragic for this woman?

Point out that not only had this woman lost her only son to death, but she had also previously lost her husband. In addition to the great sorrow she must have felt, she may have had no one to support her financially.

Ask a student to read Luke 7:13–15 aloud, or show the remainder of the video (0:45–2:23). Invite the class to look for what the Savior did when He saw this woman grieving. (You might want to explain that a bier is a coffin or the stand on which a coffin is placed.)

  • What did the Savior do for this woman?

  • According to verse 13, why did Jesus heal this woman’s son? (You may want to point out that the widow did not ask Him to heal her son but He observed her need and then helped fulfill it.)

  • What feelings might you have had if you had been in this widow’s situation and had seen the Savior raise your only son from the dead?

  • What truth can we learn from this account about how we can follow Jesus Christ’s example? (Students may use different words, but make sure they identify the following truth: We can follow Jesus Christ’s example by demonstrating compassion for others and ministering to their unspoken needs.)

  • How can we discern others’ needs when they have not shared them with us?

Explain that as students seek the companionship of the Holy Ghost, they can receive promptings about how to respond to the hidden needs of others. Additionally, students might ponder the counsel President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency once received: “When you meet someone, treat them as if they were in serious trouble, and you will be right more than half the time” (“In the Strength of the Lord,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2004, 16).

To help students feel the truth and importance of the principle they identified, invite a student to read aloud the following statement by President Thomas S. Monson:

President Thomas S. Monson

“Few accounts of the Master’s ministry touch me more than His example of compassion shown to the grieving widow at Nain. …

“What power, what tenderness, what compassion did our Master thus demonstrate! We, too, can bless if we will but follow His noble example. Opportunities are everywhere. Needed are eyes to see the pitiable plight and ears to hear the silent pleadings of a broken heart. Yes, and a soul filled with compassion, that we might communicate not only eye to eye or voice to ear but, in the majestic style of the Savior, even heart to heart” (“Meeting Life’s Challenges,” Ensign, Nov. 1993, 71).

  • When have you or your family received compassion or service from others, even when you had not asked for it?

  • How can following Christ’s example help us to develop the ability to discern others’ unspoken needs?

If you did not show the video, invite a student to read Luke 7:16–17 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for how the people reacted to the miracle of raising the widow’s son.

  • How did the people react after Jesus raised the widow’s son?

Explain that the people may have declared that “a great prophet is risen up among us” (verse 16) because of the similarities between the healing of the son of the widow of Nain and occasions when the Old Testament prophets Elijah and Elisha had raised sons from the dead (see 1 Kings 17:17–24; 2 Kings 4:17–22, 32–37; New Testament Student Manual, 154).

Conclude by inviting students to look for opportunities to meet the unspoken needs of others. Encourage them to serve generously and without expecting anything in return.

Commentary and Background Information

Luke 6:31–38. Why we serve others

Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles listed some possible reasons why we serve and identified the reason why we should serve:

“People serve one another for different reasons, and some reasons are better than others. Perhaps none of us serves in every capacity all the time for only a single reason. Since we are imperfect beings, most of us probably serve for a combination of reasons, and the combinations may be different from time to time as we grow spiritually. But we should all strive to serve for the reasons that are highest and best.

“What are some of the reasons for service? I will suggest six reasons, from the lesser to the greater.

“Some may serve for hope of earthly reward. …

“Another reason for service—probably more worthy than the first, but still in the category of service in search of earthly reward—is that motivated by a personal desire to obtain good companionship. …

“Some may serve out of fear of punishment. …

“Other persons may serve out of a sense of duty or out of loyalty to friends or family or traditions. …

“One such higher reason for service is the hope of an eternal reward. …

“The last motive I will discuss is, in my opinion, the highest reason of all. In its relationship to service, it is what the scriptures call ‘a more excellent way’ (1 Cor. 12:31).

“‘Charity is the pure love of Christ’ (Moro. 7:47). …

“This principle—that our service should be for the love of God and the love of fellowmen rather than for personal advantage or any other lesser motive—is admittedly a high standard. The Savior must have seen it so, since he joined his commandment for selfless and complete love directly with the ideal of perfection” (“Why Do We Serve?” New Era, March 1988, 6, 7; see also Dallin H. Oaks, “Why Do We Serve?” Ensign, Nov. 1984, 12–15).