Home-Study Lesson

Matthew 13:24–17:27 (Unit 4)

“Home-Study Lesson: Matthew 13:24–17:27 (Unit 4)” New Testament Seminary Teacher Manual (2016)


Preparation Material for the Home-Study Teacher

Summary of Daily Home-Study Lessons

The following summary of events, doctrines, and principles students learned as they studied Matthew 13:24–17:27 (unit 4) is not intended to be taught as part of your lesson. The lesson you teach concentrates on only a few of these doctrines and principles. Follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit as you consider the needs of your students.

Matthew 13:24–58Day 1 ()

From the parable of the wheat and the tares, students learned that the Lord will gather the righteous during the last days and then destroy the wicked at His Coming. In additional parables they learned about the restored Church of Jesus Christ filling the whole earth and the eternal blessings that come to those who sacrifice to obtain the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Matthew 14Day 2 ()

From Matthew 14 students came to understand that by showing compassion for others even when we are experiencing sadness, we follow the example of Jesus Christ. They also learned that if we seek God’s help when our faith weakens, He can lift us from our fears and doubts.

Matthew 15Day 3 ()

From the Savior’s instruction to the scribes and Pharisees, students learned that if we desire to draw near to God, we must place His commandments above any traditions and customs we may have. They also learned that if we choose to entertain evil or inappropriate thoughts and desires, then those thoughts and desires will defile us, and that as we exercise faith in Jesus Christ, we can receive blessings according to our righteous desires.

Matthew 16–17Day 4 ()

In their study of Matthew 16–17, students learned that Jesus Christ’s Church is built upon revelation from God. They also learned about priesthood keys that were conferred anciently and in our day that allow the Lord’s servants to administer His Church upon the earth.

Introduction

Jesus Christ rebuked the Pharisees and Sadducees who sought a sign of His divinity. Peter bore testimony that Jesus is the Christ and was promised the keys of the kingdom of heaven. The following teaching ideas can help students understand how to strengthen their testimonies.

Suggestions for Teaching

Matthew 16:1–12

The Pharisees and the Sadducees seek a sign from the Savior

Before class, write the following phrases on the board:

Through the appearance of an angel

Through the Holy Ghost

Through believing the words of a friend or family member

Through witnessing a miracle

To begin the lesson, ask students to choose the phrase on the board that best describes how they would like to receive a testimony of the gospel. Invite a few students to report which phrase they chose and explain why they chose it.

Invite students as they study Matthew 16 to look for truths concerning how the Lord helps us to receive and strengthen our testimonies of the gospel.

Invite a student to read Matthew 16:1 aloud. Ask students to follow along, looking for what the Pharisees and Sadducees wanted from Jesus.

  • What did the Pharisees and Sadducees want from Jesus?

Invite several students to take turns reading aloud from Matthew 16:2–4. Ask the class to follow along, looking for the Savior’s response to the Pharisees and Sadducees.

  • What sign did the Lord say He would provide?

Explain that Jesus was referring to the Old Testament prophet Jonah, who had been swallowed by a “great fish” (Jonah 1:17). Jonah’s “burial” in and then coming forth from the belly of the fish after three days symbolized the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ from the tomb on the third day.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained the sign of the prophet Jonas: “Jonah’s burial in and coming forth from the ‘great fish’ (Jonah 1:15–172) symbolizes the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ” (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [1966], 711–12).

  • What did the Savior do after He rebuked the Pharisees and Sadducees?

  • What can we learn from this experience about the improper way to seek spiritual truth? (Students may use different words, but make sure they identify the following truth: We do not receive spiritual truth by seeking for signs.)

Summarize Matthew 16:5–12 by explaining that the Savior warned His disciples of the Pharisees’ and Sadducees’ false teachings.

Matthew 16:13–20

Peter testifies of Jesus Christ and is promised the keys of the kingdom

Explain that after Jesus rebuked the Pharisees and Sadducees for seeking a sign, He taught His disciples how to receive a testimony of the truth. Invite a student to read Matthew 16:13–14 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for the question Jesus asked and the response His disciples gave.

  • What did the Savior ask His disciples? How did they answer? (You may need to explain that Elias and Jeremias are the Old Testament prophets Elijah and Jeremiah.)

  • What can their response tell us about how well people understood who Jesus was at this point in His ministry?

Note: In the lesson for day 4, students studied the scripture mastery passage Matthew 16:15–19. Consider spending a few minutes reviewing the passage with them.

Invite a student to read Matthew 16:15–17 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for the second question the Savior asked.

  • What was the second question the Savior asked? How did Peter respond?

  • According to verse 17, how did Peter know that Jesus is the Son of God? (Point out that Heavenly Father had revealed this truth to him through the Holy Ghost.)

  • What truth can we learn from these verses about how we can gain a testimony of Jesus Christ? (Students may use different words, but they should identify the following truth: We gain a testimony of Jesus Christ through revelation from the Holy Ghost.)

  • Why do you think it is important for us to receive a testimony through revelation from the Holy Ghost rather than by some other way?

To help students further understand the role of the Holy Ghost in helping us gain a testimony of the Savior, invite a student to read aloud the following statement by President Joseph Fielding Smith:

President Joseph Fielding Smith

“The Spirit of God speaking to the spirit of man has power to impart truth with greater effect and understanding than the truth can be imparted by personal contact even with heavenly beings. Through the Holy Ghost the truth is woven into the very fibre and sinews of the body so that it cannot be forgotten” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith [2013], 183–84).

  • What are some things we can do to prepare ourselves to receive revelation through the Holy Ghost?

  • How did you come to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and your Savior? What did you do to prepare to receive that witness from the Holy Ghost?

Invite students to ponder how they might strengthen their testimonies or what they may need to do to receive a testimony through the Holy Ghost. Encourage them to act on any impressions they receive.

Next Unit (Matthew 18:1–22:26)

Ask students to consider a time when it was difficult for them to forgive another person. Invite them to consider the following questions: Why did you feel justified in not forgiving this person? Why should we forgive others of their trespasses even if we feel justified in not forgiving them? Invite students to look for answers to these questions as they continue their studies in the coming week.