Luke 7-8: Matters of Faith

New Testament: Student Study guide, (2003), 59–60

Can people who are not members of the Church have faith in Jesus Christ? Can they also pray and receive blessings, even miracles, from God? As you read Luke 7–8 look for who received blessings and who did not, and ponder what that teaches us about receiving blessings from God.

Understanding the Scriptures

Luke 7

Centurion (v. 2)Roman military leader 
Beseeching, besought (vv. 3–4)Asking, pleading with 
Whole (v. 10)Healed 
Bier (v. 14)Board on which a dead body is carried to a place of burial 
He that is least in the kingdom of God (v. 28)He whom you consider the least important; Jesus was talking about Himself 
Alabaster box of ointment (v. 37)A flask or jar made of alabaster stone and filled with expensive, sweet smelling cream. 
Creditor (v. 41)Person to whom another owes money 
Debtor (v. 41)Person who owes money to a creditor 
Pence (v. 41)Silver coin that was a typical workman’s daily wage 
woman touching Christ's hem

Luke 7:18–23—Did John Doubt the Divinity of Jesus Christ?

Elder Bruce R. McConkie stated:

“Any inference that the Baptist was uncertain or doubtful in his own mind, as to the identity and mission of the Master, is totally unwarranted. In reality, the imprisoned [John] and forerunner of our Lord was using this means to persuade his disciples to forsake him and follow Jesus.

“John knew who Jesus was; the Baptist was not wavering as a reed in the wind. … This act of sending his disciples to Jesus was in effect a final great testimony on John’s part that Jesus was the Lamb of God, for the Baptist knew that his disciples, seeing the Master personally and hearing his teachings, could not help but follow the greater light” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 1:261–62).

Luke 7:31–35—What Were the Men of the Savior’s Generation Like?

Elder Bruce R. McConkie paraphrased the Savior’s message in this way: “What illustration can I choose to show how petty, peevish, and insincere are you unbelieving Jews? You are like fickle children playing games; when you hold a mock wedding, your playmates refuse to dance; when you change the game to a funeral procession, your playmates refuse to mourn. In like manner you are only playing at religion. As cross and capricious [unstable] children you reject John because he came with the strictness of the Nazarites, and ye reject me because I display the warm human demeanor that makes for pleasant social [association]” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 1:263).

Luke 8

Steward (v. 3)Servant 
Sow (v. 5)Plant 
For the press (v. 19)Because of the crowd 
Jeopardy (v. 23)Danger 
Ware (v. 27)Wore 
Fetters (v. 29)Shackles or chains used to bind prisoners by the wrists or ankles 
Thronged (v. 42)Gathered around 
Issue of blood (v. 44)Unhealed wound or sore that bleeds 
Stanched (v. 44)Stopped; healed 
Bewailed (v. 52)Grieved over 
Laughed him to scorn (v. 53)Mocked or made fun of him 

Luke 8:2—Who Was Mary Magdalene?

Mary Magdalene at the tomb

Elder James E. Talmage, who was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, wrote: “Mary Magdalene became one of the closest friends Christ had among women; her devotion to Him as her Healer and as the One whom she adored as the Christ was unswerving; she stood close by the cross while other women tarried afar off in the time of His mortal agony; she was among the first at the sepulcher on the resurrection morning, and was the first mortal to look upon and recognize a resurrected Being—the Lord whom she had loved with all the fervor of spiritual adoration” (Jesus the Christ, 264–65).

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity B and two of the others (A, C, or D) as you study Luke 7–8.

Activity A iconDescribe His Character

Read Luke 7:1–10 and list what you think were the centurion’s five most impressive attributes, or character traits. By each of the five items, write a sentence from the scriptures that shows he possessed that attribute or trait.

Activity B iconFollow the Savior’s Example

Read the story of the widow of Nain in Luke 7:11–17.

  1. 1.

    Mark verse 13 and ponder what it means to have compassion for someone.

  2. 2.

    Think of someone in your ward or branch who would be blessed if you showed compassion toward him or her (maybe a widow or widower).

  3. 3.

    Decide on one act of service that you could do for that person this week and do it.

  4. 4.

    Write down in your notebook the details of your service and how you felt about it.

Activity C iconWrite a Summary

After carefully reading the story found in Luke 7:36–50:

  1. 1.

    Write a two-paragraph story that summarizes these verses. Write it in such a way that you could read it to a primary class to help them understand the story better.

  2. 2.

    Think of one sentence that describes the main message of this passage of scripture. Use that sentence as the title for your story.

Activity D iconConsider a Modern Situation

Match the following descriptions (a–d) with the four situations that are listed (1–4). You will need to carefully read Luke 8:5–15 to determine the correct answers. In your notebook, write the numbers with the correct letter by each.


  1. a.

    Seeds eaten by birds

  2. b.

    Seeds on rocky soil

  3. c.

    Seeds choked by weeds

  4. d.

    Seeds on good soil


  1. 1.

    Sarah met the missionaries when her bike had a flat tire. They helped her fix it and told her about their missions. She was a busy college student, but she listened to their message, joined the Church, and was an active member. Her roommates began making fun of her, and her boyfriend broke up with her. She felt lonely and stopped going to church so that she could be with her friends.

  2. 2.

    Tom made fun of the missionaries when they knocked on his door, but they did not argue back. Because they were different, Tom grew curious. He listened to what they taught and became friends with them. He liked them, so he joined the Church. He went to church until the missionaries moved to another community, then he lost interest and stopped attending.

  3. 3.

    Ann grew up in the Church. She was always active until she met Brian. She loved him and did not care that he was a member of another church. He was not interested in the teachings of the restored gospel and felt Ann was a little foolish in her beliefs. He told her that they could only stay together if she stopped going to church. Ann was sad, but she did as Brian said because she loved him.

  4. 4.

    Randy’s family joined the Church when he was twelve. He was excited to become a deacon, and his father ordained him. His family did their best to hold family home evenings and never missed having family prayer. They went to church together and often talked about the teachings of the gospel.