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.
Imagine that in your Church meetings on Sunday you hear an announcement about a service project for a family that lives near you. After the announcement you overhear the following responses:
“That family has been through a lot lately. I am happy to help in any way that I can.”
“There had better be refreshments afterward, because if there aren’t, I’m not going.”
“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.”
“If my friend is going, I will go.”
In your scripture study journal, write down what the preceding responses suggest about the reasons why people serve.
Think about opportunities you have had to serve and how you felt about serving. As you study Luke 6–7, look for principles that can help you give service in more meaningful ways.
While in Galilee early in His ministry, Jesus healed a man’s withered hand on the Sabbath (see Luke 6:6–10), spent a night in prayer, and called the Twelve Apostles (see Luke 6:12–13). He then began to teach them and “a great multitude of people” (Luke 6:17) how to receive heavenly rewards. This sermon in Luke 6 is often referred to as the Sermon on the Plain and is very similar to the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5–7. “There are varying views regarding whether the Sermon on the Mount recorded by Matthew and the Sermon on the Plain recorded by Luke were the same or different events. However, the chronological placement and the context of Luke’s record seem to indicate that the same sermon is being recorded in Luke 6 and Matthew 5–7” (New Testament Student Manual [Church Educational System manual, 2014], 152–53; see also Bible Dictionary, “Sermon on the Mount”; Harmony of the Gospels). (Note: Much of the content in Luke 6 was covered when you studied Matthew 5–7; 10:1–4; and Mark 3:1–6.)
Read Luke 6:19, looking for what Jesus did for the people before He began to teach them.
Next, read Luke 6:31, looking for Jesus’s counsel to His disciples.
How can remembering that we should treat others as we would like to be treated influence the way you treat people?
Read Luke 6:32–35, looking for additional counsel Jesus gave His disciples about loving and serving others. You may want to mark in verse 35 what we should expect in return for doing good to others. Notice what the Lord promised to those who do good for others without expecting anything in return.
One principle that we learn from these verses is that 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.
Notice the phrase “ye shall be the children of the Highest” (verse 35). Although we are all children of God, those who do good to others as Christ did fulfill their divine potential by becoming like our Father in Heaven. Think about how serving others without expecting anything in return can help a person be more Christlike.
Read Luke 6:36–38, looking for examples Jesus gave of ways in which we can do good to others. Notice that Jesus promised that people who show mercy to others, who refrain from judging others unrighteously, and who forgive freely will receive God’s mercy.
Have you ever attempted to put more items in a box or suitcase than could fit inside it? In Luke 6:38 the description of how much will be given in return for the good we do includes the phrases “good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over.” How do these phrases describe the way in which Heavenly Father rewards us as we give to others?
Think of some ways we can be generous in giving to others. Then answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
When have you or someone you know given generously to others?
How were you or someone you know blessed by the Lord for giving generously?
What will you do to be more generous to others?
One way you could consider being more generous to others is by observing the law of the fast by donating a fast offering as you fast. Your parents may already contribute a fast offering for your family, but if you are able to, you could contribute as well. As you seek to be more generous to others, pray for the Lord’s help to serve as He would.
A centurion was an officer in the Roman army who commanded a company of 50 to 100 soldiers. The Jews generally disliked centurions because they represented the Romans’ political and military power over them and their land. This centurion, however, had been kind to the Jews.
From this account we learn that by exercising faith in Jesus Christ, we can help bring blessings into others’ lives. You may want to write this principle next to Luke 7:10.
The day after the Savior healed the centurion’s servant, He performed another miracle. Read Luke 7:11–12, looking for what Jesus and His disciples encountered as they approached a city called Nain.
According to verse 12, why was the death of this young man particularly tragic for this woman?
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.
Read Luke 7:13–15, looking for what the Savior did when He saw this woman grieving. The bier was the stand or framework upon which the body was placed.
According to verse 13, why did Jesus heal this woman’s son? Notice that the widow did not ask Him to heal her son, but He observed her need and then helped fulfill it. It is important to understand also that this man was not resurrected; he would one day die again. Jesus Christ was the first to be resurrected.
If it is available, watch the video “The Widow of Nain” (2:22) from The Life of Jesus Christ Bible Videos, on LDS.org, looking for how the Savior ministered to the woman even though she did not ask for His help.
Think about the feelings you might have had if you had been in this widow’s situation and had seen the Savior raise your only son from the dead.
From this account we learn the following principle: 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?
President Thomas S. Monson taught:
“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).
Answer the following question in your scripture study journal: When have you or your family received compassion or service from others, even when you had not asked for it?
Read Luke 7:16–18, looking for how the people reacted to the miracle of raising the widow’s son.
One of the reasons that the people may have declared that “a great prophet is risen up among us” (Luke 7:16) is 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).
In your personal prayers this week, ask Heavenly Father to help you see and act on the promptings you receive to meet the unspoken needs of others. Also, consider ways that you can serve generously and without expecting anything in return.
Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Luke 6:1–7:18 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: