As His mortal ministry drew to a close, Jesus instituted the sacrament, taught His disciples to serve others, and commanded Peter to strengthen his brethren. The Savior’s atoning sacrifice began in the Garden of Gethsemane. He was arrested and tried before Caiaphas. While the Savior was being tried, Peter denied knowing Him.
Imagine that you and one of your family members are sitting on the floor in your house. Your family member wants to stand up and asks for your help. How well can you help him or her if you stay seated on the floor? What difference would it make if you stood up first?
This analogy can help you understand what we can do to help others become better spiritually.
As you study Luke 22, look for truths that will help you know how to help others to stand up spiritually.
In Luke 22:1–30 we learn that near the end of His mortal ministry the Savior met with His Apostles to observe the Passover. During that time, He announced that one of them would betray Him, He instituted the sacrament and commanded that it be done in remembrance of Him, and He taught them that those who serve others are the greatest of all. The Savior also commended His Apostles for continuing with Him and promised them that one day they would sit on thrones and judge the twelve tribes of Israel.
Read Luke 22:31–32, looking for what the Savior said Satan desired.
The Joseph Smith Translation gives the following clarification to verse 31: “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired you, that he may sift the children of the kingdom as wheat” (Joseph Smith Translation, Luke 22:31 [in Luke 22:31, footnote a]). In other words, Satan wanted to snare Peter so that he could more easily snare the other members of the Church.
“Wheat is sifted by separating kernels of grain from chaff. The valuable grain is kept, while the common chaff is discarded. If Saints yield to temptation and partake of the sins of the world, they lose their distinctiveness and become like chaff” (New Testament Student Manual [Church Educational System manual, 2014], 183). In the Savior’s analogy, the faith and testimony of Peter and others could be like the kernel of grain that Satan desired to separate or take from them.
List one or two things you have learned about Peter that show he already had a testimony of Jesus Christ and His gospel:
Consider marking in Luke 22:32 what the Savior said Peter still needed to experience before he could strengthen his brethren.
Having a testimony of the gospel means that a person has received “knowledge and a spiritual witness given by the Holy Ghost” (Guide to the Scriptures, “Testimony,” scriptures.lds.org). Conversion to the gospel means “changing one’s beliefs, heart, and life to accept and conform to the will of God” (Guide to the Scriptures, “Conversion, Convert,” scriptures.lds.org).
Based on what the Lord told Peter in Luke 22:32, we can identify the following truth: When we are converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ, we can strengthen others.
When we are converted our beliefs and actions conform to the will of God and we are able to help or strengthen others. Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
How does the analogy of helping someone stand up relate to this principle?
What do you think would help a person become more converted to the gospel?
Read Luke 22:33–34, looking for how Peter responded to the Savior’s admonition and what the Savior prophesied that Peter would do. You may want to mark what you find.
From this account we learn that if we are willing to obey Heavenly Father, He will help us have the strength to do His will.
What are some of the ways in which Heavenly Father might strengthen us?
Ponder a time when you felt strengthened by Heavenly Father as you sought to do His will.
Luke’s account of the Savior’s suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane includes an important detail that is not included in the accounts given by Matthew and Mark. Read Luke 22:44, looking for how Luke described the Savior’s suffering there. Consider marking the words that teach the following truth: Jesus Christ sweat great drops of blood as He suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane.
The Savior described His own suffering in a revelation given through the Prophet Joseph Smith. Read Doctrine and Covenants 19:18, looking for how the Savior described His suffering. Also read Mosiah 3:7. Consider writing Doctrine and Covenants 19:18 and Mosiah 3:7 in your scriptures next to Luke 22:44 as cross-references.
Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
What thoughts do you have knowing that Jesus Christ suffered so much for you?
How does knowing this truth strengthen your testimony of the Savior’s love for you?
Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught the following about the Savior’s suffering:
“We do not know, we cannot tell, no mortal mind can conceive, the full import of what Christ did in Gethsemane.
“We know he sweat great gouts of blood from every pore as he drained the dregs of that bitter cup his Father had given him.
“We know he suffered, both body and spirit, more than it is possible for man to suffer, except it be unto death.
“We know that in some way, incomprehensible to us, his suffering satisfied the demands of justice, ransomed penitent souls from the pains and penalties of sin, and made mercy available to those who believe in his holy name.
“We know that he lay prostrate upon the ground as the pains and agonies of an infinite burden caused him to tremble and would that he might not drink the bitter cup.
“We know that an angel came from the courts of glory to strengthen him in his ordeal, and we suppose it was mighty Michael, who foremost fell that mortal man might be.
“As near as we can judge, these infinite agonies—this suffering beyond compare—continued for some three or four hours” (“The Purifying Power of Gethsemane,” Ensign, May 1985, 9).
In Luke 22:45–48 we learn that after the Savior suffered in Gethsemane, He was betrayed by Judas Iscariot.
In Luke 22:52–53 we learn that the Savior asked why the chief priests and others were arresting Him during the night instead of during the day when He was at the temple.
In Luke 22:54 we learn that Peter followed the Savior when He was taken to the high priest’s house to be tried.
Draw the following chart in your scripture study journal. As you read each of the scripture passages, look for who talked to Peter and what Peter said while the Savior was being tried. Write your answers in the appropriate columns. (Note: All four of the Gospels contain an account of Peter’s denial, but John’s account contains the most detail.)
Who talked to Peter?
What did Peter say?
When you are finished with the chart, answer the following question in your scripture study journal: Why do you think Peter denied knowing Jesus to each of these people?
Read Luke 22:61–62, looking for what happened after Peter denied knowing the Savior.
Imagine you had been in Peter’s position after he denied knowing Jesus three times. What thoughts or feelings do you think you might have had as the Savior looked at you? Why would you have felt that way?
Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught the following about Peter:
“Peter is the classic example of how the power of conversion works on receptive souls. During our Lord’s mortal ministry, Peter had a testimony, born of the Spirit, of the divinity of Christ and of the great plan of salvation which was in Christ. ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,’ he said, as the Holy Ghost gave him utterance. (Matt. 16:13–19.) When others fell away, Peter stood forth with the apostolic assurance, ‘We believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.’ (John 6:69.) Peter knew, and his knowledge came by revelation.
“But Peter was not converted, because he had not become a new creature of the Holy Ghost. Rather, long after Peter had gained a testimony, and on the very night Jesus was arrested, he said to Peter: ‘When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.’ (Luke 22:32.) Immediately thereafter, and regardless of his testimony, Peter denied that he knew Christ. (Luke 22:54–62.) After the crucifixion, Peter went fishing, only to be called back to the ministry by the risen Lord. (John 21:1–17.) Finally on the day of Pentecost the promised spiritual endowment was received; Peter and all the faithful disciples became new creatures of the Holy Ghost; they were truly converted; and their subsequent achievements manifest the fixity of their conversions. (Acts 3; 4.)” (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. , 162–63).
Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
What lessons can we learn from Peter’s experience?
Who is someone you know who seems truly converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ? What has this person done to show that he or she is converted?
Ponder what you can do to deepen your conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Act on any impressions you may receive.
In Luke 22:63–71 we learn that the Savior was mocked and beaten by the chief priests.
Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Luke 22 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: