Luke 4–6

New Testament Teacher Resource Manual, (2002), 76–78


timeline

Introduction

The beginning of Jesus Christ’s ministry is recorded in Luke 4–6. During this time the Savior called His Apostles, taught and healed throughout the region of Galilee, and exposed the people’s sins and false traditions. His boldness in eating with sinners, forgiving sin, and refusing to teach and heal in accordance with false traditions shocked many of the religious leaders of His day. In spite of this, many people recognized His divinity and power and became His disciples.

Prayerfully study Luke 4–6and consider the following principles before preparing your lessons.

Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For

Additional Resources

  • The Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles, 43, 45, 52–53.

Suggestions for Teaching

Choose from the following ideas, or use some of your own, as you prepare lessons for Luke 4–6.

Luke 4:1–13(see also Matthew 4:1–11; Mark 1:12–13). We can avoid temptation by following Jesus Christ’s example and relying on the scriptures.

(15–20 minutes)

Ask students: If you could have one wish to benefit the whole earth, what would it be? List responses on the board. If no one mentions it, hold up a paper with the words “Stop Satan from Tempting Us” and ask: How much help would this be to mankind? Read Abraham 3:24–25and look for one reason the Lord allows Satan to tempt us.

  • Read Luke 4:13. What does this verse teach us about temptation?

  • Read 1 Nephi 22:26. What limits Satan’s power?

Read the following statement by Elder James E. Faust:

“We need not become paralyzed with fear of Satan’s power. He can have no power over us unless we permit it. He is really a coward, and if we stand firm, he will retreat. The Apostle James counseled: ‘Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you’ (James 4:7). He cannot know our thoughts unless we speak them. And Nephi states that ‘he hath no power over the hearts’ of people who are righteous (see 1 Nephi 22:26)” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1987, 43; or Ensign, Nov. 1987, 35).

Invite students to relate examples of times their righteous thoughts or behavior helped limit Satan’s power.

If you used the teaching suggestion for Matthew 4:1–11(p. 25), remind students of the orange analogy and ask them what they remember from that lesson about dealing with temptation. Read Luke 4:1–13and ask: What did Jesus do in these verses to resist temptation? Ask students to reflect on the following questions:

  • Are you doing better now at resisting temptation than you were one month ago? one year ago?

  • What gives you strength to resist temptation?

  • What could you do to better resist temptation in the future?

Luke 4:14–32(see also Matthew 4:12; Mark 1:14, 21–22; John 4:3). We should sustain our Church leaders and obey their counsel.

(25–30 minutes)
Christ teaching in the synagogue

Display the accompanying picture of Jesus Christ preaching in the synagogue in Nazareth (see appendix, p. 306). Without telling what the picture depicts, invite students to search the picture for clues about where the Savior was and what He was doing.

  • From the picture, what do you think the people with Him were feeling?

  • What do you like most about the picture?

Ask students to read Luke 4:16–21and look for the verse depicted in the picture.

  • In what city did these things happen? (see v. 16).

  • What was the relationship between the Savior and these people?

  • What is “the book of the prophet Esaias”?

Point out to students that “Esaias” is the Greek form of the name “Isaiah.” Refer them to footnote 18a to learn what passage Christ was reading. Divide the following scripture references among the students and have them look for who fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy: Matthew 9:27–31; 11:5; Luke 5:18–24; Acts 10:38.

Explain that Isaiah’s words were understood by the Jews to be Messianic, that they prophesied of a Savior who would come. Read Luke 4:22–24and ask:

  • How did the people respond to the Savior’s declaration that He was the promised Messiah?

  • Why do you think they rejected His testimony?

  • Why might it be hard to accept a person you grew up with as a chosen leader?

  • How could this apply to us today?

Display a picture of the current prophet. Invite the class to suggest characteristics of the prophet that are typical of other men, and list them on the board. Also create a list of characteristics that are unique to him and his calling. Tell students that the prophet is in many ways like other men. Ask:

  • How does this make it difficult for some people to accept his words?

  • Does the ease or difficulty of what the prophet asks make a difference in how we listen to him? Why?

Read Doctrine and Covenants 1:38and ask students to consider how this verse applies to their local leaders (for example parents, bishop, stake president). Share the following statement by Elder James E. Faust:

“Members of the Church … those of enduring faith … willingly accept the supremacy of God and rely upon the scriptures and counsel of His servants, the leaders of the Church. These leaders of the Church are men with human frailties, and are imperfect in their wisdom and judgment. Perfection in men is not found on the earth. But almost without exception these leaders sincerely, humbly, and prayerfully render great and dedicated Christian service to the best of their ability. More important, they hold a divine warrant and commission through which great and eternal blessings come to those who sustain and follow them. They are God’s servants” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1985, 8; or Ensign, Nov. 1985, 8).

  • Read Luke 4:25–32. What blessing did the people lose because of their reaction to the Savior’s teaching? (The Savior left their midst.)

  • Why were the people of Nazareth upset when the Savior compared them to Israel in the time of the widow of Sarepta and of Naaman the leper?

Review the story of the widow of Sarepta (Zarephath) in 1 Kings 17and the story of Naaman the Leper in 2 Kings 5:1–14. Use the following explanation by Elder Bruce R. McConkie to help students understand why the Savior cited these stories:

“How aptly Jesus chose his illustrations! Both of these ancient prophets, dishonored by their own, conferred great blessings upon foreigners. So it was with the Nazarenes; others, not they, had seen his great works” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 1:162).

  • In what ways do we stand in jeopardy of losing the Lord’s blessings if we do not accept the Savior or His servants?

  • Why won’t our membership in the Lord’s Church help us if we do not keep His commandments?

Remind students of the theme and unique characteristics of the Gospel of Luke (see page 72). Point out how this account, which is found only in Luke, is an important part of Luke’s testimony that Jesus Christ is the Savior of all mankind.

Luke 5:1–6:49(see also Matthew 4:18–22; 5–7; 10:2–4; Mark 1:16–20; 3:13–19). Jesus Christ’s disciples love and follow Him and are willing to give up the things of the world.

(10–15 minutes)

Ask students to think about someone they know who has served a mission or who is serving a mission now. Ask:

  • Why did these missionaries have to sacrifice in order to serve the Lord?

  • How difficult do you think those sacrifices were?

Ask students to compare Luke 5:1–11with Luke 5:27–28.

  • What do the people in these two passages have in common?

  • What do they have in common with the missionaries you know?

  • In what ways does being a disciple of Jesus Christ sometimes mean making sacrifices?

  • What have you given up to be a follower of Jesus Christ?

  • How is “forsaking” things of the world in order to follow the Lord a blessing?

Display a picture of Jesus Christ and discuss what it might have been like to be one of His students. Read Luke 6:17–19and ask:

Ask students to consider how strong their desire is to be in the Savior’s presence. Give them several minutes to silently read Luke 6:20–49and to ponder which of His teachings in these verses would be most important to them as they strive to be His disciples. Allow students to share their testimonies.