Matthew 8–10

New Testament Teacher Resource Manual, (2002), 31–34


timeline

Introduction

Matthew often organized his Gospel account by topic rather than by a chronological recounting of the Savior’s ministry. For example, he grouped many of Jesus Christ’s miracles into chapters 8 and 9, many Sabbath activities into chapter 12, and many parables into chapter 13. Matthew frequently included Old Testament citations showing that Jesus Christ was the promised Messiah (see the introduction to the Gospel of Matthew, p. 20). As you study Matthew 8–10, watch for Matthew’s quotations from the Old Testament (see Matthew 8:17; 11:10, 14; 12:17–21; 13:35) and consider what we might learn from the way Matthew grouped events.

Prayerfully study Matthew 8–10and consider the following principles before preparing your lessons.

Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For

Additional Resources

Suggestions for Teaching

Choose from the following ideas, or use some of your own, as you prepare lessons for Matthew 8–10.

New Testament Video presentation 5, “Thy Faith Hath Made Thee Whole” (16:42), can be used in teaching Matthew 9. Or to help balance video presentations throughout the school year, you could use this presentation to help teach Mark 5instead. (See New Testament Video Guide for teaching suggestions.)

Matthew 8–10 (see also Mark 1:29–34; 4:35–6:11; Luke 4:38–41; 5:17–26; 7:1–9:5; 11:14). The different kinds of miracles the Lord performed show that He has power over all things. He shared this power with the Apostles.

(15–20 minutes)

Ask students to imagine being promised power over sickness, over the elements, over devils, or over death. Then consider the following questions:

  • Which of these powers would you choose? Why?

  • What are some ways you could bless others by this power?

Explain that Jesus possessed all these powers and that the miracles recorded in Matthew 8–9help show His power over all things (see also Mosiah 4:9; Alma 26:35).

Have students write the four headings from the accompanying chart on a piece of paper. List the scripture references from the chart in random order on the board. Invite students to look up each reference and write it, together with a brief description of the miracle, in the proper column.

Power over Sickness

Power over the Elements

Power over Devils

Power over Death

Healed a leper

(Matthew 8:2-4).

Calmed the stormy sea

(Matthew 8:18-27).

Cast out a legion of devils into swine

(Matthew 8:28-34).

Raised Jairus’s daughter from the dead

(Matthew 9:18-19, 23-26).

Healed a centurion’s servant

(Matthew 8:5-13).

 

Cast a devil out of a man who could not speak

(Matthew 9:32-33).

 

Healed Peter’s mother-in-law

(Matthew 8:14-17).

   

Healed the man with palsy

(Matthew 9:2-8).

   

Healed the woman with an issue of blood

(Matthew 9:20-22).

   

Healed two blind men

(Matthew 9:27-31).

   

Use the following questions to help students see the connection between Matthew 8–9and Matthew 10:

  • What would be a good title for the chart? (Possible answers include “The Miracles of Jesus” or “Christ Had Great Powers.”)

  • How does it affect your faith to know that God has this kind of power?

  • To whom did the Lord give this power or authority?

  • Who holds this same power today? (see D&C 20:2).

Invite students to read Matthew 10:1–4. Ask the following questions, and list the students’ responses on the board:

  • What are the names of the Twelve Apostles?

  • What priesthood powers did the Savior give them?

  • Read Matthew 10:7–8. What more do these verses say the Apostles were given priesthood power to do?

Share with the class the information found in the introduction to Matthew 8–10about how Matthew grouped ideas and experiences together. Ask: Why do you think Matthew followed the account of a series of miracles with an account of the calling of the Twelve Apostles?

Matthew 10:1–15 (see also Mark 6:7–11; Luke 9:1–5). Christ gave His authority to the Apostles to heal the sick, cast out devils, and preach the gospel. They also had a special responsibility to be witnesses of Jesus Christ and His mission.

(20–25 minutes)

Hold up the keys to your car, and ask a student to come to the front of the class. Tell the student, “Imagine that I forgot to bring something to class and that I asked you to use my car and go get it. Then imagine that the police stopped you on the way.” Ask questions like the following:

  • Would you be in trouble? Why not? (Because you have permission, or authority.)

  • Why is having proper authority important?

  • How would the situation with the police be different if you took my car without permission?

  • How might this experience be likened to receiving and using the priesthood of God?

  • How important is it to have Christ’s authority to do His work?

Invite students to read Matthew 10:1–4, and ask: Who did Jesus share His authority with? List the names of the Apostles on the board. Read Matthew 10:5–8and ask: What were the Apostles charged to do by the Savior’s power? (see vv. 1, 7). Have students cross-reference Matthew 10:5–8with Acts 4:33and Doctrine and Covenants 107:23, and ask:

  • What are other responsibilities that accompany this authority?

  • How is this authority to act for the Lord transferred? (see Articles of Faith 1:5).

  • Where is this authority today? How did it come? (see Joseph Smith—History 1:72).

  • What evidence do we have in the Church today that shows the priesthood has been restored?

  • How have you witnessed the power of the priesthood in your life? (Note: Do not encourage answers that are too personal.)

Share the following with the students to illustrate the fact that the same priesthood power Jesus gave His Apostles exists today. In this incident, Ella Jensen, President Lorenzo Snow’s nineteen-year-old niece, had just died of scarlet fever. Ella’s parents sent for President Snow, who came together with Rudger Clawson, Ella’s stake president and later President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. President Clawson relates:

“As we entered the home we met Sister Jensen, who was very much agitated and alarmed. We came to Ella’s bedside. …

”Turning to me President Snow said: ‘Brother Clawson, will you anoint her,’ which I did. We then laid our hands upon her head and the anointing was confirmed by President Snow, who blessed her and among other things, used this very extraordinary expression, in a commanding tone of voice, ‘Come back, Ella, come back. Your work upon the earth is not yet completed, come back.’”

Ella’s father, Jacob Jensen, continues the account:

“After President Snow had finished the blessing, he turned to my wife and me and said; ‘Now do not mourn or grieve any more. It will be all right. Brother Clawson and I are busy and must go. …’

“Ella remained in this condition for more than an hour after President Snow administered to her, or more than three hours in all after she died. We were sitting there watching by the bedside, her mother and myself, when all at once she opened her eyes. She looked about the room, saw us sitting there, but still looked for someone else, and the first thing she said was: ‘Where is he? Where is he?’ We asked, ‘Who? Where is who?’ ‘Why, Brother Snow,’ she replied. ‘He called me back.’” (in LeRoi C. Snow, “Raised from the Dead,” Improvement Era, Sept. 1929, 885–86).

Ella recovered from her illness, served in the Church, married Henry Wright, and eventually had eight children.

Consider asking the following questions:

  • How can knowing that the power of God is on the earth today affect us?

  • How can that knowledge be a blessing to missionaries?

  • How can it affect the father or mother of a sick child?

  • What difference has this power made in your life?

  • What ordinances of the priesthood have you received in your life?

Testify of the reality of God’s power on the earth today.

Matthew 10:5–15, 21–35 (see also Mark 6:8–11; Luke 9:3–5). The Lord chose His Apostles and gave them priesthood power.

(20–25 minutes)

Display a picture of the current Twelve Apostles. If your picture includes names, cover them up. Have students identify as many of the Apostles by name as they can, and write or uncover the names as they do. When you have listed all the names, ask questions such as:

  • What of importance do you know about any of the Apostles?

  • What are some of your favorite stories about any of these men?

  • What talks have they given that have affected your life?

Ask students to read the fifth article of faith and look for what it teaches about how an Apostle is called (see also Luke 6:12–13). Turn with students to Matthew 10:1–4and look for the names of Jesus Christ’s original Apostles. As students find their names, list them on the board. Testify that these were real men, and, like our Apostles today, had a great impact on the lives of many people.

Ask students to read Matthew 10:5–7and look for a possible reason that the Lord selected Twelve Apostles (see also D&C 29:12). Point out that the number of Apostles corresponds to the number of the tribes of Israel because the Twelve Apostles taught and will help judge Israel. Read the following statement from Elder Orson Pratt, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve:

“Why were there twelve Apostles chosen instead of nine, or thirteen, or any other number? Why that particular number? Because … the Lord ordained that … the twelve tribes should spring up in the earth, and he would have regard for them. He intended that they should not only be organized as tribes in this life, but also in the world to come. And in order that all may have judges, twelve were chosen to perform the work, instead of any other number” (in Journal of Discourses, 19:117; see also 1 Nephi 12:9).

Note: If students ask if Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus, will be among the Twelve Apostles who judge the twelve tribes, point out that Matthias was chosen to take Judas Iscariot’s place among the Twelve (see Acts 1:21–26).

You may choose to spend a few minutes reviewing the background of Jesus’ Apostles (see chart in The Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles, p. 55). Help the students memorize the names of the original Twelve or mark them in their Bibles. You may wish to have them learn the names of the modern Apostles in addition to or instead of the original ones.

Matthew 10:5–42 (see also Mark 6:8–11; Luke 9:3–5). Jesus gave His Apostles power over sickness, disease, and unclean spirits and taught them they would experience great persecution before their missions ended.

(15–20 minutes)

Ask students:

  • Can you list any of the instructions or rules given to missionaries?

  • Why do you think they are given these instructions?

Read Matthew 10:5–14and look for guidelines the Lord gave the Twelve prior to sending them out to preach the gospel. Ask some of the following questions:

  • Why do you think these instructions would be helpful to the Twelve?

  • What are some of the restrictions the Lord placed on the Twelve regarding their ministry?

  • Why do you think Jesus told them not to take money or extra clothing on their mission?

Ask students to silently read verses 16–32. Consider asking the following questions as you discuss these verses:

  • What impresses you most from this apostolic charge?

  • If you were one of those Twelve, which of Jesus’ commissions or prophetic announcements would have given you the most comfort?

  • Which of the Savior’s words would have sobered you most?

  • Which of His teachings would make you feel the most humble?

Verses 35–42 clarify what the Savior required of those who would heed the teachings of the Apostles. Have students read those verses and look for the responsibility of those who received the Apostles. Discuss the following questions:

  • Since we have Apostles on the earth today, how are we to regard them and their messages?

  • What are some of the messages the Apostles give us today?

  • How can we show our willingness to follow them?

  • What blessings do you believe come to those who follow Apostles?

Much is required of Church members today. The following statement from the Lectures on Faith, compiled under the direction of Joseph Smith, may help:

“Let us here observe, that a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation. … It was through this sacrifice, and this only, that God has ordained that men should enjoy eternal life. … When a man has offered in sacrifice all that he has for the truth’s sake, not even withholding his life, and believing before God that he has been called to make this sacrifice because he seeks to do his will, he does know, most assuredly, that God does and will accept his sacrifice and offering, and that he has not, nor will not seek his face in vain. Under these circumstances, then, he can obtain the faith necessary for him to lay hold on eternal life” (Lectures on Faith, 69).

The sacrifice required of Jesus and His Apostles was enormous. They gave everything they had. Encourage your students to prepare themselves spiritually and temporally so they will be prepared to make every sacrifice God might require. If desired, have the students list some sacrifices they might be asked to make.