“Behold the Lamb of God”

The Life and Teachings of Jesus and his Apostles, Instructor’s Guide (Rel 211–12), (2000), 15–16


John the Baptist held the keys of Elias as the forerunner of the Lord and was a witness to His faithfulness to the Father in all things.

Theme Analysis

  • A.

    John the Baptist was sent to prepare the way for the ministry of the Savior.

    1. 1.

      John was an Elias with keys to prepare for the kingdom of God.

    2. 2.

      John’s ministry included his witness that Jesus was the Christ, the Lamb of God.

  • B.

    The Lord sought out John to be baptized of him because he held the priesthood authority.

  • C.

    Christ was totally obedient to the Father.

    1. 1.

      He showed his subjection to the Father’s will by being baptized.

    2. 2.

      He resisted all temptation and maintained his sin-lessness.

Study Sources

New Testament Reading Assignment

Matthew 3:1-17 4:1-11; Mark 1:1-13; Luke 3:1-23; 4:1-13; John 1:14-51; 2:1-12.

Course Manual

Chapter 4, “Behold the Lamb of God”

Standard Works

D&C 84:27, 28. What specific keys did John hold as an Elias?

2 Nephi 31:4-10. In what four ways did Christ fulfill all righteousness?

Hebrews 5:8, 9. How did Christ learn what was necessary to be totally obedient?

Hebrews 2:17, 18; 3:12-15. Why can Christ succor and strengthen the tempted?

D&C 93:11-17. In what way did Christ receive a fulness of the glory of God?

Basic Library

Teachings, pp. 318-19. Why did John’s mission include the overthrow of the kingdom of the Jews?

Teachings, pp. 275-76. Why did Jesus describe John as being least in the kingdom of heaven?

Teachings, p. 336. In what way was John’s mission limited?

Teachings, pp. 271-73. Did John actually hold the keys of the kingdom of God?

Teachings, pp. 265-66. Can men also fulfill all righteousness by being baptized?

Discourses, pp. 80-82. Why is it a blessing to be tempted?

DS, 1:161, 171-72, 194-95. How was John the head of a dispensation?

Jesus the Christ, pp. 121-52. Why did Christ retire into the wilderness after baptism?

DS, 1:172. What is an Elias?

DS, 2:107-10. How was John an Elias?

Additional Sources

John Taylor, Mediation and Atonement, pp. 9-10. How was Christ’s baptism a foreshadowing of Gethsemane?

David O. McKay in CR, Apr. 1967, pp. 84-85. How did Christ gain strength to overcome Satan?

David O. McKay in CR, Apr. 1960, p. 27. How were Christ’s temptations symbolic of all mankind?

Media Suggestions

Transparencies, There Are Several Meanings to the Word Elias; Jesus’ Temptations Were Not Unlike Man’s Temptations; Matthew 4:1, 2, Inspired Version.

Some Suggestions for Presentation

(Ideas Other Teachers Have Used)

(Note: The instructor could feature either or both the ministry of John the Baptist and the obedience of Christ. He should not develop the doctrine of baptism except to demonstrate the Savior’s willingness to do the Father’s will in all things. Nor should the purpose and place of miracles be developed, since these concepts are treated later in this course of study.)

The Importance of the Transitional Ministry of John the Baptist

The following diagram could be used to emphasize the critical position held by John at this special crossroads in history: the last of the old prophets and the first of the new; the one chosen to herald the ending of the old and the beginning of the new covenant.

for the teacher

Under the left side of the diagram the instructor may wish to list those preachments of John which show the ending of the old order, and under the right side he could list those teachings which show John’s declaration of the beginning of a new order.

The Importance and Need for a Forerunner

The instructor could lead into the material by asking students to suppose that the political head of another country wanted to visit your city. What preparations would need to be made in anticipation of his coming? (Assessment of unfriendly influences, security, publicity, schedule, definition of goals and purposes to be accomplished, people to be met with, and so forth.) These advance preparations would be carried out by representatives of the foreign leader. In a similar manner, in anticipation for the mortal visit of Jesus Christ to the earth, advance preparations were made by an appointed representative, or forerunner, John the Baptist. The instructor could then ask the following question: Since Christ himself was such a dynamic and powerful person, why did he need a forerunner? Student responses could be listed on the chalkboard.

The Temptations of the Lord as a Type of All Mankind

Some aspects of the temptations of the Lord are unique to his special calling and ministry; but in general, his temptations are typical of those which all people face. (See 1 Corinthians 10:13.) The instructor may wish to develop the following diagram on the chalkboard as a way of helping the students to understand some types of temptations and how to overcome them.

Type of Temptation

Root Problem

How to Overcome

Temptation 1 (Matthew 4:3, 4)

Change stone to bread

Physical needs versus spiritual strength

What the Savior did:

What I can do:

Temptation 2 (Matthew 4: 5-7)

Cast himself off the pinnacle of the temple

Desire for acclaim and dramatic proof

What the Savior did:

What I can do:

Temptation 3 (Matthew 4: 8-11)

All the kingdoms of the world

Aspiring for the honors and powers of men versus the honors and powers of God

What the Savior did:

What I can do:

The instructor could have the students read the verses indicated in each reference, indentify the type of temptation, and determine in what ways the students themselves might be confronted by such a temptation. Then the class could analyze the way in which the Savior resisted the temptation and what they could do to resist.