Matthew 2 lds

Matthew 2 lds DEFAULT

Matthew 1–2

Suggestions for Teaching

Choose from the following ideas, or use some of your own, as you prepare lessons for Matthew 1–2.

Matthew 1:1–17 (see also Luke 3:23–38). Knowing our genealogies and where we came from is important.

(10–15 minutes)

Invite a few students to come to the board and outline their genealogies. See who can list the most generations. Or ask a few students to tell something interesting about someone in their family history. (Since this lesson will come at the beginning of the year, if you have not taken the opportunity to introduce the class members, this might be a good way to do it. Invite all your students to tell their names and briefly describe an ancestor.) Tell a brief story from your own family history that illustrates how interesting family history research can be.

Explain that Matthew started his testimony by recording the genealogy of Jesus Christ. Ask students to quickly read Matthew 1:1–17looking for names they recognize in the Savior’s genealogy (for example, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Ruth). Ask:

  • To whom did Matthew trace the Savior’s genealogy?

  • What two people in the Savior’s genealogy did Matthew focus on?

  • What type of leaders were David and Abraham? (One was a king, the other a prophet.)

  • Why would it be important that Jesus Christ be the heir of both an Israelite political leader and a religious leader?

Ask students to read Revelation 19:16and consider how the titles used in this verse to describe the Messiah could apply to Him as both a political and a religious leader. (For additional information see the commentary for Matthew 1:17and Luke 3:23–28in The Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles, p. 21.)

Have students identify the woman spoken of both in Matthew 1:5and Ruth 1:4.

  • From what country did this ancestor of Jesus come?

  • Of what nationality was she?

Tell students that Jesus Christ had some ancestors who were valiant and others who succumbed to temptation. Consider asking the following questions:

  • How important is it to be born into a family that has been in the Church for many generations?

  • What advantages are there to having righteous ancestors?

  • What effect do our ancestors’ mistakes have on our ability to do what is right?

Matthew 1:18–23. Jesus Christ is the divine son of Heavenly Father and Mary. From Mary He inherited mortality, which allowed Him to die. From His Heavenly Father He inherited immortality and the power to resurrect.

(10–15 minutes)

Write the following phrases, without the scripture references, on the board:

Ask the students which of the miracles and experiences listed on the board were unique to the Savior. Help students answer the question for each item by showing them a picture of a prophet performing that miracle or having that experience or by reading the scripture references included above.

Ask: If others also performed these miracles, how was Jesus different? Read Mosiah 3:7and Alma 34:8–10looking for what the Savior did that no one else could do. Read Matthew 1:18–23and Luke 1:32, 35and look for what gave Him the ability to work out the Atonement. To help students visualize this principle, draw the following diagram. Help students understand that Jesus was literally the son of God, and that His ability to perform the Atonement and bring about the Resurrection are proofs of that divine sonship. (See “Points to Ponder” in The Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles, pp. 23–25.)

parents of Jesus Christ

God the Father

Immortal

(power over death)

Mary

Mortal

(subject to death)

Jesus Christ

Matthew 1:18–25. Certain qualities make good parents.

(10–20 minutes)

Ask two students to describe a characteristic they like about their parents. Invite a father or mother of a student to come to class and speak for three to five minutes and describe their feelings when their child was born, tell what the child was like as a baby, and express their love for the child. (Or, if available, use a speaker phone in the classroom to call some parents and ask them to do the same. Or ask some parents to do so in writing or on audio- or videotape, and then share the parents’ responses with the class.)

Invite students to list the qualities of a good parent. Divide your class in half. Ask one half to read Matthew 1:18–25looking for good qualities Joseph had as a husband and father. Invite the other half to read Luke 1:28–30, 38, 46–55looking for good qualities of Mary.

Read Romans 8:16–17and look for the relationship we have with our Father in Heaven as we are led by His Spirit. Read Ephesians 2:4and look for how our Heavenly Father feels about us. Ask:

  • How does being a good parent in this life help prepare us for godhood?

  • What could you be doing now to prepare to be good parents in the future?

List the students’ answers on the board.

Matthew 1:22–23. The birth and life of Jesus Christ fulfilled many promises made to ancient prophets.

(15–20 minutes)

Invite students to write a prediction of some future event on a piece of paper. Collect the predictions and share some of them with the class. Ask:

  • How likely is it that some of these predictions will come to pass?

  • How sure is it that all of them will occur?

  • Does making a true prediction necessarily prove that someone is a prophet? Why or why not?

Help students understand that prophets don’t guess the future. Prophets have the future revealed to them by God, and their prophecies are always fulfilled.

Reproduce the accompanying chart, leaving the middle column blank. Invite students to read the verses and write in the blank spaces the fulfillment of the prophecy.

When they have finished, ask:

  • What do these prophecies and their fulfillment show about Jesus?

  • Why was it important that Jesus fulfill the prophecies of the Old Testament?

  • How can prophecies from scriptures about the last days help us today?

Matthew 2:1–11. Wise men from the East were led to the Christ child.

(15–20 minutes)

Ask students to draw a picture of the nativity scene, or invite a student to draw on the board the nativity as described by the other students. Tell them to include everything they can from memory alone to make it as accurate as possible. After a few minutes, read Matthew 2:1–11and Luke 2:1–16, and have the students look for details they should add or subtract from their pictures to make them more accurate. (For example, many students will draw three wise men, though Matthew doesn’t refer to any specific number. Also, Matthew 2:11seems to imply that the wise men came later, when Mary and the Christ child were staying in a house.) Discuss the following questions:

  • Why do some people have misconceptions about Christ’s birth?

  • Why are the scriptures frequently misunderstood? (People often don’t read the scriptures enough, or carefully enough. Errors in translation can also lead to misconceptions.)

  • How can we avoid misunderstanding principles and stories from the scriptures? (We can search the scriptures and study the prophets’ and apostles’ interpretations of them.)

Matthew 2:1–9. Those who understand and follow the teachings of the scriptures will be better prepared to meet the Lord.

(10–15 minutes)

Before class place a small paper star somewhere in view of the students. Begin class by drawing on the board the outline of a stop sign without the word stop. Ask students:

  • What does this sign represent?

  • Are seeing the shape of the sign and knowing what it means the same thing? (Not necessarily.)

  • How many of you saw the new star in the room when you came in?

  • Did anyone know what it meant?

Invite students to read Matthew 2:1–9and look for where the new star signifying the Christ child’s birth appeared.

  • Could there have been some who saw the star but did not understand its meaning?

  • Why were the wise men able to discern the meaning of the star?

  • Why didn’t many others recognize the significance of the star?

To help students understand how the wise men not only saw the new star but also understood its meaning, read the following statement by Elder Bruce R. McConkie, who was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:

“The probability is [that the wise men] were themselves Jews who lived, as millions of Jews then did, in one of the nations to the East. It was the Jews, not the Gentiles, who were acquainted with the scriptures and who were waiting with anxious expectation for the coming of a King” (The Mortal Messiah: From Bethlehem to Calvary, 4 vols. [1979–81], 1:358).

Invite students to read Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:29–31and look for what signs God has revealed today. Ask:

  • To whom are these signs meaningful today?

  • How may we, like the wise men of old, find the Savior?

Read Doctrine and Covenants 18:34–35and 45:39 and look for other ways we can find Jesus today.

Matthew 2:11. Just as the wise men gave Jesus gifts, we can give Him gifts too.

(5–10 minutes)

Bring in a couple of packages wrapped as gifts. Ask students:

  • What was the last gift you gave someone?

  • Why did you select that gift?

  • How does knowing someone influence the gift you choose to give that person?

  • How does our love for someone affect the kind of gift we choose for that person?

Read Matthew 2:11and look for what the wise men gave Jesus. Ask: Why do you think the wise men chose the gifts they did? (Gold, frankincense, and myrrh were all expensive gifts befitting a king. Frankincense was a type of incense offered to the Lord in the temple in Jerusalem. Myrrh, which was used in embalming, may have been a prophetic indication of Christ’s sacrifice.) Invite students to read Matthew 11:29–30; Alma 11:42–44; Doctrine and Covenants 14:7; 19:16–19and identify the gifts the Savior has offered to us. (If desired, list their responses on the board.) Give students a piece of paper and invite them to write a list of gifts they could give Jesus today (for example, keeping the commandments and living righteously, treating others kindly, and being grateful for what Jesus does for us).

Matthew 2:13–21. The purposes and work of the Lord cannot be frustrated.

(5–10 minutes)

Show the students a glass of water and a teaspoon of sugar. Stir the sugar into the water. Then invite a student to separate the sugar from the water. Read Doctrine and Covenants 121:33and ask students:

  • How is the difficulty of separating sugar and water like what is taught in this scripture?

  • What power can stay the heavens?

Read Matthew 2:14–21and ask:

  • What did Herod do in an attempt to destroy the work of the Lord?

  • What did the Lord do to foil Herod’s actions?

  • According to verse 14, what role did Joseph and Mary play in stopping Herod’s plan?

To help students apply this principle, ask:

  • How can we help to thwart the designs of Satan in our own lives?

  • What difference does it make in your life to know that the Lord and His plans will be victorious and that His plan and purposes will all be fulfilled?

Sours: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/manual/new-testament-teacher-resource-manual/the-gospel-according-to-saint-matthew/matthew-1-2?lang=eng

Matthew 2: The Lord And The Details of Our Lives

Matthew 2 addresses two very teenage issues that are worthy of mention.  Most students have some conception of the events surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ.  They know he was born in a stable, laid in a manger, and that shepherds came to see him after his birth.  Some are aware that the wise men came at a later time “to the house” to see “the young child” – perhaps many months after his birth (Matthew 2:11).

They know of the evil king Herod who slew “all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof…” (Matthew 2:16).  It’s putting all these details into a framework that relate to young people that can be challenging.  One thing is certain from this text: God isn’t going to let anything happen to His Son.  Jesus had a specific mission to fulfill and Heavenly Father did His part to assure that the Savior of the world would live to perform his atonement.

By looking deeper into the text we see that many prophecies are fulfilled in this story.  We have the prophecy that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem, in the land of Juda (Matthew 2:6 – see Micah 5:2), that Heavenly Father would call His Son out of Egypt (Matthew 2:15 – see Hosea 11:1), and finally that a virgin would conceive and bring forth God’s Only Son (Matthew 1:21-23 – see Isaiah 7:14).

Involved in the details of our lives

Heavenly Father also provided means whereby Joseph and Mary could take Jesus into Egypt.  The gifts brought by the magi probably financed their journey south.  Both Joseph and the wise men were warned in a dream of the danger posed by King Herod.  Both Joseph and the wise men heeded this warning, and by their obedience, furthered God’s work here on earth.  Truly our God is involved in the very details of our lives!  He is mighty to save and He wants us to be aware that He is involved in our struggle.

The following story illustrates this truth:

Some years ago (Elder Robert R. Steuer of the Seventy) served as mission president in São Paulo, Brazil.  It was his practice with newly arriving missionaries to give them real “missionary experiences” on their very first day as full-time proselyting missionaries.  To do this, after their orientation and a dinner at the mission home, they would be sent out that evening with their assigned companions.  The seasoned missionary would take the new missionaries out either tracting, street contacting, or giving discussions.

In one of the groups of new missionaries, there was a Brazilian elder who came from the far north of Brazil.  It took this missionary about three days travel by bus just to reach the MTC in São Paulo for his initial training.  On that first evening, after having a good meal, President Steuer announced that the new missionaries would then go out and do missionary work.  This new missionary’s companion decided they would go tracting, a frightening experience for this shy new elder.  The senior companion said he would take the first door and told his companion to watch closely how it was done as the second door would be his.

The young elder protested, saying he was too frightened, but his companion proceeded to the first door.  When this young elder knocked on the second door, the senior companion stepped back and indicated for him to proceed.  He shrank back.  When the door opened, to the young elder’s utter astonishment, the person standing there was his older sister.  She had run away from home three or four years earlier.  The family had not heard from her since and had no idea where she was, or even if she was still alive.  One can imagine the sweetness of that reunion and the tears of joy that were shed that night.

As he concluded the story, Elder Steuer said two things that deeply impressed me and made the point I’m trying to make.  He said, “Not only was his sister one of the first nonmembers he contacted in the mission field, but she became his first convert baptism as well.”  Then he added, “As you think about that, remember, at that time there were between thirteen and fourteen million people in São Paulo!”

When things like this happen, the world tends to use words like coincidence or good fortune to explain them.  “It was an incredible coincidence,” they say.  “It was really fortunate how everything came together.”  As a popular saying goes, “Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.”  But in my experience, it is just the opposite.  What we call coincidence is God’s way of letting Himself be known.  A metaphor used by another author is a better reflection of how I see it: “Coincidence is the word we use when we can’t see the levers and the pulleys.” 1

The odds of that missionary finding his sister among fourteen million people during the entire two years of his mission would be astronomical.  Yet it happened on his very first night in the mission.  Here was not only a stunning example of the Lord’s tender mercies, but the timing and the combination of circumstances that brought it about were also amazing.  It was almost as though the Lord was signing His name to the event so they would know it was unmistakably His. 2

I asked my students, “What would have happened if the events did not occur in the order that they occurred in this chapter?  How could Joseph and Mary have made the long journey to Egypt had they not received the generous gifts from the magi?”

What if Joseph did not heed the dream and left to go into Egypt?  Think of the detailed prophecies and their fulfillment: Jesus born in Bethlehem, brought out of Egypt, and later dwelling in Nazareth (Matthew 2:6,15,23).  God took care of His Son.  If He can do this, He can take care of us – we just need to trust Him.

Notes

1. Emma Bull, as cited by Jerry Earl Johnston, “Ideally Speaking,” Deseret News, January 2, 2010, E8.

2. Elder Gerald N. Lund, Divine Signatures: The Confirming Hand of God, p. 19-20.

Like this:

Sours: http://www.ldsscriptureteachings.org/staging/4108/2012/09/10/matthew-2-the-lord-and-the-details-of-our-lives/
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“Unit 2, Day 1: Matthew 1–2,” New Testament Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2016)

Introduction

Matthew gave the genealogy of Jesus Christ, and an angel declared Jesus’s divine parentage to Joseph. Wise Men from the East traveled to find and worship the young child. Joseph was told in a dream to take his family to Egypt because Herod wanted to kill Jesus.

Matthew 1:1–17

Matthew gives the genealogy of Jesus

Look at a photograph of your parents, and see if you can identify any physical and other traits you inherited from them. On the lines below, list some of these traits (such as eye color, hair color, height, personality, or intellect):

As you study Matthew 1–2, look for truths about the Savior’s parents—Heavenly Father and Mary—and traits He inherited from them.

Matthew 1:1–17 lists the Savior’s ancestors. Verse 1 mentions that Jesus Christ was a descendant of David (who slew Goliath and later became king of Israel) and Abraham (who is known as the father of God’s covenant people).

King David

“Old Testament prophecies declared that the Messiah would be a descendant of David (see 2 Samuel 7:12–13; Isaiah 9:6–7; Jeremiah 23:5–6) and that an offspring of Abraham would bless ‘all the nations of the earth’ (Genesis 22:18; see also Abraham 2:11)” (New Testament Student Manual [Church Educational System manual, 2014], 12). Matthew wrote specifically to a Jewish audience and wanted them to know that Jesus fulfilled Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah. The genealogy given in Matthew 1:1–17 shows that Jesus was the promised Messiah and the rightful heir to the throne of David. As you study the book of Matthew, look for other examples of how Jesus Christ fulfilled Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah.

Read Matthew 1:16, looking for a title given to Jesus.

The word Christ is the Greek form of the Aramaic word Messiah, which means “the anointed.” In the premortal existence, Jesus Christ was anointed by Heavenly Father to be our “Prophet, Priest, King, and Deliverer” (Guide to the Scriptures, “Anointed One,” “Messiah,” scriptures.lds.org).

Matthew 1:18–25

An angel declares Jesus’s divine parentage to Joseph

In Matthew 1:16, at the end of his genealogy of Jesus, Matthew mentions that Mary was Joseph’s wife. Matthew 1:18–25 tells of events leading up to their marriage and the birth of Jesus.

As recorded in Matthew 1:18, Matthew explained that Joseph and Mary were espoused. This means they were engaged and legally bound to each other but not yet living together as husband and wife. However, before the wedding, Joseph learned that Mary was pregnant.

Read Matthew 1:19, looking for what Joseph intended to do.

“To put her away privily” means Joseph planned to resolve the matter of Mary’s pregnancy without forcing her to face public humiliation.

What does this verse teach us about Joseph’s character and his love for Mary?

Read Matthew 1:20, looking for what happened while Joseph was considering ending his betrothal (formal engagement) to Mary.

Why did the angel tell Joseph not to be afraid to proceed with his marriage to Mary?

Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles wrote the following about Joseph receiving his own witness of the truth:

McConkie, Bruce R.

“Joseph pondered and prayed. Was Mary with child by the power of the Holy Ghost or in some other way? As to the true father of the unborn child, Mary knew; Elisabeth knew; Zacharias knew. They all gained their testimonies by revelation, and Joseph must now learn for himself in the same way. …

“We may well suppose that Mary told Joseph of her condition; that she then went to Elisabeth; that Joseph struggled with his problem for nearly three months, being fully tested; that Gabriel brought the word; that Joseph sent word to Mary of his conversion; that she returned again in haste and joy; that immediately the second part of the marriage ceremony was performed” (The Mortal Messiah: From Bethlehem to Calvary, 4 vols. [1979–81], 1:332–33).

McConkie, Bruce R.

To understand the meaning of the phrase “conceived … of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 1:20), read the following statement by Elder McConkie: “Just as Jesus is literally the Son of Mary, so he is the personal and literal offspring of God the Eternal Father. … Matthew’s statement, ‘she was found with child of the Holy Ghost,’ properly translated should say, ‘she was found with child by the power of the Holy Ghost.’ (Matt. 1:18.) Luke’s account (Luke 1:35) accurately records what took place. Alma perfectly describes our Lord’s conception and birth by prophesying: Christ ‘shall be born of Mary, … she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God.’ (Alma 7:10.) Nephi spoke similarly when he said that at the time of her conception, Mary ‘was carried away in the Spirit,’ with the result that the child born of her was ‘the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father.’ (1 Ne. 11:19–21.)” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [1965–73], 1:82–83).

Jesus Christ. Nativity

These teachings affirm the following doctrine: Jesus Christ is the divine Son of Heavenly Father and Mary. Consider writing this doctrine next to Matthew 1:18–25 in the margin of your scriptures.

Talmage, James E.

Recall the photograph that you looked at of your parents and the list you wrote of traits you inherited from them. Then read the following statement by Elder James E. Talmage of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, looking for why it is important to understand that Jesus is the divine Son of Heavenly Father and Mary: “That Child to be born of Mary was begotten of Elohim, the Eternal Father. … In His nature would be combined the powers of Godhood with the capacity and possibilities of mortality. … The Child Jesus was to inherit the physical, mental, and spiritual traits, tendencies, and powers that characterized His parents—one immortal and glorified—God, the other human—woman” (Jesus the Christ, 3rd ed. [1916], 81).

What did Jesus inherit from His Father? What did He inherit from His mother?

Because Jesus was the Son of an immortal Father and a mortal mother, He had the capacity to live eternally if He chose, as well as the ability to die. This divine nature uniquely qualified Him to be able to suffer for our sins, die on the cross, and be resurrected (see Alma 34:9–10).

  1. Pencil Icon
    Imagine that you have an opportunity to help a friend with a non-Christian background understand who Jesus Christ is. How would you explain the divine nature of Jesus Christ to this friend? Record your answer in your scripture study journal.

Matthew 2:1–12

The Wise Men are directed to Jesus

Wise Men Present Gifts

Who brought gifts to the Savior after He was born?

The Gospel of Matthew is the only Gospel to include the account of the Wise Men. Write your answers to the following questions about the Wise Men in the space to the right of the question.

What do you know about the Wise Men?

How did the Wise Men know the Messiah had been born?

Why did the Wise Men want to find the Messiah?

How did the chief priests and scribes know where the Messiah would be born?

What did Herod want the Wise Men to do after they found the Messiah?

What did the Wise Men do instead?

Now read Matthew 2:1–12, looking for the answers to these questions. Correct or adjust your answers as needed.

Did you learn anything new about the Wise Men? If so, draw a star next to the questions where you learned something new.

“Who these men were we are not told, but it is certain they were not ordinary men. That they were privileged to search out the Son of God and give Him gifts, and that they were spiritually sensitive and knowledgeable, suggests that they were actually prophets on a divine errand” (Bible Dictionary, “Wise Men of the East”).

The Wise men were “led by the Spirit, to behold the Son of God and … returned to their people to bear witness that the king Immanuel had indeed been born in the flesh” (Bible Dictionary, “Magi”).

People often assume that the Wise Men visited the Savior on the night of His birth, along with the shepherds. However, Matthew 2:11 suggests it was sometime later, between one and two years (the Wise Men found Jesus in a house, not a manger, and He was a “young child,” not a baby). Also notice that the reason Herod wanted the Wise Men to report to him after they found the Messiah was so he could kill Him (see Matthew 2:13).

How did the Wise Men know where to find the Messiah?

Wise Men Follow the Star

The example of the Wise Men helps us understand the following principle: If we sincerely and diligently seek the Savior, we will be guided to Him.

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    Answer the following question in your scripture study journal: How can you diligently seek the Savior?

Once the Wise Men found the Savior, they presented their gifts to Him. One purpose for this was to worship and adore Him. What can we learn from Wise Men’s example of giving gifts to Jesus?

To understand how we can offer meaningful gifts to the Savior, read the following statement by Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:

Christofferson, D. Todd

“In ancient times when people wanted to worship the Lord and seek His blessings, they often brought a gift. …

“Is there something in you or in your life that is impure or unworthy? When you get rid of it, that is a gift to the Savior. Is there a good habit or quality that is lacking in your life? When you adopt it and make it part of your character, you are giving a gift to the Lord. Sometimes this is hard to do, but would your gifts of repentance and obedience be worthy gifts if they cost you nothing? Don’t be afraid of the effort required. And remember, you don’t have to do it alone. Jesus Christ will help you make of yourself a worthy gift” (“When Thou Art Converted,” Ensign, May 2004, 12).

  1. Pencil Icon
    Ponder Elder Christofferson’s statement, and consider what gifts you feel you should offer the Savior. In your scripture study journal, record these ideas and plan how you will give these gifts to Jesus Christ. (If the gifts you would like to give the Savior are of a highly personal nature, you may write them on a separate piece of paper to keep and refer to, and then write in your scripture study journal that you completed this assignment.)

Commenting on the early years of Jesus Christ’s mortal life, Elder Bruce R. McConkie gave the following overview:

McConkie, Bruce R.

“Although the chronological order of the travels and sojournings of our Lord’s early years is not entirely clear, the following seems reasonably certain:

“(1) At the time of their espousement and marriage, Joseph and Mary lived in Nazareth in the eastern part of the province of Galilee. (Luke 1:26–35; 1 Ne. 11:13.)

“(2) Guided by divine providence, they traveled to Bethlehem, the city of David, where Jesus was born in a stable. (Luke 2:1–7.)

“(3) On the eighth day, while the couple was still in Bethlehem, Jesus was circumcised. (Luke 2:21.)

“(4) Following the days of Mary’s purification, a forty-day period (Lev. 12), the holy family traveled to Jerusalem where Jesus was presented in the temple, with Simeon and Anna then bearing record of his divine Sonship. (Luke 2:22–38.)

“(5) Thus, having ‘performed all things according to the law of the Lord,’ they then went immediately to Nazareth. (Luke 2:39.) Obviously the wise men had not yet come to worship their King, because following their visit comes the flight to Egypt. That they could not have gone to Egypt and returned to Bethlehem within the forty-day period is clear (a) because they were in Egypt at the time of Herod’s death which did not occur until about two years after the nativity, and (b) because they returned from Egypt to Nazareth, not Bethlehem.

“(6) Next, for some unknown and unrecorded reason, Joseph and Mary and the child returned to Bethlehem, obtained a house there, and were part of the community life when the wise men came. (Matt. 2:1–12.)

“(7) Warned of God, the holy family now fled to Egypt for a sojourn of unknown length, possibly one of only a few weeks or months. (Matt. 2:13–15.)

“(8) After Herod’s death they returned with obvious purpose of settling again in Bethlehem, where they must have had an adequate place to live. But fearing Archelaus, son of Herod, they forsook the Judean province for the greater security of the Galilean. Hence their return to and abode in Nazareth. (Matt. 2:19–23.)

“(9) From then until his formal ministry began, a period of perhaps twenty-seven or twenty-eight years, our Lord continued to live in Nazareth. (Luke 2:51–52; I. V. Matt. 3:22–26.)” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 1:108–9).

Matthew 2:13–23

Joseph, Mary, and Jesus escape to Egypt

As recorded in Matthew 2:13–23, Herod became angry after the Wise Men “departed into their own country” (Matthew 2:12) without telling him where the Messiah was. Hoping to kill the Messiah, he ordered that all children two years old and younger in Bethlehem and the surrounding area be killed.

Read Matthew 2:13–14, looking for how Joseph knew what to do to keep his family safe.

Where did Joseph take Mary and Jesus?

Mary, Joseph, and Jesus Flee to Egypt

Joseph, Mary, and Jesus stayed in Egypt until Herod died. As recorded in Matthew 2:19–23, God instructed Joseph through dreams to take his family back to Judea, and they settled in the city of Nazareth.

How did Joseph’s sensitivity to spiritual things bless others’ lives?

Complete the following phrase to create a principle we can learn from Joseph: If we are sensitive to the Spirit, then .

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    Ponder what you can do to be more sensitive to the Spirit so you can receive guidance and direction in your life (see 2 Nephi 32:3). Record your thoughts in your scripture study journal, and make a goal to act on any promptings you receive.

While very little is recorded about Jesus’s childhood and youth, the Joseph Smith Translation adds three verses that would follow Matthew 2:23 in the King James Version of the Bible. These verses provide some details to this time of the Savior’s life. As you read the following addition from the Joseph Smith Translation, consider how humble Jesus was as a young man:

“And it came to pass that Jesus grew up with his brethren, and waxed strong, and waited upon the Lord for the time of his ministry to come.

“And he served under his father, and he spake not as other men, neither could he be taught; for he needed not that any man should teach him.

“And after many years, the hour of his ministry drew nigh” (Joseph Smith Translation, Matthew 3:24–26 [in the Bible appendix]).

  1. Pencil Icon
    Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:

    I have studied Matthew 1–2 and completed this lesson on (date).

    Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher:

Sours: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/new-testament-study-guide-for-home-study-seminary-students/introduction-to-matthew/unit-2-day-1-matthew-1-2?lang=eng
Christmas Bible Stories: Three Wise Men - Matthew 2 - Online Sunday School - Sharefaithkids.com

Matthew 2:22 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Matthew 2:22, NIV: "But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee,"

Matthew 2:22, ESV: "But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee."

Matthew 2:22, KJV: "But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee:"

Matthew 2:22, NASB: "But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Then after being warned by God in a dream, he left for the regions of Galilee,"

Matthew 2:22, NLT: "But when he learned that the new ruler of Judea was Herod's son Archelaus, he was afraid to go there. Then, after being warned in a dream, he left for the region of Galilee."

Matthew 2:22, CSB: "But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned in a dream, he withdrew to the region of Galilee."

Sours: https://www.bibleref.com/Matthew/2/Matthew-2-22.html

2 lds matthew

Matthew 1–2

Suggestions for Teaching

Matthew 1:1–17

The genealogy of Jesus

Display a photograph of your parents and ask students if they can spot any traits you inherited from them. You could also invite a few students to bring in photographs of their parents and ask the class to guess whose parents they are. Ask students to discuss with each other any traits they inherited from their parents (such as eye color, hair color, or height).

Invite students as they study Matthew 1–2 to look for truths about the Savior’s parents and traits He inherited from them. This activity should prepare students to understand the truths that Jesus Christ is the divine Son of Heavenly Father and Mary and that He is the Only Begotten of the Father in the flesh.

Explain that Matthew 1:1–17 lists the Savior’s ancestors. Point out that verse 1 mentions that Jesus Christ was a descendant of David and of Abraham.

Explain that Old Testament prophecies declared that the Messiah would be a descendant of David (see 2 Samuel 7:12–13; Isaiah 9:6–7; Jeremiah 23:5–6) and that an offspring of Abraham would bless “all the nations of the earth” (Genesis 22:18; see also Abraham 2:11). Matthew wanted readers to know that Jesus fulfilled Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah (see Matthew 1:22–23; 2:5, 15, 23; 26:55–56). The genealogy given in Matthew 1:1–17 shows that Jesus was the promised Messiah and the rightful heir to the throne of David.

Invite a student to read Matthew 1:16 aloud. Ask students to follow along and look for a title given to Jesus and to report what they find.

Explain that the word Christ is the Greek form of the Aramaic word Messiah, which means “the anointed.”

  • In the premortal existence, what was Jesus Christ anointed or chosen to do? (He was anointed by Heavenly Father to be our “Prophet, Priest, King, and Deliverer” [Guide to the Scriptures, “Messiah,” scriptures.lds.org; see also Bible Dictionary, “Anointed One”].)

Matthew 1:18–25

An angel declares Jesus’s divine parentage to Joseph

Point out that Matthew 1:16 also mentions that Mary was Joseph’s wife. According to Matthew 1:18, Joseph and Mary were espoused. This means they were betrothed, or engaged, and legally bound to each other but not yet living together as husband and wife. However, before the wedding, Joseph learned that Mary was pregnant. Invite a student to read Matthew 1:19 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Joseph intended to do.

  • What did Joseph intend to do when he learned that Mary was pregnant? (Explain that “to put her away privily” means Joseph planned to cancel the engagement privately without forcing Mary to face public humiliation or the possible penalty of stoning.)

  • What does this verse teach us about Joseph’s character?

Invite a student to read Matthew 1:20 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what happened to Joseph while he was considering ending the betrothal to Mary.

  • Why did the angel tell Joseph not to be afraid to proceed with his marriage to Mary?

To help students understand the meaning of the phrase “of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 1:18, 20), invite a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:

McConkie, Bruce R.

“Just as Jesus is literally the Son of Mary, so he is the personal and literal offspring of God the Eternal Father. … Matthew’s statement, ‘she was found with child of the Holy Ghost,’ properly translated should say, ‘she was found with child by the power of the Holy Ghost.’ (Matt. 1:18.) … Alma perfectly describes our Lord’s conception and birth by prophesying: Christ ‘shall be born of Mary, … she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God.’ (Alma 7:10.)” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [1965–73], 1:82).

  • What do we learn about Jesus’s parentage from these teachings? (Students may use different words but should identify the following doctrine: Jesus Christ is the divine Son of Heavenly Father and Mary. You may want to suggest that students write this doctrine in the margin of their scriptures next to Matthew 1:18–25.)

Refer to the photograph of your parents and reiterate some of the traits you inherited from them. Invite a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder James E. Talmage of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Ask students to listen for why it is important to understand that Jesus is the divine Son of Heavenly Father and Mary.

Talmage, James E.

“That Child to be born of Mary was begotten of Elohim, the Eternal Father. … In His nature would be combined the powers of Godhood with the capacity and possibilities of mortality. … The Child Jesus was to inherit the physical, mental, and spiritual traits, tendencies, and powers that characterized His parents—one immortal and glorified—God, the other human—woman” (Jesus the Christ, 3rd ed. [1916], 81).

  • What traits did Jesus inherit from His Father? What traits did He inherit from His mother?

Explain that because Jesus was the Son of an immortal Father and a mortal mother, He had the capacity to live eternally if He chose, as well as the ability to die. This divine nature uniquely qualified Him to be able to suffer for our sins, die on the cross, and be resurrected.

Matthew 2:1–12

The Wise Men are directed to Jesus

Three Wrapped Gifts

Display three wrapped gifts in front of the class or draw a picture of three gifts on the board.

  • Who brought gifts to the Savior after He was born?

Icon
Explain that the Gospel of Matthew is the only Gospel to include an account of the Wise Men. Distribute the following quiz as a handout or write the questions on the board before class. Give students a few minutes to read the questions and write their answers.
New Testament Teacher Manual

How much do you know about the Wise Men?

New Testament Seminary Teacher Manual—Lesson 6

  1. How did the Wise Men know the Messiah had been born?

  2. Why did the Wise Men want to find the Messiah?

  3. How did the chief priests and scribes know where the Messiah would be born?

  4. What did Herod want the Wise Men to do after they found Jesus?

  5. What did the Wise Men do instead?

© 2015 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

After sufficient time, invite students to read Matthew 2:1–12 silently, looking for the answers to the quiz questions.

Invite a few students to share anything new they learned about the Wise Men. Details in verses 11 and 16 suggest that it may have been as long as two years after Jesus’s birth when the Wise Men were led to the holy family (the Wise Men found Jesus in a house, not a manger, and He was a “young child,” not a baby). Point out that the reason Herod wanted the Wise Men to report where they found the Messiah was so he could kill Him (see Matthew 2:13).

  • How did the Wise Men know where to find the Messiah?

  • What can we learn from the example of the Wise Men seeking the Savior? (Students’ responses may vary, but help them identify the following principle: If we sincerely and diligently seek the Savior, we will be guided to Him.)

  • How can we diligently seek the Savior?

  • What did the Wise Men do once they found the Savior? Why? (One purpose for presenting gifts to the Savior was to worship Him.)

  • What can we learn from the example of the Wise Men offering gifts to the Savior? (Students may use different words but should identify the following truth: We can worship the Lord by offering meaningful gifts to Him.)

To help students understand how we can offer meaningful gifts to the Savior, ask a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:

Christofferson, D. Todd

“In ancient times when people wanted to worship the Lord and seek His blessings, they often brought a gift. …

“Is there something in you or in your life that is impure or unworthy? When you get rid of it, that is a gift to the Savior. Is there a good habit or quality that is lacking in your life? When you adopt it and make it part of your character, you are giving a gift to the Lord. Sometimes this is hard to do, but would your gifts of repentance and obedience be worthy gifts if they cost you nothing?” (“When Thou Art Converted,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2004, 12).

  • What can we offer as meaningful gifts to the Savior?

Invite students to ponder Elder Christofferson’s statement and consider what gifts they feel they should offer the Savior. Provide pieces of paper for them to write their ideas on. Invite them to plan how they will give these gifts to Jesus Christ.

Matthew 2:13–23

Joseph, Mary, and Jesus escape to Egypt

Explain that according Matthew 2:13–23, Herod became angry after the Wise Men “departed into their own country” (Matthew 2:12) without telling him where the Messiah was. Hoping to kill the Messiah, he ordered that all children two years old and younger in Bethlehem and the surrounding area be killed.

Read Matthew 2:13–14 aloud. Ask students to follow along, looking for how Joseph knew what to do to keep his family safe. Invite students to report what they find.

  • Where did Joseph take Mary and Jesus?

Summarize Matthew 2:15–23 by explaining that Joseph, Mary, and Jesus stayed in Egypt until Herod died. God instructed Joseph through dreams to take his family back to Israel, and they settled in the city of Nazareth.

  • How did Joseph’s sensitivity to spiritual things bless others’ lives?

  • What principle can we learn from Joseph? (Students may use different words but should identify the following principle: If we are sensitive to the Spirit, we can receive revelation and guidance.)

Invite students to ponder what they can do to be more sensitive to the Spirit. Encourage them to set a goal to act on any promptings they receive.

Sours: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/new-testament-seminary-teacher-manual/matthew/lesson-6-matthew-1-2?lang=eng
Matthew 2-3 - Jon Courson

“January 14–20. Matthew 2; Luke 2: We Have Come to Worship Him,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: New Testament 2019 (2019)

“January 14–20. Matthew 2; Luke 2,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2019

Record Your Impressions

From the day of His birth, it was clear that Jesus was no ordinary child. It wasn’t just the new star in the heavens or the joyous angelic proclamation that made Jesus’s infancy unique. It was also the fact that such a variety of faithful people—from different nations, professions, and backgrounds—felt immediately drawn to Him. Even before He uttered His invitation to “come, follow me,” they came (Luke 18:22). Not everyone came to Him, of course—there were many who paid Him no notice, and a jealous ruler even sought His life. But the humble, pure, devoted seekers of righteousness found what they were seeking in Him. Their devotion inspires our own, for the “good tidings of great joy” brought to the shepherds were for “all people,” and the “Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” was born that day unto all of us (see Luke 2:10–11).

Integrated Curriculum Illustration

Ideas for Personal Scripture Study

Luke 2:1–7

Jesus Christ was born in humble circumstances.

Although Jesus Christ had glory with God the Father “before the world was” (John 17:5), He was willing to be born in lowly circumstances and live among us on earth. As you read Luke 2:1–7, what do you notice about the humble circumstances of His birth? Try to identify a detail or insight in this story that you hadn’t noticed before. What do you learn about the Savior from the circumstances of His birth? How do these insights affect your feelings toward Him?

See also the video “The Nativity” (LDS.org).

Luke 2:8–38; Matthew 2:1–12

There are many witnesses of the birth of Christ.

The birth and infancy of Christ were marked by witnesses and worshippers from many walks of life—humble shepherds who visited the stable, wealthy Wise Men who brought gifts to His home, a widow who served in the temple, and a faithful disciple who anxiously anticipated the coming Messiah. As you explore their stories, what do you learn about ways to worship and witness Christ?

Witness of Christ

What do I learn about worshipping and witnessing?

Witness of Christ

Shepherds (Luke 2:8–20)

What do I learn about worshipping and witnessing?

Witness of Christ

Simeon (Luke 2:25–35)

What do I learn about worshipping and witnessing?

Witness of Christ

Anna (Luke 2:36–38)

What do I learn about worshipping and witnessing?

Witness of Christ

Wise Men (Matthew 2:1–12)

What do I learn about worshipping and witnessing?

See also 1 Nephi 11:13–23; 3 Nephi 1:5–21; “Shepherds Learn of the Birth of Christ” and “The Christ Child Is Presented at the Temple” (videos, LDS.org).

Matthew 2:13–23

Parents can receive revelation to protect their families.

Joseph never could have done what he was asked to do—protect Jesus in His childhood—without heaven’s help. Like the Wise Men, he received a revelation that warned him of danger. As you read about Joseph’s experience, think about physical and spiritual dangers that face families today. Ponder experiences when you have felt God’s guidance in protecting you and your family or loved ones. Consider sharing these experiences with others. What can you do to receive such guidance in the future?

Additionally, you might consider watching the video “The First Christmas Spirit” (LDS.org) for a depiction of what Joseph may have felt as he faced the responsibility of caring for the Son of God.

Luke 2:40–52

Even as a youth, Jesus was focused on doing His Father’s will.

As a young man, the Savior taught the gospel so powerfully that even the teachers in the temple were astonished at His “understanding and answers” (Luke 2:47). What do you learn from these verses about the Savior as a young man? How are young people you know trying to be “about [their] Father’s business”? (Luke 2:49). How have youth and children helped you gain a deeper understanding of the gospel? What else do you learn from the example of Jesus’s childhood in Luke 2:40–52 and in Joseph Smith Translation, Matthew 3:24–26 (in the Bible appendix)?

Jesus Christ. Doctors in the Temple

What is the Joseph Smith Translation?

Because “many plain and precious” truths were lost from the Bible over the centuries (1 Nephi 13:28; see also Moses 1:41), the Lord commanded Joseph Smith to make an inspired revision of the Bible, known as the Joseph Smith Translation. Many revisions made by the Prophet are included in the appendix of the Latter-day Saint edition of the scriptures. The LDS edition of the King James Version of the Bible also contains footnotes with the Prophet’s revisions. Joseph Smith’s translation of Matthew 24, known as Joseph Smith—Matthew, can be found in the Pearl of Great Price. For more information, see Bible Dictionary, “Joseph Smith Translation”; “Bible, Inerrancy of,” Gospel Topics, topics.lds.org.

Integrated Curriculum Illustration

Ideas for Family Scripture Study and Family Home Evening

As you read the scriptures with your family, the Spirit can help you know what principles to emphasize and discuss in order to meet the needs of your family. Here are some suggestions:

Luke 2

Invite family members to select a person described in Luke 2, read a few verses about that person’s interactions with the Savior, and share something that they learned that increases their faith in Jesus Christ. Sing together “Mary’s Lullaby” or “The Nativity Song,”Children’s Songbook, 44–45, 52–53. What do we learn from these songs about the Savior’s birth?

Luke 2:49

What is the “Father’s business”? (see Moses 1:39). What do we learn about that business from this story and from other things Jesus did and taught throughout His life? Consider writing down some ways your family can participate in the Father’s business and placing them in a jar. During the coming week, when your family is looking for ways to do Heavenly Father’s work, they can select ideas from the jar. Plan a time when you will share your experiences.

Luke 2:52

What can we learn from Luke 2:52 about how Jesus developed in His life? In what ways can family members increase “in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man”?

For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.

Improving Personal Study

Use scripture study helps. To gain additional insights as you study the scriptures, use resources like the footnotes, Topical Guide, Bible Dictionary, Guide to the Scriptures, and other study helps such as LDS.org and the New Testament Student Manual (Church Educational System manual, 2014).

Nativity. He is the Gift.
Sours: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/come-follow-me-for-individuals-and-families-new-testament-2019/03?lang=eng

Now discussing:

Matthew 1–4

Introduction to the Gospel According to St. Matthew

Why study Matthew?

Some of the most beloved passages of the Bible are found in Matthew—the Beatitudes, the Sermon on the Mount, and many of the parables, teachings, and miracles of Jesus. The Prophet Joseph Smith often quoted from Matthew in his sermons.

Who wrote Matthew?

The earliest Christian writers to mention this Gospel all agreed that its author was Matthew, who was one of the Savior’s Twelve Apostles and an eyewitness to many of the events he described. This is supported by the title given to his Gospel in the Joseph Smith Translation: “The Testimony of St. Matthew.” Before his conversion and call to the apostleship, Matthew was a publican, or tax collector, known as Levi, the son of Alphaeus (see Matthew 9:9; Mark 2:14; Luke 5:27–32).

When and where was Matthew written?

Some evidence suggests that Matthew used Mark’s Gospel as a source. Matthew may have placed confidence in Mark’s account because Mark had relied heavily on Peter’s eyewitness accounts of the Master’s life. Matthew edited, corrected, reorganized, and added significantly to the material he obtained from Mark; he may also have drawn upon other oral and written sources. Most scholars date the writing of the book of Matthew to A.D. 70–90.

To whom was Matthew written and why?

Matthew appears to have written to a Jewish audience (to both Jews who may have accepted Jesus as the Messiah and those who did not) to show that Jesus Christ was the fulfillment of Old Testament messianic prophecy. Matthew frequently referred to Old Testament prophecies and used the phrase “that it might be fulfilled.” In his Gospel, Matthew employed the term “Son of David” 12 times as testimony that Jesus Christ was the rightful heir to King David’s throne and the fulfillment of messianic expectations.

Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus Christ traces His lineage through David, Judah, and Abraham (see Matthew 1:1–3), demonstrating Jesus’s right to rule and His role as the fulfillment of God’s promises to Israel. Matthew’s inclusion of significant events and teachings involving Gentiles also seems to have had the purpose of encouraging his readers to accept the work being done among the Gentiles at the time he wrote (see Matthew 8:5–13; 15:21–38; 28:19–20).

What are some distinctive features of Matthew?

Though a large amount of Matthew’s material is also found in Mark and Luke, about 42 percent of Matthew’s Gospel is unique. A major theme in Matthew is that Jesus Christ came to establish His kingdom. Matthew mentioned “the kingdom of heaven” numerous times, and he is the only Gospel author to include teachings of Jesus mentioning the “church” (see Matthew 16:18; 18:17). As part of his focus on the Savior’s establishment of His kingdom, Matthew emphasized Jesus Christ’s authority in the following ways:

  1. Jesus was born through a recognized line of authority (see Matthew 1:1–17).

  2. He announced that the kingdom of heaven was at hand (see Matthew 4:17).

  3. He delivered the Sermon on the Mount, describing the characteristics of exalted beings and the laws that govern His kingdom (see Matthew 5–7).

  4. He organized His Church—the kingdom of God on earth—with the Twelve Apostles as authorized servants, whom He empowered with priesthood authority (see Matthew 10; 16:18–19).

  5. Through parables, He foretold the establishment of His kingdom, followed by a period of apostasy and a restoration of the kingdom in the last days (see Matthew 13). During His ministry, He invited all people to be a part of His kingdom on earth.

The Gospel of Matthew helps us see parallels between the ministries of Moses and Jesus Christ. Both were saved as infants from attempts of a king to slay them (see Exodus 2:1–10; Matthew 2:13–18). Both came out of Egypt. Both came to deliver their people. There are five books of Moses (Genesis–Deuteronomy), and Matthew recorded five great sermons that Jesus Christ gave (Matthew 5–7; 10; 13; 18; 24–25). Moses revealed the lesser law; Jesus restored the higher law, fulfilling the law of Moses (see Matthew 5:17–48). Matthew seems to have organized his Gospel in a way that would have helped his Jewish readers recognize Jesus Christ as the fulfillment of Moses’s prophecy: “The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken” (Deuteronomy 18:15; see also Acts 3:22).

The Gospel of Matthew shows that God had not abandoned His people, Israel. Matthew referred to the Son of God as Emmanuel, or “God with us” (Matthew 1:23). The Savior’s actions, teachings, and miracles illustrate that God was with the people of Israel and had sent them His Son. Matthew concluded his Gospel with the promise Jesus gave His disciples: “I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20).

Outline

Matthew 1–4

Genealogy and birth of Jesus Christ. The Wise Men sought the King of the Jews. Guided by dreams, Joseph took Mary and the child Jesus to Egypt and later to Nazareth. John the Baptist preached the gospel of repentance and baptized Jesus Christ. The Savior was tempted in the wilderness. He began His mortal ministry by teaching, preaching, and healing all manner of sickness.

Matthew 5–7

Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount.

Matthew 8–12

The Savior healed a leper, calmed a storm, cast out devils, raised Jairus’s daughter from the dead, and gave sight to the blind. Jesus Christ called Twelve Apostles, gave them authority to do as He had done, and sent them forth to preach the gospel. Jesus proclaimed John the Baptist to be more than a prophet.

Matthew 13–15

Jesus taught using the parables of the sower, the wheat and tares, a grain of mustard seed, the leaven, the treasure in a field, the pearl of great price, and the net cast into the sea. John the Baptist was beheaded. After the feeding of the five thousand, Jesus and Peter walked on the Sea of Galilee. Scribes and Pharisees contended against Jesus.

Matthew 16–18

After testifying that Jesus is the Christ, Peter was promised the keys of the kingdom. Jesus Christ foretold His own death and Resurrection. He was transfigured on a mountain. Jesus gave instructions to His disciples on how to guide the Church. He told the parable of the unmerciful servant.

Matthew 19–23

The Savior taught about the eternal nature of marriage. He entered Jerusalem and cleansed the temple. Through the use of parables, Jesus exposed the evil intentions of the Jewish leaders who opposed Him and pronounced woes upon them for their deliberate hypocrisy.

Matthew 24–25; Joseph Smith—Matthew

Jesus Christ foretold the destruction of Jerusalem. He taught how His followers could be prepared for His return.

Matthew 26–27

Jesus kept the Passover with His disciples and instituted the sacrament. He suffered in Gethsemane. Jesus was betrayed, arrested, tried before Jewish and Roman authorities, and crucified. He died and was buried.

Matthew 28

The resurrected Savior appeared to His disciples. Jewish leaders attempted to prevent public awareness of the Resurrection by creating and spreading a false story. Jesus commissioned the Apostles to take His gospel to all nations.

Introduction and Timeline for Matthew 1–4

Matthew 1–4 constitutes a prelude to the mortal ministry of Jesus Christ. In Matthew 1–2, you will have the opportunity to study about the birth and childhood of Jesus Christ. One of the messages of these chapters, in keeping with Matthew’s theme of fulfillment of prophecy, is that the Savior’s birth fulfilled Old Testament prophecies. In Matthew 3, John the Baptist declared that “the kingdom of heaven is at hand” and “he that cometh after me is mightier than I” (Matthew 3:2, 11). These declarations prepare the reader for the baptism of Jesus Christ, at which time Heavenly Father declared that He was “well pleased” with His Son (Matthew 3:17). In further preparation for His public ministry, Jesus Christ went into the wilderness “to be with God” (Joseph Smith Translation, Matthew 4:1 [in Matthew 4:1, footnote b]). Satan also tempted Jesus in the wilderness—but Jesus promptly rejected each of his temptations.

New Testament Student Manual : Religion 211-212

Commentary for Matthew 1–4

Matthew 1:1, 17. Jesus Christ Was a Descendant of David and Abraham

Old Testament prophecies declared that the Messiah would be a descendant of David (see 2 Samuel 7:12–13; Isaiah 9:6–7; Jeremiah 23:5–6) and that an offspring of Abraham would bless “all the nations of the earth” (Genesis 22:18; see also Abraham 2:11). Some scholars have suggested that Matthew’s inclusion of three sets of 14 generations (see Matthew 1:17) was purposeful and is significant because the number 14 is associated with the name-title “David.” Hebrew and other ancient languages used letters of the alphabet to represent numbers as well as sounds. The Hebrew letters in the name David carry a numeric value of 14 (the letters in the name David [D-V-D] are 4 and 6 and 4 = 14). Since the promised Messiah was to be born into the lineage of David, some scholars have speculated that Matthew may have divided the genealogy as he did to subtly emphasize that Jesus Christ was the long-awaited Davidic Messiah. Also, the number 14 is double the number 7, which is the number signifying perfection and completeness. Jesus Christ is the embodiment of divine perfection and completeness.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie (1915–85) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught about messianic expectations at the time Jesus was born: “No single concept was more firmly lodged in the minds of the Jews in Jesus’ day than the universal belief that their Messiah would be the Son of David. … They looked for a temporal deliverer who would throw off the yoke of Roman bondage and make Israel free again. They sought a ruler who would restore that glory and worldwide influence and prestige which was enjoyed when the Son of Jesse sat on Israel’s throne” (The Promised Messiah [1978], 188).

Matthew 1:1–17. The Genealogy of Jesus Christ

Both the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke record genealogies of Jesus Christ (see Matthew 1:1–17; Luke 3:23–38). Elder James E. Talmage (1862–1933) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles discussed these genealogies: “The consensus of judgment on the part of investigators is that Matthew’s account is that of the royal lineage, establishing the order of sequence among the legal successors to the throne of David, while the account given by Luke is a personal pedigree, demonstrating descent from David without adherence to the line of legal succession to the throne through primogeniture or nearness of kin. Luke’s record is regarded by many, however, as the pedigree of Mary, while Matthew’s is accepted as that of Joseph. The all important fact to be remembered is that the Child promised by Gabriel to Mary, the virginal bride of Joseph, would be born in the royal line” (Jesus the Christ, 3rd ed. [1916], 86).

Though both Matthew’s and Luke’s accounts are correct, the most important aspect of Jesus Christ’s genealogy has been made clear on several occasions by God the Father: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him” (Matthew 17:5; see also Matthew 3:17; 3 Nephi 11:7; Joseph Smith—History 1:17).

President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) declared his testimony of the Savior’s divine birth: “I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the eternal, living God. … I believe that He was born of Mary of the lineage of David as the promised Messiah, that He was in very deed begotten of the Father, and that in His birth was the fulfillment of the great prophetic declaration of Isaiah: ‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder’ [Isaiah 9:6]” (“The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,” Ensign, Nov. 1986, 50).

Matthew 1:3, 5–6, 16. Women in the Genealogy of Jesus

Several women are mentioned in Matthew’s pedigree of Jesus Christ. Tamar was from Adullam in Canaanite territory (see Genesis 38); Rahab was a Canaanite of Jericho (see Joshua 2:1–7); Ruth was a Moabitess before converting to Judaism (see Ruth 1:4); and Bathsheba was the wife of Uriah, a Hittite (see 2 Samuel 11:3). Thus, all four were either non-Israelites or associated with non-Israelites. What can we learn from Matthew’s inclusion of these four women in the genealogy of Jesus Christ?

First, it demonstrates that God had worked through Gentiles in the past, thus preparing Matthew’s readers to appreciate the commission to “teach all nations” that would come at the end of his Gospel (Matthew 28:19). Second, the mention of these particular women, each of whom figured in a controversy of some sort in the Old Testament, shows that in Israel’s past, God had worked through people and situations that the Jews would not have expected, thus preparing Matthew’s readers for the account that is immediately to follow—Mary and the virgin birth. Third, it shows all of us today that personal righteousness is not dependent on possessing the “perfect” lineage, since Jesus Christ’s lineage was not perfect. Finally, the inclusion of women in the Savior’s pedigree reflects the important truth that men and women are equal in the eyes of God.

Matthew 1:18. “Mary Was Espoused to Joseph”

Marriage between a young man and a young woman was arranged and agreed to by the heads of the respective families—usually the fathers. Once a prospective wife had been identified by the groom’s father or family head, negotiations were begun. They focused on, but were not limited to, the size of the “bride price,” a kind of dowry in reverse, paid by the groom’s father or family head to the bride’s family. Once the marriage was agreed upon, the wedding consisted of two stages: betrothal (also called espousal; see Matthew 1:18) and a wedding ceremony.

New Testament Era Marriage

Painting by Lyle Beddes

Betrothal was legally and religiously more significant than the subsequent marriage ceremony, after which the couple began living together. Betrothal was regarded as the final part of a solemn covenant. It carried the force of a covenant to be honored between God-fearing parties (see Genesis 2:24; Ezekiel 16:8; Ephesians 5:21–33). Though betrothed couples were legally regarded as husband and wife (see Deuteronomy 22:23–24), between the time of betrothal and the wedding ceremony, a strict code of chastity was enforced (see Matthew 1:18, 25).

Matthew 1:18–25. Joseph Was a Righteous Man

When Mary was found to be with child, Joseph, knowing he was not the father, had several options. First, he could have subjected Mary to a public divorce and perhaps even execution, for people would have presumed that Mary was guilty of adultery—a crime punishable by death under the law of Moses (see Leviticus 20:10; John 8:5). Second, Joseph could have had his betrothal to Mary privately annulled before two witnesses. A third option was to proceed with the marriage. Joseph was inclined to show mercy to Mary by quietly annulling the betrothal agreement (see Matthew 1:19). However, when assured by an angel that Mary’s child was the Son of God, Joseph elected to marry her, though doing so could have brought upon him public shame and ridicule (see Matthew 1:20–25; Luke 3:23; John 8:41).

Gerald N. Lund, who later became a member of the Seventy, discussed Joseph’s visions and spiritual sensitivity: “Matthew tells us that [Joseph] was of the lineage of King David, that he was a just and considerate man, that in a dream an angel told him who Jesus would be, that he was obedient, and that he gave Jesus his name, which means savior. (See Matt. 1.) We know that he took Mary to Bethlehem, where Jesus was born. (See Luke 2:4–6.) Less than two years later, Joseph took his family into Egypt to escape Herod, after being warned in a dream. In Egypt, a dream again told him when to return, and another dream told him to go to Galilee. (See Matt. 2:13–15, 19–22.) Four dreams from God! Joseph must have been an exceptionally visionary and spiritually sensitive man” (Jesus Christ, Key to the Plan of Salvation [1991], 51–52).

Matthew 1:20. “That Which Is Conceived in Her Is of the Holy Ghost”

The Nativity

The Nativity, by Ted Henninger

Alma explained the role of the Holy Ghost in the conception of Jesus Christ: “And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God” (Alma 7:10).

Matthew 1:21. “Thou Shalt Call His Name Jesus: for He Shall Save His People from Their Sins”

The name Jesus comes from Iēsous, a Greek form of the Hebrew name Yeshua (Joshua in English). Yeshua means “Jehovah saves,” and the long form of the name, Yehoshua, means “Jehovah is salvation.” Both forms of the name bear witness of the identity and mission of Jesus Christ, who was Jehovah in the premortal life. Matthew described the Savior’s mission of salvation by declaring, “He shall save his people from their sins” (see also Helaman 5:10).

Matthew 1:23; 28:20. The Savior’s Mortal Ministry Affirms That God Is with His People Always

The first chapter in Matthew announces that Jesus Christ would be called, in Hebrew, Emmanuel, “which being interpreted is, God with us” (Matthew 1:23; italics added). The last verse in Matthew contains the Savior’s promise to His disciples: “I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20; italics added). By placing these parallel declarations at the beginning and the end of his Gospel, Matthew may be identifying a message running throughout the Gospel of Matthew—God will not forget us; He is with us always.

Matthew 1:25. The Year of Christ’s Birth

Concerning the year in which Jesus Christ was born, “the Church has made no official declaration on the matter” (J. Reuben Clark Jr., Our Lord of the Gospels [1954], vi). The calendar currently used throughout most of the world was created many centuries after Jesus Christ lived, and experts disagree about how to use existing historical information to calculate the year of His birth. Elder Bruce R. McConkie wrote: “This is not a settled issue. Perhaps also it does not matter too much as long as we have an accepted framework of time within which to relate the actual events of [Christ’s] life” (The Mortal Messiah: From Bethlehem to Calvary, 4 vols. [1979–81], 1:350).

Luke 3:23 states that the Savior began His ministry when He “began to be about thirty years of age.” Recorded scriptural events help us understand the length of His ministry. Jesus attended at least three annual Feasts of Passover—one described in John 2:13, another in John 6:4, and one at the time of His Crucifixion, described in John 11:55–57. Based on that information, Jesus’s ministry lasted two years, at the very least. Because of multiple recorded events that took place between the Savior’s baptism and the first Passover that He attended, most scholars place the length of His ministry at about three years. The Book of Mormon account of the physical upheavals at the time of the Savior’s Crucifixion attests that the Crucifixion occurred in the beginning of the 34th year after Jesus’s mortal birth (see 3 Nephi 8:5–11:14).

Matthew 2:1–12. The Wise Men

While there has been much speculation about the identity, origin, number, and names of the Wise Men, Matthew did not provide these details. Matthew used the Greek word magoi, which originally referred to religious wise men from Persia or Babylon, but by Matthew’s day the word encompassed a variety of religious practitioners.

Regarding the identity and origin of the Wise Men, Elder Bruce R. McConkie observed: “It would appear they were true prophets, righteous persons like Simeon, Anna, and the shepherds, to whom Deity revealed that the promised Messiah had been born among men. Obviously they were in possession of ancient prophecies telling of the rise of a new star at his birth. That they did receive revelation for their personal guidance is seen from the inspired dream in which they were warned not to return to Herod after they had found and worshiped the Son of Mary” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [1965–73], 1:103).

Matthew’s account of the Wise Men makes clear that they were familiar with prophecies about the Savior. The Wise Men asked King Herod where they could find the Messiah (see Joseph Smith Translation, Matthew 3:2 [in Matthew 2:2, footnote a]). The star they had seen “in the east” was interpreted by them as a sign of the Messiah (see Matthew 2:2; Helaman 14:5). As a result of the Wise Men’s inquiry, Herod called together the chief priests and scribes, who quoted to him from the prophet Micah, whose prophecy declared that the One the Wise Men were seeking would “rule” in Israel (see Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:6). Also, the name Bethlehem (Matthew 2:6), which means “house of bread,” was the place where the “Bread of Life” would be born.

Regardless of who the Wise Men were or where they came from, their visit shows that those who should have been aware of the signs accompanying the birth of Jesus Christ failed to recognize them, while righteous people from other lands, directed by the Holy Ghost, not only noticed the signs but acted upon them.

The exact time of the Wise Men’s visit is unknown; however, Matthew 2:11 suggests that some time had passed since the birth of Jesus Christ, for the Wise Men found Jesus in a “house,” not a manger, and He was a “young child,” not a baby.

Matthew 2:12–13, 19, 22. Dreams as a Form of Revelation

New Testament stories [art]

Matthew 2 records dreams received by the Wise Men and by Joseph that contained revelation from God. President Wilford Woodruff (1807–98) confirmed that dreams are an avenue of revelation:

“The Lord warned Joseph in a dream to take the young child Jesus and his mother into Egypt, and thus he was saved from the wrath of Herod. Hence there are a great many things taught us in dreams that are true, and if a man has the spirit of God he can tell the difference between what is from the Lord and what is not. And I want to say to my brethren and sisters, that whenever you have a dream that you feel is from the Lord, pay attention to it.

“ … The Lord does communicate some things of importance to the children of men by means of visions and dreams as well as by the records of divine truth. And what is it all for? It is to teach us a principle” (The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, ed. G. Homer Durham [1990], 285–86).

Matthew 2:12–16. Slaughter of Innocent Children

Herod’s attempt to kill the baby Jesus (see Matthew 2:12–16) was one of a number of violent actions committed by Herod the Great. Like Jesus, Moses escaped miraculously from an attempt on his life when he was a baby—one of many ways in which Moses’s life has parallels with Jesus’s life (see Exodus 1:17–2:10).

Matthew 2:23. Childhood of Jesus Christ

The Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible provides added details into the childhood and youth of Jesus Christ:

“And it came to pass that Jesus grew up with his brethren, and waxed strong, and waited upon the Lord for the time of his ministry to come.

“And he served under his father, and he spake not as other men, neither could he be taught; for he needed not that any man should teach him.

“And after many years, the hour of his ministry drew nigh” (Joseph Smith Translation, Matthew 3:24–26 [in the Bible appendix]).

The phrase “for he needed not that any man should teach him” (italics added) indicates that Jesus was taught, but not by man. The Savior explained that He was taught by His Father in Heaven (see John 8:28–29).

Matthew 3:2. “The Kingdom of Heaven”

The Savior frequently used the phrase “kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 3:2). To learn more about the kingdom of heaven, see “What are some distinctive features of Matthew?” in chapter 2.

Matthew 3:6. John the Baptist Taught the People to Repent and Prepare for the Savior

As the time for the Savior’s ministry drew near, John the Baptist began preaching to the people about the need for repentance. He was the promised forerunner to the Messiah (see Isaiah 40:3; Malachi 3:1; 2 Nephi 31:4; see also the commentary for Luke 1:14–19, 26). He taught the people that confession of sins was an important part of repenting and preparing to receive Jesus Christ. Elder Neal A. Maxwell (1926–2004) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles similarly taught about the essential role of confession in repentance:

“True repentance also includes confession: ‘Now therefore make confession unto the Lord God of your fathers.’ (Ezra 10:11.) One with a broken heart will not hold back. As confession lets the sickening sin empty out, then the Spirit which withdrew returns to renew. …

“All sins are to be confessed to the Lord, some to a Church official, some to others, and some to all of these. A few may require public confession. Confessing aids forsaking” (“Repentance,” Ensign, Nov. 1991, 31).

Matthew 3:9. “God Is Able of These Stones to Raise Up Children unto Abraham”

For an explanation of God being “able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham,” see the commentary for Luke 3:8. The main discussion of John’s life and ministry will be presented in the commentaries for Luke 3.

Matthew 3:11. The Baptism of Fire

John the Baptist taught that baptism “with the Holy Ghost, and with fire” is necessary following baptism with water (Matthew 3:11; see also Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16). President Marion G. Romney (1897–1988) of the First Presidency described the effect that the “baptism of fire” has upon the soul: “The baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost … effects the great change in the hearts of men referred to by Alma [see Alma 5:14]. It converts them from carnality to spirituality. It cleanses, heals, and purifies the soul. … It is the spiritual rebirth spoken of by Jesus to Nicodemus [see John 3:3–5]. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance, and water baptism are all preliminary and prerequisite to it, but it is the consummation. To receive it is to have one’s garments washed in the atoning blood of Jesus Christ” (Learning for the Eternities, comp. George J. Romney [1977], 133).

Matthew 3:12. “Whose Fan Is in His Hand”

Agriculture

Photograph by Richard L. W. Cleave

The “fan” referred to in Matthew 3:12 is a winnowing fan that was used to toss wheat into the air. This allowed the wheat to be separated from the chaff. Wheat kernels would fall back to the ground while the wind blew the lighter chaff away. The wheat was then gathered into a garner, or storehouse, and the chaff was burned with fire. John the Baptist taught that the Savior, who would come after him, would separate believers from nonbelievers in the same way that wheat was separated from chaff.

Matthew 3:13–17. Jesus Christ’s Baptism Teaches about the Godhead

At the baptism of Jesus Christ, all three members of the Godhead were separately manifest: Jesus was in the water, the voice of Heavenly Father was heard from heaven, and the Holy Ghost descended upon the Savior like a dove (see also Luke 3:22–23). Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles emphasized that the doctrine of the Godhead is repeated throughout the scriptures:

“We declare it is self-evident from the scriptures that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are separate persons, three divine beings, noting such unequivocal illustrations as the Savior’s great Intercessory Prayer … , His baptism at the hands of John, the experience on the Mount of Transfiguration, and the martyrdom of Stephen—to name just four.

“With these New Testament sources and more ringing in our ears, it may be redundant to ask what Jesus meant when He said, ‘The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do’ [John 5:19; see also John 14:10]. On another occasion He said, ‘I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me’ [John 6:38]. Of His antagonists He said, ‘[They have] … seen and hated both me and my Father’ [John 15:24]. And there is, of course, that always deferential subordination to His Father that had Jesus say, ‘Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God’ [Matthew 19:17]. ‘My Father is greater than I’ [John 14:28].

“To whom was Jesus pleading so fervently all those years, including in such anguished cries as ‘O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me’ [Matthew 26:39] and ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me’? [Matthew 27:46]” (“The Only True God and Jesus Christ Whom He Hath Sent,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2007, 41).

Media Play Icon
To help you visualize the importance of the Savior’s baptism, review the video segment “The Baptism of Jesus” (2:55) from The Life of Jesus Christ Bible Videos, available on LDS.org. This segment covers Matthew 3:13–17.

Matthew 3:15. “To Fulfil All Righteousness”

As recorded in 2 Nephi 31:6–12, the Book of Mormon prophet Nephi explained how Jesus Christ “did fulfil all righteousness in being baptized by water” (2 Nephi 31:6).

Matthew 3:16. The Holy Ghost Descended like a Dove

For insights on the Holy Ghost descending like a dove, see the commentary for Luke 3:22.

Matthew 3:17. Voice of the Father

The voice of Heavenly Father was heard at the time of the Savior’s baptism—one of the few times when the voice of the Father is recorded in scripture (see Matthew 3:17; 17:5; 3 Nephi 11:7; Joseph Smith—History 1:17). In each of these instances, He spoke to introduce His Son to a mortal man.

Matthew 4:1, 5, 8. Jesus Went into the Wilderness “to Be with God”

The Joseph Smith Translation makes important corrections to these verses. Jesus Christ did not go “into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil” (Matthew 4:1), nor did the devil have power to transport Jesus Christ in order to tempt Him (see Matthew 4:5, 8).

“Then Jesus was led up of the Spirit, into the wilderness, to be with God. …

“Then Jesus was taken up into the holy city, and the Spirit setteth him on the pinnacle of the temple. …

And again, Jesus was in the Spirit, and it taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them” (Joseph Smith Translation, Matthew 4:1, 5, 8 [compare Matthew 4:1, footnote b; Matthew 4:5, footnote a; Matthew 4:8, footnote a]).

Israel

Photograph by James Jeffery

Elder Bruce R. McConkie added these insights into why Jesus went into the wilderness: “Jesus did not go into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil; righteous men do not seek out temptation. He went ‘to be with God.’ Probably he was visited by the Father; without question he received transcendent spiritual manifestations. The temptations came after he ‘had communed with God,’ ‘after forty days’ [Joseph Smith Translation, Matthew 4:1–2; Luke 4:2]” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 1:128).

Matthew 4:2. The Savior Fasted to Prepare for His Ministry

Fasting was an important part of the Savior’s preparation for His ministry, as taught by President Howard W. Hunter (1907–95): “Soon after his baptism Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wild, uncultivated wilderness. There he remained for forty days and nights, preparing himself for the formal ministry which was then to begin. The greatest task ever to be accomplished in this world lay before him, and he needed divine strength. Throughout these days in the wilderness he chose to fast, that his mortal body might be completely subjected to the divine influence of his Father’s Spirit” (“The Temptations of Christ,” Ensign, Nov. 1976, 17).

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin (1917–2008) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles described some blessings that come from fasting: “Fasting, coupled with mighty prayer, is powerful. It can fill our minds with the revelations of the Spirit. It can strengthen us against times of temptation. Fasting and prayer can help develop within us courage and confidence. They can strengthen our character and build self-restraint and discipline. Often when we fast, our righteous prayers and petitions have greater power. Testimonies grow. We mature spiritually and emotionally and sanctify our souls. Each time we fast, we gain a little more control over our worldly appetites and passions” (“The Law of the Fast,” Ensign, May 2001, 73).

It is of interest to note that when the number “forty” is mentioned in the scriptures, it can be understood literally or figuratively. In some instances, forty days can refer to a long period of time.

Matthew 4:1–3. Satan Tempts When We Are Vulnerable (see also Luke 4:2)

When God has revealed Himself to a mortal, as recorded in the scriptures, Satan has often also revealed himself, seeking to diminish God’s influence (see Moses 1:12–24; Joseph Smith—History 1:15–16). At the beginning of His ministry, the Savior went into the wilderness “to be with God” (Joseph Smith Translation, Matthew 4:1 [in Matthew 4:1, footnote b]). While He was there, Satan came to tempt Him at a time when He was weakened by hunger (see Matthew 4:1–3).

President Howard W. Hunter explained that Satan’s temptations are often strongest when we are vulnerable: “When Jesus had completed the fast of forty days and had communed with God, he was, in this hungry and physically weakened state, left to be tempted of the devil. … Such a time is always the tempter’s moment—when we are emotionally or physically spent, when we are weary, vulnerable, and least prepared to resist the insidious suggestions he makes. This was an hour of danger—the kind of moment in which many men fall and succumb to the subtle allurement of the devil” (“The Temptations of Christ,” 17).

Matthew 4:2–10. The Nature of Jesus Christ’s Temptations (see also Luke 4:2–13)

Bishop Keith B. McMullin of the Presiding Bishopric spoke about the temptations Jesus Christ experienced and about how we face the same type of temptations today:

“The temptations He suffered at the outset of His ministry typify those that beset us. Speaking of these temptations—to turn stones into bread, to cast Himself from the temple’s pinnacle, and to sell His soul for earth’s treasures (see Matt. 4:2–10)—President David O. McKay said, ‘Classify them, and you will find that under one of those three nearly every given temptation that makes you and me spotted … comes to us as (1) a temptation of appetite; (2) a yielding to the pride and fashion and vanity of those alienated from the things of God; or (3) a gratifying of the … desire for the riches of the world, or power among men’ (in Conference Report, Apr. 1911, 59)” (“Welcome Home,” Ensign, May 1999, 80).

Matthew 4:3–10. Jesus Christ Gave No Heed to Satan’s Temptations (see also Luke 4:4–13)

Elder Neal A. Maxwell said of the Savior’s example in resisting temptation: “By emulating the Master, who endured temptations but ‘gave no heed unto them’ [D&C 20:22], we, too, can live in a world filled with temptations ‘such as [are] common to man’ (1 Corinthians 10:13). Of course Jesus noticed the tremendous temptations that came to Him, but He did not process and reprocess them. Instead, he rejected them promptly. If we entertain temptations, soon they begin entertaining us!” (“Overcome … Even as I Also Overcame,” Ensign, May 1987, 71).

President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985) taught that showing interest in sin can make us more vulnerable to being tempted: “It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, for the devil to enter a door that is closed. He seems to have no keys for locked doors. But if a door is slightly ajar, he gets his toe in, and soon this is followed by his foot, then by his leg and his body and his head, and finally he is in all the way” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball [2006], 106–7).

Matthew 4:4–11. Scripture Study and Obedience Help Us Overcome Temptation

The Savior’s response to each of Satan’s temptations included the phrase, “It is written” (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10; see also Luke 4:1–13). Christ’s knowledge of the scriptures was part of what had prepared and strengthened Him to turn aside from temptation. The Savior later taught, “Whoso treasureth up my word, shall not be deceived” (Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:37). While serving as a member of the Seventy, Elder Merrill J. Bateman noted the strength that scripture study provides against temptation: “There are certain blessings obtained when one searches the scriptures. As a person studies the words of the Lord and obeys them, he or she draws closer to the Savior and obtains a greater desire to live a righteous life. The power to resist temptation increases, and spiritual weaknesses are overcome” (“Coming unto Christ by Searching the Scriptures,” Ensign, Nov. 1992, 28).

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin explained that following the Savior’s example of obedience helps us overcome temptation: “Willing obedience provides lasting protection against Satan’s alluring and tantalizing temptations. Jesus is our perfect example of obedience. Learn to do as He did when Satan tempted Him in the wilderness. Even though He was weakened by fasting, His answer was quick and firm: ‘Get thee behind me, Satan’ [Luke 4:8]. … When Satan comes calling, cast him out as quickly as possible” (“Live in Obedience,” Ensign, May 1994, 40).

Matthew 4:13–16. “The Land of Zabulon, and the Land of Nephthalim”

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In Matthew 4:13–16, Matthew was referring to Isaiah 9:1–2. Jesus Christ spent the majority of His life and ministry in the villages of Galilee—places like Capernaum, Nain, Nazareth, and Bethsaida. During Old Testament times this area was the inheritance of the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali. Over the centuries, numerous battles were waged to secure control over this strategic region. Some have suggested that because so many people lost their lives in battle here, Isaiah referred to the people of this region as “them which sat in the region and shadow of death” (Matthew 4:16). Isaiah prophesied that in this death-stricken land a “great light” would spring up (Isaiah 9:2). That light is Jesus Christ, the Light of the World. Matthew wanted his readers to know that the Savior’s ministry in the land of Galilee was a fulfillment of this messianic prophecy.

Matthew 4:18–22. The Calling of Early Disciples

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin helps us see a modern application of the experience the early disciples had in leaving their nets and following the Savior:

“They were fishermen before they heard the call. Casting their nets into the Sea of Galilee, Peter and Andrew stopped as Jesus of Nazareth approached, looked into their eyes, and spoke the simple words, ‘Follow me.’ Matthew writes that the two fishermen ‘straightway left their nets, and followed him.’ … ‘If the Savior were to call you today, would you be just as willing to leave your nets and follow Him?’ I am confident that many would. …

“… We might define a net as anything that entices or prevents us from following the call of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God. Nets in this context can be our work, our hobbies, our pleasures, and, above all else, our temptations and sins. In short, a net can be anything that pulls us away from our relationship with our Heavenly Father or from His restored Church.

“Let me give you a modern example. A computer can be a useful and indispensable tool. But if we allow it to devour our time with vain, unproductive, and sometimes destructive pursuits, it becomes an entangling net.

“Many of us enjoy watching athletic contests, but if we can recite the statistics of our favorite players and at the same time forget birthdays or anniversaries, neglect our families, or ignore the opportunity to render acts of Christlike service, then athletics may also be an entangling net. …

“It is impossible to list the many nets that can ensnare us and keep us from following the Savior. But if we are sincere in our desire to follow Him, we must straightway leave the world’s entangling nets and follow Him” (“Follow Me,” Ensign, May 2002, 15).

For additional insights on the calling of the early disciples, see the commentaries for Luke 5:1–9 and for Luke 5:10–11.

Matthew 4:23. Teaching That Leads to Healing (see also Mark 1:39; Luke 4:43)

Matthew 4:23 states that Jesus went about “preaching” and “healing.” In later chapters, Matthew recorded Jesus’s preaching in the Sermon on the Mount (see Matthew 5–7) and His healing of numerous individuals (see Matthew 8–9). Elder Jeffrey R. Holland linked preaching and healing together when he taught that gospel teaching has the potential to heal the soul:

“This is what Matthew says: ‘And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people’ (Matthew 4:23; emphasis added).

“Now, the teaching and the preaching we know and would expect. But we may not be quite as prepared to see healing in the same way. Yet from this earliest beginning, from the first hour, healing is mentioned almost as if it were a synonym for teaching and preaching. At least there is a clear relationship among the three. In fact, the passage that follows says more about the healing than the teaching or the preaching. …

“Now, let me make myself absolutely clear. By ‘healing,’ as I have been speaking of it, I am not talking about formal use of the priesthood or administration to the sick or any such thing as that. That is not the role of those called as teachers in our Church organizations.

“But I believe our teaching can lead to healing of the spiritual kind. … As with the Master, wouldn’t it be wonderful to measure the success of our teaching by the healing that takes place in the lives of others?

“… Could we try a little harder to teach so powerfully and so spiritually that we really help that individual who walks alone, who lives alone, who weeps in the dark of the night?” (“Teaching, Preaching, Healing,” Ensign, Jan. 2003, 33–34, 37).

The Joseph Smith Translation makes clear that the Savior healed all manner of sickness and disease “among the people which believed on his name” (Joseph Smith Translation, Matthew 4:22 [in Matthew 4:23, footnote f]).

Sours: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/new-testament-student-manual/introduction-to-matthew/chapter-2?lang=eng


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