Teaching Tips for Come Follow Me | Jan 30-Feb 5 | Matthew 4; Luke 4–5 – powered by Happy Scribe
So today we’ll be discussing Matthew four and Luke four and five.
What a great few chapters we get to study about the life of a Savior. Just as a reminder before we jump into these verses, the ideas that we’re going to share today are designed to help the parents and the teachers teach in a way that the student and the learner and the child can learn by the power of the Holy a Ghost. We would encourage you to continue to learn by the Spirit, prepare by the Spirit, and teach by the Spirit. So additionally to the ideas that we’re giving you, hopefully you’re spending plenty of time on your knees and deeply studying these verses so that the Spirit can teach us what might be most helpful for our students and for our youth. So let’s jump into Matthew chapter four. Here are some ideas that may be helpful for you. It might be a good idea to grab a magnet or two magnets and you can picture whether it’s a paper clip or some metal object. You might have temptation written on the board. And to ask those that you’re with, how is temptation like these two magnets? And then just let them talk. And then as they talk about the similarities between the magnets and temptation, you might then ask the question, what are some similar or common temptations that you see today in the world?
And let them talk about temptation. They see the similarities between the magnets and then clearly what you’re doing is we’ve talked about in the past, we’re setting up or likening Matthew four to temptations. As you know, in Matthew chapter four, the Saviors just been baptized to fulfill all righteousness. He’s now fasting for 40 days and 40 nights to prepare for his ministry. And then at that point, Satan comes and tempts him. I like to sometimes use this analogy in the context maybe of Matthew four, and you can use this really in any teaching setting. We have a tree here and we’ve got branches. And if I were to just label this tree temptation, what we’re doing is we’re studying Matthew chapter four, verses one through eleven, hoping to identify principles and doctrines and truths in the context of temptation. The beautiful thing is youth and children and adults, they’re going to identify different branches. Some will see this truth and some will see this insight that’s the beautiful thing about setting up scripture study is the power of the Holy Ghost can go into the mind and into the heart of the individual and help them see principles and truths.
In this case about temptation in the context of the Savior’s life.
I find it significant that Jesus has made this righteous act. He’s been baptized and immediately he has this challenge. So we should see the example from the Savior that simply because we are keeping the commandments or trying to be on the covenant path doesn’t mean we are free from temptations. And it’s interesting that the word temptation in the original also can mean trial or test. And so we look at the plan of salvation is a series of tests or challenges where we’re given opportunities to choose faithfulness and to learn from our experience. And I love the atonement of Jesus Christ. Now, we want to be like Jesus, avoiding and overcoming temptation, but sometimes we fail. And yet the atonement of Jesus Christ allows us to learn even from failure if we choose repentance and move closer into what God would expect from us.
Yeah, I love that. Taylor thank you. So you’ve used a magnet or youth or children have talked about common temptations. They have. You’ve now set up the experience where you can now have Matthew chapter four, verses one through eleven, and have them study. You might ask a question like, what do you learn about the Savior and his ability to overcome temptation? Or look for satan’s tactics. His approach, how is Satan tempting the Savior in these verses? And then let the youth, let the adults, let the young men, let the young women study. Some will notice this branch, others will notice this branch. And I really believe that as they study the verses, the Savior will help them identify the truth they need in the context of the Savior’s life. And being tempted as you look at the Sunday school curriculum, I really like how they’ve got that addition that connects maybe three categories of temptation in the context of the Savior. In Matthew chapter four, the three temptations are pride, appetite, and then worldly power or riches. That’s another idea. You could put those three on the board and then have your learners, have your students study these temptations and see if they can match which one might be a temptation to the appetite, which one might be a temptation to the pride, and which one might be a temptation to the worldly riches or the worldly power.
And let the youth figure that out on their own. So here are some principles that might be found as individuals study these verses in the context of temptations. Even Christ was left to be tempted. Temptation may come after we have chosen the right. Temptation may include us thinking less of ourselves and our identity. Satan often tempts us with something that is not his to give. Knowing and studying the Scriptures will strengthen us during our temptations. And in connection with Doctrine and Covenant, section 20, verse 22, we can follow Jesus Christ and give no heed to temptation. Now, those are a handful of branches in this great tree of temptation truth. In Matthew chapter four. The beautiful thing is there are more youth and children, and adults will find more principles. So here are some questions to consider that might be helpful for a teacher or for a parent to ask to almost spark that revelation, spark the learning in the heart and the mind of the teacher. What similarities do you see between this magnet and how Satan tempts us? What is your favorite verse or hymn that helps you to follow Jesus Christ when you are being tempted?
A journal entry might be a powerful one. With this question in mind, as we’ve studied and discussed the Savior’s example today, and as you consider your temptations, what do you feel inspired to start or stop doing? As a reminder, everything we do, we hope, is rooted in the Scriptures, focused on the Savior and very relevant to the learner himself or herself. So these might be some ideas in the context of Matthew four that might help that experience be Christ centered, learner focus, and Scripture based.
As we think about our role as teachers and parents, we remember that the plan of salvation was set up to empower agency. So one of the things that we want to do as teachers is get people acting and thinking for themselves. It is important as teachers to know things to guide the discussion. But you see her as Clint has been laying out, we’re giving ideas for how to help learners get in. You’re helping your learners exercise their agency, which will bring them joy and progress. We fought a war in heaven for agency, so I love the way you’re laying this out. It really puts the power into the hands of the learner because the teacher is showing love for the learner.
Yeah. Thank you, Taylor. Okay, let’s jump now into Luke chapter five. Some wonderful verses where we get to learn about being called of the Lord and seeing how he works with his people as he calls them to his work. We’ve talked about, likening, the Scriptures unto us. We’ve used the analogy where, for example, we use an object lesson like a magnet to bring in the attention of the students. Here’s another general idea that you can consider, likening either the context, the background, the storyline, or, likening, the content, maybe the doctrine or the principal. Here’s an idea today where you can grab the storyline of the experience in Luke chapter five and maybe connect it to the learner. It could look like this where a teacher asks, let’s say I’m a young women’s teacher. I’ve got a group of 1415 year old young women. And I say to them, okay, friends, how good are you at being told what to do? Have you ever had that experience where you’re frustrated and things aren’t working out and it’s not going well, and then someone comes and says, hey, let me tell you how you should do that.
How good are you at being told what to do by somebody else and then just listen? Are you good at it? Is it hard when’s it hard, can you think of an experience in the last week or two of your life where someone has come in and told you what you should do? Let that go and let that conversation happen that is a relevant experience for a lot of mortality, is having someone come in and tell us what we should do after the youth or the students have that discussion of when they have experienced that in their life where they’re corrected or they’re told what to do. We could then have them study Luke chapter five, verses one through eleven, and learn from the example of Peter with maybe a couple of questions like this what do you admire about Peter in these verses? Or you could ask them a question like study these verses and find three things that Peter does. And then find three things that the Savior does. Peter is going to be called of the Lord. He is going to be extended the invitation to come follow the Savior. What can we learn about Peter and the Savior when we have those moments in our lives where the Savior invites us to take a step towards Him?
So now let’s assume that our students have studied these verses. They found some things that the Savior did in calling Peter. They found some things that Peter did that they admired in receiving that call and being humble enough to listen to a carpenter teach a fisherman how to fish using this tree analogy. Now, obviously, we’re not going to study in these verses about temptation, but we are going to study in these verses and learn about maybe receiving callings from the Lord. President Benson said, and you’ll see this in your teaching curriculum, those who turn their lives over to God will discover that he can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. When a new calling comes from the Lord, our fear can be replaced with faith in Christ from whom the call really comes. Those are some of the principles that we may see in these verses. And I’m sure as you’ve studied these verses, you’ve probably seen other principles, other truths, other doctrines from these verses. Those are just some of the branches. And in my experience in teaching and learning, the beautiful thing is to set that up and let the learners be free to learn and see and feel whatever is open to them as they study those verses.
Here might be some questions to consider as you’re studying Luke chapter five, verses one through eleven. What do you learn about the Savior’s character from how he treated Simon Peter? What do you love about Peter from verse five? Why do you think Simon Peter responded how he did in verse eight? How much is the all in verse eleven? Do you think it would have been easier for Simon Peter to follow Christ with the number of fish in his boat in verse five or in verse seven? Now, you’ll notice those last handful of questions. I included a verse. Part of the reason why I did is to invite the individual to actually go to the text and to study the text, and as they study the scriptures and the verses, they’re very likely to receive revelation. For example, the question that I asked, why do you think Simon Peter responded like he did in verse eight? Let me read verse eight. When Simon Peter saw it, he just saw the miracle of the fish. He fell down at Jesus’knees saying, depart from me, for I am a sinful man, o Lord. Can you imagine that question?
You guys? Why do you think Peter responded like he did in that verse? That will be a wonderful discussion as we discuss and sense and feel the humility, the obedience, the change in heart that we’re seeing in Peter in that very verse. Any insights you have, Taylor, regarding questions that we can ask to prompt revelation?
Sometimes as teachers, we get excited about the questions we’re asking to the point that we don’t give time for learners to do the work, to reflect and to provide a response. So when you’re asking a question, you might, in your mind count to ten. I will tell you it will feel awkward, it’ll feel like it’s a long time. But I promise that in the 10 seconds it takes to count to ten after you’ve asked a question, it gives time for the learners to reflect, to feel the spirit, and to have something meaningful to share. So again, when you ask questions, make sure you pause long enough for the learners to have a meaningful opportunity to participate.
Yeah, it almost makes me think, Taylor, of those it’s sacrament meeting, it’s fast and testimony meeting. And some people, when there’s five or 10 seconds of silence, they get really anxious. And sometimes I’ve even heard Bishop Rick say, oh, I get really nervous because no one’s standing up. I tend to think that’s sometimes the most powerful moment or moments in a meeting, because it allows all of us in the congregation to think, heavenly Father, should I stand up? Do I need to share my testimony today? And often we feel that more when it’s quiet than we do when there’s four or five people waiting on the stand to share their testimony. That’s a great insight. One last idea that involves a cell phone or an iPad or electronics. I think that one of the best things we can do is to teach youth and even adults how to use electronics for good. This is one of those examples. So if you go with me to Luke, chapter five, verse ten, verses ten and eleven are where the Savior calls Peter and he foresaw all or they forsake all and followed Him. If you highlight those two verses and then click the link button, then click on General Conference, April 2022.
And the very first talk is President Nelson preaching the gospel of peace. If you scroll down four or five paragraphs, you’re going to see him say, today I reaffirm strongly. I would connect and highlight all three of those paragraphs. Once you do that, you just click on Add and then you save the link. Now, if that’s done right once, now I’m in Luke five, verse ten. I click on that link and I’m going to have that talk linked and then we can hear or study President Nelson when he said this, think about Peter, think about his call, think about his obedience. And then now picture President Nelson, the prophet of God, speaking to the youth, the young men and the young women. And I’ll even read a little bit about senior couples when he said this today, I reaffirm strongly that the Lord has asked every worthy, able young man to prepare for and serve a mission. For latterday, st young men, missionary service is a priesthood responsibility. You young men have been reserved for this time when the promised gathering of Israel is taking place. As you serve missions, you play a pivotal role in this unprecedented event.
Can you see the similarity? Where the prophet of God is calling the young men who are worthy and able to serve a full time mission? Then he transitions and listens to what he says to the young women. For you young and able sisters, a mission is also a powerful but optional opportunity. We love sister missionaries and welcome them wholeheartedly. What you contribute to this work is magnificent. Pray to know if the Lord would have you serve a mission and the Holy Ghost will respond to your heart and mind. Isn’t that great? Then he adds, there’s another group. And this is why it might be good to do something like this in your Sunday school class. We also welcome senior couples to serve when their circumstances permit. Their efforts are simply irreplaceable. My testimony is just. As Jesus Christ called Peter, he’s called us, he’s called young men, he’s called young women. He’s called all of us who have the opportunity to declare peace. To do so.
We love all of your efforts to inspire and uplift those who are in your responsibility of teaching. Whether you’re parents, teachers of young men in the primary, wherever you might be, you stand in the role where Jesus stands as teacher to point people to him.
May the Lord bless all of us as teachers, as parents, to take these ideas that we’re sharing. Use the church curriculum that is so helpful. Study the Scriptures on our own, allow the Spirit to teach us as teachers, and may Heaven help us to be able to teach with power in ways that were all more deeply converted to the Savior is our prayer. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.