Teaching Tips for Come Follow Me | Jan 23-29 | Matthew 3; Mark 1; Luke 3 – powered by Happy Scribe
And I’m Tyler.
And I’m Clint. This is Come follow me. Teaching tips for parents and teachers by Scripture central.
So this week on Teaching Tips, we’re going to cover Matthew, chapter three, mark one, and Luke three. And the common thread through all three of these chapters is the baptism of Christ that we kind of introduced last, last week with John, chapter one. But Matthew, Mark and Luke, they give us a little more detail around the actual baptism event.
So again, as a quick review, we’re hoping to share teaching ideas to help teachers in the home, in the classroom, with seminary students, with young men, young women, students, with adults, with children. And we trust that as these ideas are shared, you’ll sense and feel which ideas are best for your home or for your classrooms.
So to begin this particular lesson, it might be fun, if you can keep this tasteful, to ask your students what is the weirdest food they’ve ever eaten before or the most gross thing they’ve ever eaten before. Let them just share for a minute. But those kinds of things can get out of hand very quickly. So you’d want to control that and then have them read Matthew, chapter three, verse four, and introduce them to John the Baptist, who was born to very aged parents. He was likely an orphan, probably fairly young in life and didn’t have amazing riches that he grew up in. So he’s wearing camel’s hair with a leather girdle and his meat was locusts and wild honey. And you can work through this concept with students, not in a let me gross you out sort of a way, but in a let me help you understand proper expectations sort of a way. Sometimes we get this idea that if you’re on the Lord’s errand, that you’re going to prosper and you’re going to be well favored. And I think if John the Baptist were invited to come to your class, I don’t think he’d say, just keep the commandments and you’re going to have a lot of money and a lot of riches and a lot of really fine, nice foods.
I don’t think we came down to this earth to experience ease and comfort. Now, gratefully in our modern culture, many of us get to enjoy those things, but it’s that idea of helping students realize that just because I keep the commandments doesn’t always translate into worldly blessings or physical benefits.
Yeah. Thank you. Keep going. Follow a few verses. After you, Tyler. In Matthew, chapter three, verse eleven, in Teaching in the Savior’s Way, we’re invited to consider using stories to help deepen the understanding of the doctrine and principles for our students. And I really believe as we teach and learn by the spirit we’ll have, those experiences come to mind that will be helpful to share and those stories that will be helpful to share with our students. One of those came to mind as I was studying. Matthew, chapter three, verse eleven. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. But he that cometh after me is mightier than I whose shoes I am not worthy to bear. He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire. Obviously, there’s a distinction between John’s baptism by water and the Savior’s future baptism with the Holy Ghost and fire. I remember when I was eight years old and I was baptized and I didn’t quite understand the doctrine of baptism. I knew it was right. I felt it was right. I remember showing up and walking down into the font and having my father baptize me. And I felt what everyone would hope they would feel.
As I was getting out of the font, stepping up those stairs, I had the thought in my mind all of your mistakes and all of your sins are now washed away in the water. And I had this picture and this misunderstanding as an eight year old child that the water would now be dirty and all of my family, my grandparents, my uncles and aunts were there. And I all of a sudden got afraid, Tyler, that there would be this water that would be so dirty and everyone would know my mistakes. I don’t know that I understood what John the Baptist was trying to teach us that there are two baptisms a water and one by the Holy Ghost. I love this great statement. And come follow me for Sunday school. There’s a really great statement on page ten. The baptism of fire happens when we are confirmed and we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. That’s the second baptism. I didn’t understand that in my mind. I misunderstood that my mistakes are going to go into the water. But instead, it’s very clear that that second baptism of the Holy Ghost with fire is when our sins are actually cleansed.
So go with me. We’ll get a Doctrine Covenant, section 20. As we consider this Covenant of Baptism, we recognize this wonderful verse that we hear often in our sacrament meetings. Doctrine Covenant, section 20. I’m going to verse 77. This might be an invitation that you could use when your students are studying or your youth are studying the Baptismal Covenant. Have them look in verse 77 for CTR, which is choose the right. But it’s also a really good way to remind especially younger children and youth CTR actually really summarizes our part of the Baptismal Covenant. If you notice in the Sacrament Prayer, you’ll notice the C is that we keep his commandments. The T is that we take his name upon us and the R is that we always remember Him. And the promise, obviously, is that we may always have his spirit. So as your youth study that verse, don’t give it to them. Write CTR on the board and then let them discover it. See if they can find his commandments. C take his name. T always remember him r and then that promise to always have his spirit to be with them. I think that’s a great way to summarize that baptismal covenant and let them discover that in the verse that they know so well.
That’s beautiful. And for primary children who have recently been baptized to maybe even have a CTR ring, you could invite them as they partake of the sacrament and participate in that incredible ordinance every Sunday to ponder that new meaning, to add on to what they already love and know from choose the right powerful. The thing that I love about this particular verse, Clint, in verse eleven is that it comes in the context of John having that discussion with the Pharisees who are standing on the bank looking at him. And they’re not just looking at him, they’re looking down their nose at him. They’re mocking him, and they’re mocking the people who going into this dirty river and taking this bath. In their mind, it’s totally unnecessary. And they’re saying, we don’t need to do that because we’re children of Abraham. Verse nine makes it very clear that they think because of their genealogy pedigree chart, that they’re going to be saved because of who their ancestors were. It’d be an interesting moment to let some older students if you’re teaching older youth to ponder what is the contrast between the Pharisees taking something from their ancestors because, hey, I’m a descendant of Abraham and Sarah.
I’m good. Versus what the Lord has invited your students to do regarding their temple and family history efforts, stop and ponder that. That instead of saying, well, yeah, I’m a descendant of pioneers, or I’ve got kings or royalty in my line to say not what can I get from my ancestors, but what could I, in a Christ like way, give to my ancestors? It’s beautiful. And it leads to those youth finding names so that they can go to the temple to be baptized, to enter into that covenant for and on behalf of those loved ones who have passed on before such an amazing invitation for us to become saviors on Mount Zion, to become more like Christ. So there are all kinds of activities you could do with your especially your older students or older children with their phone with the family tree app and try to find a name and give them an invitation to go to the temple and perform that baptism ordinance for those loved ones.
What a great opportunity, too, now that we can upload those experiences, for us to go onto the app, upload our experience, talk about our baptism, what we felt, what we remember, who was there, what were some of the impressions we had, and that will be there for Mary, Mary generations and people to learn from our baptisms. I’m sure there are things that each of us remember and that are very sacred to us that may be appropriate to share with others regarding our baptism. And I also know when we ask our children or youth, what do you remember about your baptism? And sometimes those go quickly to the fun experiences. Maybe we misunderstood water and mistakes, but there are also some really sensitive questions that we can ask that will help people talk and share what they felt, what they remember, what they learned. This is a wonderful experience to learn about the Savior’s baptism. It’s also an opportunity for us to share what we remember from ours.
I love making a record of that, which now brings us to this next kind of question to grapple with of we’ve talked about our mistakes and the cleansing nature of baptism and fire ultimately, but then that brings up the question of so why did Jesus need to get baptized? And John had that very same question. And you can wrestle with this in verse 13 through 15, that discussion between Jesus and John. And cross reference, you could have them write in the margin would be two, Nephi, chapter 31, verse five through twelve, because Nephi addresses this exact experience that’s going to happen 600 years down the road from Nephi’s time. But he sees it. He sees envision the baptism of Christ at the hands of John the Baptist, and he helps us wrestle with this question of, so why does Jesus need to get baptized? And I think it’s an important point to understand from those verses that Jesus isn’t just doing this because it’s a socially acceptable thing to do. He’s doing it because Heavenly Father commanded it. And Jesus keeps commandments. That’s what he does. And it’s it’s a beautiful connection to help your students get beyond a checklist mentality of keeping commandments and shift more to I want to be more like Christ.
And by doing the things that he’s asked me to do and the commandments that have been given to us by Heavenly Father, I’m growing to become more like a Savior. And it can shift our motivation away from maybe getting praise or feel good about, yep, I I did that today, versus no, I love the Lord and I want to give my life to Him.
And what a powerful statement in verse 17, in whom I’m well pleased. I really believe as well, Tyler, that as we make and keep those covenants of baptism, just like the Father is well pleased with the Son, I believe he’s well pleased with us as well when we try and fulfill our righteousness by keeping those very covenants.
I love that. One other cross reference you could take your students to or your children to would be Mosaic, chapter 18, verse eight, nine and ten, and have them it’s kind of back to the CTR idea. It’s have them wrestle with, okay, what did you promise that you’re baptism? Or if you’re talking to younger children who haven’t been baptized yet, what are you witnessing? And you’d have to make it age appropriate. But Mosaic chapter 18, verse eight, nine and ten are really, really powerful concepts surrounding the baptismal covenant.
Thank you Tyler. Okay, as we move forward, I want to give you a handful of verses. In fact, Tyler, while you’re there, maybe you can write these down. We’re going to start in Mark chapter one, verse 35. Mark one, verse 35. Christ has just healed Simon’s wife’s, mother. And verse 35, I want to give you a handful of verses. There’s a power, this is probably more relevant and applicable to us as teachers and parents. I do think it’s applicable and relevant to students as well. But I have found as a teacher that when I can do what the Savior does in these verses, I am more prepared to teach and to learn by the power of the Holy Ghost. So verse 35 of Mark chapter one. This is where we’ll start the scripture chain. And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, christ went out and departed into a solitary place and there prayed. As we go through these five or six verses, we’re going to see different moments in the life of the Savior where he removed Himself from the disciples, from the people that needed Him most to be with the Father.
Clearly his communication and connection with the Father was so important to the Savior of the world as it must be to us as well. So that’s Mark, chapter one, verse 35. And if you notice, that was early in the morning. Now let’s go to Matthew chapter four, verse one, and we’ll cover these detailed verses in context more later. So Matthew chapter four, verse one. Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness with the Joseph Smith translation to be with God. So we learned a minute ago, early in the morning, he’s finding time to be with the Father. We learn here at the beginning of his ministry, he’s finding time to be alone with the Father. Let’s go to the next one. Luke, chapter six, verse twelve. Luke, chapter six, verse twelve. The Savior is just about ready to make one of the most important decisions he’ll make. He’s going to call his disciples, right? So we’ve learned in the morning, he needs to find time to be with the Lord. As he’s beginning his ministry, he tries to find time to be with the Father. Verse twelve of Luke six. It came to pass that in those days he went out into a mountain to pray and continued all night in prayer to God.
And then the next thing we know, he’s calling his disciples. Here’s the next one, Tyler. Matthew, chapter four.
Matthew chapter 14, verses 22 to 23. Matthew, chapter 14, verses 22 to 23. He’s just fed the 5000, verse 22. Straight way Jesus can constrain his disciples to get into a ship and to go before Him unto the other side while he sent the multitude away. And when he had sent the multitudes away. He went up into the mountain apart to pray. And when the evening was come, he was there alone. Morning, evening, important decisions, the beginning of his ministry, and let’s end Tyler, if we can. Mark 1432 to 36. And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane. And he said to his disciples, sit ye here while I shall pray. And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed and to be very heavy, and said unto them, my soul is exceedingly sorrowful unto death. Terry, ye here and watch. And he went forward a little and fell upon the ground and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. Brothers and sisters, my testimony is simple that I am so thankful for the Savior and his connection to the Father, and that he made time to be alone with the Father.
And as teachers and parents who are trying to help individuals come closer to the Savior, that might be one of the greatest things we can do is to take time to be with the Father.
So as we wind down this particular lesson, Clinton, what would you say to teachers who have students who are probably going to be sitting there thinking, okay, this is all fine and good, but what do I actually do about it?
Yeah. Luke Three sets us up for an experience, I think, that would really bless the students. President Packer, in teaching, Diligently said that we should begin with the experience of the learner. So I’ll use, for example, let’s say that I’m a young men’s leader and I’ve got seven or eight or nine priests. And in the context of these verses, we’re going to learn about repentance. So we almost want to get an itch going right, that they’re interested in. We may choose to ask them a simple question like, okay, priests, my friends, what do you know about repentance? What do you wonder about repentance? Do you enjoy repentance? And just come up with these questions to where you, as a teacher get to do one thing listen and discern and just listen to them. We’re not going to teach them about repentance. We’re just going to let them talk about their experience with repentance. Is it hard? What’s the hardest part? Give them two or three minutes to begin to talk about their experience with repentance, and then we transition, and we can give them simple context as we study. And I’m going to give you a few minutes, young men, to study Luke Three, verses eight through 14.
You will see things in these verses that are fruit of repentance. They’re actions that show that I’m in the process of being forgiven or that I’m on the covenant path as I’m repenting. Let them study these verses, and they will see what repentance looks like. Now, they’re going to have to change it a little to our 2022 or 2023 verbiage. But there are beautiful insights about what repentance looks like in these verses.
I love that. So, as we conclude this episode this week, we want to finish with the actual statement. We’re going to go back now to Matthew, chapter three, to that interchange between Jesus and John as our ending point today. It happens to be the second recorded statement in mortality from Jesus Christ. The first recorded statement in Scripture that we have comes from his experience at the temple at age twelve. When you’ll remember, the only place that that’s mentioned is back in Luke chapter two, when he says to his mother and stepfather, mary and Joseph, they finally found him in the temple. They’ve asked him why he’s dealt with them the way he has. And his first recorded statement was, how is it that you saw me wished you know, that I must be about my father’s business. He’s signaling something at age twelve that he knew his identity, he knew who his father really was, and he knew what his father’s business really was, and he was about it. And then there’s silence for 18 years we don’t get anything from Jesus until this experience in Matthew three. And so his second recorded statement is, suffer it to be so now, for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness.
I love that. His first two recorded statements are all focused on, I need to do what Heavenly Father has asked me. I need to be about his business. I need to keep his commandments. And our hope and prayer is that we as teachers, as parents, as leaders, can echo the same sentiments. It becometh us to fulfill all righteousness, and we must be about our Father’s business. May Lord bless you in your efforts to teach with power and to allow the Holy Ghost to have opportunities to sink deep into the hearts and into the lives of your children and your students is our prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. Amen. Thank you.