NEW TESTAMENT - LESSON 6
Luke 4:14-32; 5; 6:12-16; Matthew 10
- Jesus announces that he is the Messiah.
- Jesus calls his Twelve Apostles.
- Jesus ordains and instructs the Twelve Apostles.
A study of this lesson should help us understand that Apostles are called
to be special witnesses of Jesus Christ and that we are blessed when we
sustain and follow them.
Jesus Announces That He Is The Messiah
- READ LUKE 4:16-21. Jesus returns to Nazareth and
teaches the people.
READ LUKE 4:28-30. The people rise up in wrath
against Jesus (see also verses 22-27).
- In verses 18 and 19, the Lord quoted from a prophecy of Isaiah, with
- Isaiah 61:1-2: "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because
the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath
sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable
year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that
- WHEN JESUS FINISHED READING THE PASSAGE FROM ISAIAH, WHAT TESTIMONY
DID HE BEAR?
- "This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears"
- He declared that he was the Messiah of whom Isaiah prophesied and for
whom the Jews had been waiting for centuries.
- HOW DID THE PEOPLE IN THE SYNAGOGUE RESPOND TO JESUS' DECLARATION?
- WHY DID THE PEOPLE IN THE SYNAGOGUE HAVE DIFFICULTY ACCEPTING JESUS
AS THE MESSIAH?
- These people watched Jesus grow up in their village. They probably
thought, "How could this man that they had known from boyhood possibly
be the Messiah prophesied by the ancient prophets?"
- WHAT LESSONS CAN WE LEARN FROM THIS INCIDENT?
- We need o be careful that we are not rejecting the Savior in our daily
- We need to be careful not to reject truth when it is presented to us.
Do we heed the words of the modern prophets or do we reject them by inaction?
- HOW CAN WE STRENGTHEN OUR CONVICTION THAT JESUS IS THE CHRIST?
Jesus Calls His Twelve Apostles
- Luke 5:1-2: "And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed
upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, And
saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of
them, and were washing their nets."
WHY WAS THE CALLING OF THE TWELVE SUCH AN IMPORTANT EVENT IN THE LORD'S
- Jesus entered into one of these ships, which belonged to Simon, and
had Simon move the boat out from the land. The Lord used Simon's boat as
a platform to teach the people.
- READ LUKE 5:4-11. A great catch of fish.
- WHAT DID JESUS TELL THESE FISHERMEN ABOUT HOW THEIR LIVES WOULD CHANGE
IF THEY WOULD FOLLOW HIM?
- "...from henceforth thou shalt catch men" (v10).
- "Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of
men" (Mark 1:17).
- Luke 5:27-28: "And after these things he went forth, and saw
a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto
him, Follow me. And he left all, rose up, and followed him."
- WHAT IS A PUBLICAN AND WHO IS LEVI?
- Publican = tax collector.
- Levi = Matthew.
- These men, and others, were willing to walk away and do the will of
the Lord when he came and said, "Follow me".
- HOW DO WE RESPOND WHEN THE LORD, THROUGH HIS SERVANTS, ASKS US TO DO
READ MATTHEW 9:36-38. The time was ripe for the
calling of additional ministers.
READ LUKE 6:12-13. The Lord prepares Himself for
the calling of the Twelve.
- James E. Talmage: "The Holy Apostleship is an office and calling
belonging to the Higher or Melchizedek Priesthood, at once exalted and
specific, comprising as a distinguishing function that of personal and
special witness to the divinity of Jesus Christ as the one and only Redeemer
and Savior of mankind." (Jesus the Christ, p227)
- It was the beginning of the organization of His church.
- The Apostles became the foundation of the Church (see Ephesians 2:19-20).
- HOW DID THE LORD PREPARE HIMSELF TO MAKE THESE PRIESTHOOD CALLINGS
TO TWELVE OF HIS DISCIPLES?
- The Lord humbled Himself before the Father in preparation for making
these important callings.
- He counseled with the Father.
- As we seek to become like the Master, he has provided us with the pattern.
- The Lord and Master of the universe, counsels with the Father on who
he should select as his apostles.
- SHOULD WE DO ANY LESS AS WE FACE IMPORTANT CHALLENGES AND DECISION
- HOW WAS THE QUORUM OF THE TWELVE REINSTITUTED IN THIS DISPENSATION?
- The duty for naming the first quorum was imposed by revelation upon
the Three Witness (see Section 18 given June 1829).
- February 14, 1835 (Saturday): At a special meeting held in Kirtland
twelve Apostles were chosen by the Three Witnesses.
- The majority of the Twelve were chosen from those who participated
in Zion's Camp.
- HOW ARE APOSTLES CALLED TODAY?
- "For an hour or more the Church Presidency and Council of Twelve
Apostles, meeting in the Salt Lake Temple in April, 1910, had discussed
various men as possibilities to fill the vacancy in the council occasioned
by the death of President John R. Winder on March 27, and the subsequent
advancement of Apostle John Henry Smith to the presidency. But to every
name suggested there was some exception taken. It seemed impossible to
reach any unanimity of feeling in the matter. Finally President Joseph
F. Smith retired to a room my himself and knelt in prayer for guidance.
When he returned he somewhat hesitantly asked the 13 other brethren whether
they would be willing to consider his son Joseph Fielding Smith Jr. for
the position. He was reluctant to suggest it, he said, because....Church
members, he feared, would be disgruntled to have another of his sons appointed
as a general authority. Nevertheless he felt inspired to offer Joseph's
name for their consideration. The other men seemed immediately receptive
to the suggestion and sustained President Smith in it....
"Years later Heber J. Grant,
who by then was president of the Church and who was present in the council
meeting in the temple the day Joseph was chosen in 1910, assured a group
of the correctness of the decision: It was at a Smith family reunion. President
Grant pointed to Joseph Fielding and said, 'That man was called by direct
revelation of God. I am a witness of that fact.'" (Smith and Stewart,
The Life of Joseph Fielding Smith, pp174,177)
Jesus Ordains & Instructs The Twelve Apostles
- WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DISCIPLES AND APOSTLES?
READ MARK 3:13-19. The calling and ordination
of the Twelve.
READ LUKE 9:1-6. The commission to the Twelve
(also see Matthew 10).
- "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained
you" (John 15:16).
- James E. Talmage: "Discipleship is general; any follower of
a man or devotee to a principle may be called a disciple, The Holy Apostleship
is an office and calling belonging to the Higher or Melchizedek Priesthood,
at once exalted and specific, comprising as a distinguishing function that
of personal and special witness to the divinity of Jesus Christ as the
one and only Redeemer and Savior of mankind. The apostleship is an individual
bestowal, and as such is conferred only through ordination." (Jesus
the Christ, p227)
The Apostle Paul taught that Apostles are the foundation of the Lord's
- WHAT WAS THE LORD'S COMMISSION TO THE ANCIENT TWELVE?
- To preach the good news of the Kingdom (v2).
- Heal the sick (v2).
- To preach repentence. "And they went out, and preached that
men should repent" (Mark 6:12).
- "I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore
wise as serpents, and harmless as doves" (Matthew 10:16).
- "...take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall
be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak" (Matthew 10:19).
- WHAT DOES THIS SUGGEST ABOUT THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES?
- They are a vital and essential part of the Church. When we use Paul's
analogy of a "foundation", we must assume that the Lord's church
is not complete, nor can it function properly without apostles. A foundation
is essential to the stability and endurance of any building.
- The commission to Latter-Day apostles (the foundation of the modern
- They are special witnesses of Christ to all the world, thus differing
from other officers in the church (D&C 107:23)
- They form a quorum equal in authority to the 1st Presidency (D&C
- They hold the keys of the kingdom when the president of the Church
- They are to build up the church and regulate all the affairs of the
same in all nations (D&C 107:33).
- They hold the keys to opening the door to the proclamation of the gospel
- Consider President Harold B. Lee's testimony regarding the necessity
of apostles: "May I impose to bear my own testimony. I was visiting
with one of the missionaries some years ago when two missionaries came
to me with what seemed to be a very difficult question, to them. A young
Methodist minister had laughed at them when they had said that apostles
were necessary today in order for the true church to be upon the earth.
And they said the minister said : 'Do you realize that when they met to
choose one to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Judas, that they
said it had to be one who companied with them and had been a witness of
all things pertaining to the mission and resurrection of the Lord? How
can you say you have apostles, if that be the measure of an apostle?' And
so these young men said, 'What shall we answer?' I said to them: 'Go back
and ask your minister friend two questions. First, how did the Apostle
Paul gain what was necessary to be called an apostle? He didn't know the
Lord; had no personal acquaintance. He hadn't accompanied the apostles.
He hadn't been a witness of the ministry, nor the resurrection of the Lord.
How did he gain his testimony sufficient to be an apostle? Now the second
question you ask him : How does he know that all who are today apostles
have not likewise received that witness?' I bear witness to you that those
who hold the apostolic calling may, and do know of the reality of the mission
of the Lord." ("Born of the Spirit," Address to Seminary
and Institute Faculty, 26 June 1962. Quoted in The Life and Teachings of
Jesus and His Apostles, p53)
Receiving The Servants Of The Lord
- READ MATTHEW 10:40-42. Those that receive the
Lord's servants to be blessed.
HOW CAN WE RECEIVE THOSE WHOM THE LORD HAS CHOSEN TO LEAD US TODAY?
- D&C 124:45-46: "And if my people will hearken unto my voice,
and unto the voice of my servants whom I have appointed to lead my people,
behold, verily I say unto you, they shall not be moved out of their place.
"But if they will not hearken
to my voice, nor unto the voice of these men whom I have appointed, they
shall not be blest, because they pollute mine holy grounds, and mine holy
ordinances, and charters, and my holy words which I give unto them."
- WHAT BLESSINGS ARE PROMISED TO THOSE WHO FOLLOW THE APOSTLES?
- The reward of a prophet and a righteous man.
- They will not be moved out of their place in the kingdom.
- Joseph Fielding Smith: "May I now say--very plainly and very
emphatically--that we have the holy priesthood and that the keys of kingdom
of God are here. They are found only in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
"Now brethren, I think there
is one thing which we should have exceedingly clear in our minds. Neither
the President of the Church, nor the First Presidency and the Twelve will
ever lead the Saints astray or send forth counsel to the world that is
contrary to the mind and will of the Lord." (CR April 1972)
- Spencer W. Kimball: "No one in this Church will ever go far
astray who ties himself securely to the authorities whom the Lord has placed
in his Church. This Church will never go astray; the Quorum of the Twelve
will never lead you into bypaths; it never has and never will. There could
be individuals who would falter; there will never be a majority of the
Council of the Twelve on the wrong side at any time. The Lord has chosen
them; he has given them specific responsibilities. And those people who
stand close to them will be safe. And, conversely, whenever one begins
to go his own way in opposition to authority, he is in grave danger. "
(Teachings of SWK, p459)
WHO ARE THE CURRENT MEMBERS OF THE QUORUM OF THE TWELVE, IN ORDER OF
- By prayerfully studying their messages.
- Seeking to incorporate those messages in our lives.
Boyd K. Packer
L. Tom Perry
David B. Haight
Neal A. Maxwell
Russell M. Nelson
Dallin H. Oaks
M. Russell Ballard
Joseph B. Wirthlin
Richard B. Scott
Robert D. Hales
Jeffrey R. Holland
Henry B. Eyring
- My Personal Thoughts:
- Though they may not know it, the members of the Quorum of the Twelve
are my friends. They are my counselors, my guides, my teachers, and my
example of righteous priesthood bearers.
- Over the years I have looked to these men and loved to hear them teach.
As I go back in my memory I recall many teaching moments in the presence
of these great men (whether live, by television, by radio, or by recording).
I had the privilege prior to my graduation in seminary of traveling to
Salt Lake City and having Elder LeGrand Richards speak to our group. His
enthusiasm and love for the gospel is contagious. One time when I attended
General Conference, Elder Richards was called to speak and the Tabernacle
came alive. The Saints loved Elder Richards and Elder Richards obviously
loved the Saints. And who can forget the powerful witness of Jesus Christ
given by Elder Bruce R. McConkie in his last General Conference. Our hearts
were touched for we knew that he knew the living Christ. A few short years
ago, as president of the Quorum, Elder Howard W. Hunter visited our stake.
Though he used a walker to get around, his spirit was vibrant and we were
inspired to hear his words.
- As I think back, I remember the wonderful words of Elder Joseph Fielding
Smith, Elder Mark E. Peterson, Elder Richard L. Evans, Elder Ezra Taft
Benson, and so many others. And what about our current apostles? The clear,
understandable teachings of Elder Packer. The enthusiasm of Elder Perry.
The touching words of Elder Haight. The incredible depth of wisdom of Elder
Maxwell. And I could go on with each of the Brethren. They have all touched
me in some way. Truly they are servants of Jesus Christ. I have received
that witness time and time again. As I have heeded their words, the way
has been made clear and my life has been blessed and enriched.
Anciently, the Lord called twelve special witnesses to assist him in
the important ministry of building the kingdom of God. These apostles became
the foundation of Christ's earthly kingdom. When the Lord restored his
church to the earth in these last days, once again twelve apostles were
called to become the foundation of the kingdom. These men represent the
Lord in administering his kingdom and teaching his truth. As we heed their
counsel, we will be blessed and receive the "reward of a prophet".
Lesson 7: Mark 1-2; 4:35-41; 5; Luke 7:11-17
Additional Reading: Matthew 8-9; Luke 4:33-44; 5:12-32; 8:22-56;
Alma 7:11-12; Mormon 9:7-20; Moroni 7:27-29, 33-37; Bible Dictionary, "Miracles,"
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