NEW TESTAMENT - LESSON 13
- Jesus heals the daughter of a Gentile and feeds more than 4,000 people.
- Peter is promised the keys of the kingdom.
- Jesus is transfigured before Peter, James, and John.
A study of this lesson should strengthen our testimonies that Jesus
is the Christ and that the priesthood keys bestowed on the Mount of Transfiguration
have been restored.
Lost Sheep Among the Heathen
A Day of Deeping Opposition
- Matthew 15:21: "Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the
coasts of Tyre and Sidon."
- John 7:1: "After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for
he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him."
- This was a time that Jesus and his disciples needed to leave Galilee
and Judah because of the increasing opposition as Jesus has begun to declare
- He goes to Tyre and Sidon:
- Ancient cities of abominations.
- Canaanite cities.
- Heathen and pagan cities.
- It was not the practice of the Lord to seek out the Gentiles, but there
were probably many Jews in those cities.
Ministering Among the Heathen
- READ MATTHEW 15:22-28. Healing of the Canaanite
- Mark 7:26: "The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation;
and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter."
- WHAT IMPRESSES YOU ABOUT THIS STORY?
- The disciples saw in our Lord's acts a reaffirmation of his compassion
for all men, not for the house of Israel only.
- The faith and love of this woman was great. She persisted even though
the Master seemed to ignore her.
- WHY WAS THE LORD SO RELUCTANT TO ADMINISTER TO THIS WOMAN, NOT OF ISRAEL?
- Bruce R. McConkie: "...the house of Israel is composed of the
spirits from preexistence who there developed a talent for spirituality,
and who are therefore entitled to the blessings of heaven in this life
on a preferential basis. All men, in due course, either in his life or
in the spirit world, will be offered the blessings of salvation. But there
is an eternal system of priorities; there is a law of election, a doctrine
of foreordination; and Israel is entitled to the blessing of the holy word
ahead of their Gentile fellows. During his lifetime Jesus took the gospel
and its blessings, with isolated exceptions, to his kinsmen in Israel;
after his resurrection he will sent his apostolic witnesses to all men,
irrespective of creed or race or ancestry. The Lord Jehovah--Jesus in the
flesh--is simply conforming to the eternal law of gospel priorities that
he and his Father ordained from before the foundations of the world, and
such a limited exception to the eternal provision of the eternal law as
may properly be made is about to be shown forth." (Mortal Messiah,
- WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THIS WOMAN?
- Those that do not have the gospel fulness may nevertheless have great
- We should not lose faith when blessings are not granted as quickly
as we wish.
Miracles in Decapolis
- Jesus traveled to Decapolis (a region to the southeast of Galilee).
- READ MATTHEW 15:30-31. Healings performed.
- There was a second feeding of a multitude, this time about 4000 ( see
After this Jesus returns to Galilee.
- V32-33: "Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said,
I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three
days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest
they faint in the way.
"And his disciples say unto him,
Whence should we have so much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so great
- As we observe the Lord's closest disciples, isn't it interesting after
all the miracles they have witnessed (including the feeding of the 5,000)
that they would wonder were such were such a meal would come from?
- The miracle of feeding the 4,000 was different from the earlier feeding
of the 5,000.
- The first feeding: "he was laying the foundation for his incomparable
sermon on the Bread of Life".
- The second feeding: "he is prefiguring the future presentation
of the living bread to the Gentile nations". (see DNTC, 1:375)
The Leaven Of The Pharisees And Sadducees
- READ MATTHEW 16:1-4. Pharisees & Sadducees
seek a sign.
READ MATTHEW 16:5-12. Beware the leaven of the
Pharisees & Sadducees.
- These men were wily. Their reasoning:
- If he didn't give a sign, then his other miracles must have been of
- If he gave a sign, they could also attribute it to Satan since his
teachings did not conform with the rabbinical interpretation of the law
handed down from Moses.
- Indeed, this was a trap. There were probably many that were led to
believe what the Pharisees and Sadducees were trying to accomplish.
- The Lord's response: It is a wicked and adulturous generation that
seeketh after a sign.
- Bruce R. McConkie: "Actually, sign-seeking -- a favorite pastime
and enterprise of evilly disposed persons -- is an evidence of supreme
and gross wickedness on their part." (Mormon Doctrine, p714)
- Joseph Smith: "When I was preaching in Philadelphia, a Quaker
called out for a sign. I told him to be still. After the sermon, he again
asked for a sign. I told the congregation the man was an adulterer; that
a wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and that the Lord
had said to me in a revelation, that any man who wanted a sign was an adulterous
person. `It is true,' cried one, `for I caught him in the very act, which
the man afterwards confessed when he was baptized." (TPJS, p278.)
- To the pure in heart, what more do they need than the teachings of
the Lord which reach into the soul.
- We see that the Master often uses the analogy of bread.
- He recently had spoken of the bread of life.
- He said that the kingdom of heaven is like leaven.
- Now he speaks of the leaven of evil men.
- This is the evil leaven that can spoil the loaf.
- DO WE SEE THE LEAVEN OF EVIL MEN TODAY?
- The philosophies of men spoken almost daily.
- These philosophies (leaven of evil men) are affecting the operation
of our government and nation which is based on Heavenly principle. Consider
this modern philosophies:
- School prayer - we have no right to force our views on others.
- Abortion - the women's right.
- Justice - protection of a guilty man's rights.
- Judgement - it is wrong to call evil evil.
- The degradation of moral values as seen in the media.
The Keys Of The Kingdom
- The Lord gathers his disciples together for a testimony meeting and
announces the subject.
READ MATTHEW 16:19. The keys of the kingdom promised
to the 12.
- Matthew 16:13: "When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea
Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son
of Man am?"
- Jesus was the first to bear testimony when he asked "Whom do
men say that I the Son of Man am?"
- Son of Man is a term synonymous with Son of God.
- READ MATTHEW 16:14-17. Simon bears witness of
the divinity of Jesus.
- FROM WHAT SOURCE DID PETER'S TESTIMONY COME?
- From the Father through the Holy Ghost.
- Earlier the Pharisees and Sadducees had sought a sign of who Jesus
was. Now the apostles are having a testimony meeting regarding the true
identity of the Master.
- Matthew 16:18: "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall
not prevail against it."
- WHAT IS THE ROCK UPON WHICH THE LORD BUILDS HIS CHURCH?
- Revelation (see TPJS, p274).
- WHY MUST THE LORD'S CHURCH BE BUILT ON REVELATION?
- Consider the evolving history of Christianity church.
- The doctrines of the Church do not come from a council of men.
- It was not the doctrine of a man, a pope or president of a church.
- The church is built upon revelations from God to his prophet.
Losing One's Life to Save It.
- WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF JESUS' PROMISE TO PETER?
- Peter and the Twelve will one day carry on the Lord's work, and he
will empower them to do so.
- Many years ago President Spencer W. Kimball and Elder Boyd K. Packer
visited the small church in Copenhagen, Denmark, where Thorvaldsen's famed
statues of the Christus and of the Twelve Apostles stand. Speaking of this
experience, Elder Packer said: "I stood with President Kimball
. . . before the statue of Peter. In his hand, depicted in marble, is a
set of heavy keys. President Kimball pointed to them and explained what
they symbolized. Then, in an act I shall never forget, he turned to [Stake]
President Bentine and with unaccustomed sterness pointed his finger and
said with firm, impressive words, 'I want you to tell every Lutheran in
Denmark that they do not hold the keys! I hold the keys! We hold the real
keys and we use them every day'."
- President Joseph F. Smith: "The Priesthood in general is the
authority given to man to act for God.... The power of directing these
labors constitutes the keys of the Priesthood. In their fulness, the keys
are held by only one person at a time, the prophet and president of the
Church. He may delegate any portion of this power to another, in which
case that person holds the keys of that particular labor." (Gospel
- READ MATTHEW 16:24-27. We gain life by helping
- What an interesting concept: we gain life and happiness when we help
someone else do the same. Without losing our life in helping others towards
eternal life, we lose eternal life.
- Was not the Savior the perfect example.
- Verse 27 states that every man will be rewarded according to his works.
- I guess faith and belief is just not enough. Ah, but what is faith
- READ MATTHEW 17:1-13. The transfiguration of Jesus.
- WHAT DOES TRANSFIGURATION MEAN?
- "It is a temporary change in a person's appearance and nature,
from a lower to a higher state, brought about by the power of God. A mortal
must be transfigured to behold God's power." (1995 Gospel Doctrine
- Given this definition, it would appear that Peter, James, and John
might also have to be transfigured to behold this experience.
- WHAT DID MOSES AND ELIAS (Elijah, see Mortal Messiah 1:281) DO WHEN
THEY APPEARED ON THE MOUNT OF TRANSFIGURATION?
- Joseph Smith: "The Priesthood is everlasting. The Savior, Moses,
and Elias, gave the keys to Peter, James and John, on the mount when they
were transfigured before him." (TPJS, p158)
- McConkie: "There may have been other messengers besides Moses
and Elijah who also came to the Mount of Transfiguration, as for instance
a translated person from Enoch's day, who also gave keys and authorities
to the chosen heads of the dispensation of the meridian of time. We know
so little--for want of spiritual preparation on our part--of what transpired
on the holy mount." (Mortal Messiah, 3:68)
- President Joseph Fielding Smith suggests that Peter, James, and John
received their endowments from Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. (Doctrines
of Salvation, 2:165.)
- Elder David B. Haight makes this comment regarding this experience:
"Perhaps Jesus felt not only a sense of the heavenly calm which
that solitary opportunity for communion with His Father would bring, but
even more, a sense that He would be supported in the coming hour by ministrations
not of this earth.... He went up to prepare for His coming death. He took
His three apostles with Him in the belief that they, after having seen
his glory,...might be fortified." (Ensign, May 1977)
- This, then was an important event in the Lord's ministry:
- Testimony was born of the Savior by the Father.
- Vital keys were transmitted to the future heads of the Lord's church.
- The Lord was probably comforted in having this experience and being
able to share it with His closest friends.
- It was an experience that moved the Lord a step closer to the fulfillment
of His mission.
The Lord has revealed more of himself during the events reviewed in
this lesson. Important priesthood keys have been promised and transmitted
to the future leaders of his church. Peter bore his witness of the Master
which he had received by revelation. Like Peter, we can know through the
Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God and that
his servants, the prophet, hold the same keys given anciently to Peter,
James, and John.
Lesson 14: Matthew 18; Luke 10
Additional Reading: Mark 9:33-50, Mosiah 3:17-21; 4:16-19, 26
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Changes last made on: Sat Mar 20 1999