NEW TESTAMENT - LESSON 19
Luke 18:1-8, 35-43; 19:1-10; John 11
- Jesus presents the parable of the unjust judge and the widow.
- A blind man demonstrates his faith and is healed by Jesus.
- Jesus is received in Zacchaeus's home.
- Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead.
A study of this lesson should help us develop greater faith in Heavenly
Father and Jesus Christ.
Parable Of The Unjust Judge & The Widow
- READ LUKE 18:1-8. Parable of the unjust judge
and the widow.
- WHAT DID JESUS SAY WAS HIS PURPOSE IN GIVING THE PARABLE OF THE UNJUST
- To teach "that men ought always to pray, and not to faint"
- HOW DOES THIS PARABLE TEACH THAT WE "OUGHT ALWAYS TO PRAY"?
- James E. Talmage: "Jesus did not indicate that as the wicked
judge finally yielded to supplication so would God do; but He pointed out
that if even such a being as this judge, who 'feared not God, neither regarded
man,' would at last hear and grant the widow's plea, no one should doubt
that God, the Just and Merciful, will hear and answer." (Jesus
the Christ, 436)
- Bruce R. McConkie: "He is not here speaking of the simplistic
principle that earnest and repetitious importunings will eventually be
heard and answered, though this may be true in some cases.... Rather, this
parable, as we shall see, teaches that if the saints will continue to importune
in faith for that which is right, and because their cause is just, though
the answers to their prayers may be long delayed, yet, finally in the day
of vengeance when he judges whose judgment is just,when he comes again
to rule and reign, the faithful shall be rewarded." (Mortal Messiah
- WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO PRAY ALWAYS?
- Alma taught: "Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let
your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your
welfare, and also for the welfare of those who are around you"
- Neal A. Maxwell: "Prayer, in fact, is to be a reflection of
our attitude toward God and life. In this sense, we can always be praying.
"Clearly, however, since praying
is a part of living, if we are not living righteously the quality of our
prayers will be affected." (All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience,
- Alma continued, "And now behold, my beloved brethren, I say
unto you, do not suppose that this is all; for after ye have done all these
things, if ye turn away the needy, and the naked, and visit not the sick
and afflicted, and impart of your substance, if ye have, to those who stand
in need--I say unto you, if ye do not any of these things, behold, your
prayer is vain, and availeth you nothing, and ye are as hypocrites who
do deny the faith" (Alma 34:28).
- HOW IS PERSEVERING IN PRAYER AN ACT OF FAITH? WHAT SHOULD WE DO WHEN
WE HAVE PERSEVERED IN PRAYER AND FEEL THAT WE HAVE NOT RECEIVED AN ANSWER?
- We have often heard the saying, "Pray as if everything depended
upon God, and work as if everything depended upon you." Prayers
are not always answered overnight, we need to be persistent in prayer and
active in good works. Brigham Young and the early Saints prayed for a refuge
after being driven out of Missouri and Illinois. They did not spend every
available moment in prayer pleading for help. They actively sought out
a place of refuge by study and exploration. Sites were considered including
Texas, Wisconsin, and the California. The decision was made to move the
Saints west to the mountain country. Upon arriving, they found a desert.
It was turned into a pleasant refuge after much work, sweat, and prayer.
In our daily lives we often pursue goals
with vigor. Sometimes success in these goals depend upon others. Four years
ago, I was introduced to a concept in the workplace that I believed had
great value. But it was dependant upon management and staff working together.
It has taken four years of work, frustration, campaigning, and discussion
to bring these goals to fruitition. Why should we think things are any
different in the eternal scheme of things. As Alma indicated, our prayers
are in vain if we are not involved in good works.
- Richard G. Scott: "It is a mistake to assume that every prayer
we offer will be answered immediately. Some prayers require considerable
effort on our part....
"When we explain a problem and a proposed
solution [to our Heavenly Father], sometimes He answers yes, sometimes
no. Often He withholds an answer, not for lack of concern, but because
He loves us--perfectly. He wants us to apply truths He has given us. For
us to grow, we need to trust our ability to make correct decisions. we
need to do what we feel is right. In time, he will answer. He will not
fail us." (Ensign, Nov. 1989, pp30-31)
A Blind Man Healed
- READ LUKE 18:35-43. A blind man healed by faith.
- HOW DID THE BLIND MAN SHOW THAT HE HAD FAITH IN THE LORD?
- This man must have previously heard of Jesus, for when he learned that
Jesus was in the multitude, he cried out for mercy.
- When Jesus came to the man, he asked, "What wilt thou that
I shall do unto thee?" The man simply replied, without any expression
of doubt, "Lord, that I may receive my sight."
- The man was given his sight and Jesus said that it was by his faith
that he was healed.
- HOW HAVE YOU BEEN BLESSED AS YOU HAVE EXERCISED FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST?
Jesus Received Into Zacchaeus's Home
- READ LUKE 19:1-10. Jesus invited into Zacchaeus's
HOW DID THE PEOPLE REACT WHEN JESUS WENT TO STAY WITH ZACCHAEUS?
- WHO WAS ZACCHAEUS?
- He was a tax collector for the Roman government residing in Jericho.
Evidently he did well, for he was referred to as "chief among the
- HOW DID ZACCHAEUS DEMONSTRATE HIS FAITH IN THE LORD?
- He "joyfully" received the Lord into his house.
- His belief in the words of the Master was such that he responded, "Behold,
Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any
thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold"
(v8). He was willing to back up his faith with action.
WHY DID THE PEOPLE SHUN ZACCHAEUS?
- They murmured, "That he was gone to be guest with a man that
is a sinner." They were appalled that Jesus would associate with
a man considered to have such low moral character.
- HOW DID JESUS RESPOND?
- "Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide
at thy house" (v5).
- Because of his profession as a publican or tax collector for Rome.
- IN WHAT WAYS DO WE MAKE SIMILAR JUDGEMENTS AGAINST OTHERS?
- If we are not careful, we can exclude persons because of appearance,
station in life, or who they associate with. We do not know what goodness
we might find within them.
Many years ago I met a member of the Church
that, at first meeting, did not impress me. In some ways he reminded me
of a hillbilly by the way he dressed and the way he spoke. As I came to
know that man, I came to know one of the most Christlike individuals I
have ever met. He taught me much and had I continued to judge him by my
first impression, I would have missed knowing a special man and the lessons
he so humbly taught.
- WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR US NOT TO EXCLUDE OTHERS OR THINK WE ARE BETTER
THAN THEY ARE?
- Alma 5:54-56: "Yea, will ye persist in supposing that ye are
better one than another; yea, will ye persist in the persecution of your
brethren, who humble themselves and do walk after the holy order of God,
wherewith they have been brought into this church, having been sanctified
by the Holy Spirit, and they do bring forth works which are meet for repentance--
"Yea, and will you persist in
turning your backs upon the poor, and the needy, and in withholding your
substance from them?
"And finally, all ye that will
persist in your wickedness, I say unto you that these are they who shall
be hewn down and cast into the fire except they speedily repent."
- HOW CAN WE OVERCOME UNKIND FEELINGS AGAINST OTHERS?
- Joe J. Christiansen: "There are those who wake up every morning
dreading to go to school, or even to a Church activity, because they worry
about how they will be treated. You have the power to change their lives
for the better.... The Lord is counting on you to be a builder and give
them a lift. Think less of yourself and more about the power you have to
assist others, even those in your own family." (Ensign, Nov. 1996,
- Elder Christensen says that we have the power to change lives by the
way we treat others. We can affect lives positively. William James once
said, "The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to
be appreciated." When people are appreciated, their lives are
happier and have more meaning. We have the power to make a difference.
- Dale Carnegie wrote about what happens when we do the reverse. He said
"that criticisms are like homing pigeons. They always return home".
He went on to write about that great president, Abraham Lincoln. "As
a young man in Pigeon Creek Valley of Indiana, he not only criticized but
he wrote letters and poems ridiculing people and dropped these letters
on the country roads where they were sure to be found. One of these letters
aroused resentments that burned for a lifetime.
"Even after Lincoln had become
a practicing lawyer in Springfield, Illinois, he attacked his opponents
openly in letters published in the newspapers. But he did this just once
"In the autumn of 1842, he ridiculed
a vain, pugnacious Irish politician by the name of James Shields. Lincoln
lampooned him through an anonymous letter published in the Springfield
Journal. The town roared with laughter. Shields, sensitive and proud, boiled
with indignation. He found out who wrote the letter, leaped on his horse,
started after Lincoln, and challenged him to a fight a duel. Lincoln didn't
want to fight. He was opposed to dueling; but he couldn't get out of it
and save his honor. He was given the choice of weapons. Since he had very
long arms, he chose cavalry broad swords, took lessons in sword fighting
from a West Point graduate; and on the appointed day, he and Shields met
on a sand bar in the Mississippi River, prepared to fight to the death;
but at the last minute, their seconds interrupted and stopped the duel.
"That was the most lurid personal
incident in Lincoln's life. It taught him an invaluable lesson in the art
of dealing with people. Never again did he write an insulting letter. Never
again did he ridicule anyone. And from that time on, he almost never criticized
anybody for anything."
Some years later, when President Lincoln
lay dying from a gunshot wound, Secretary of War Stanton said, "There
lies the most perfect ruler of men the world has ever seen." (How
To Win Friends and Influence People, pp23-24)
Jesus Raises Lazarus From The Dead - John 11
- Soon after Jesus went to Zaccaeus's home, he received a message from
his friends in Bethany, Mary and Martha, that their brother Lazurus was
"When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two
days still in the same place where he was" (v6).
- Bruce R. McConkie: "Now Lazarus lived in the town of Bethany
some two miles east of Jerusalem, but hidden from the Holy City by a spur
of the mount of Olives. There also dwelt in this Judean village of blessed
memory the beloved sisters Mary and Martha, in whose family circle the
Lord Jesus so often found surcease from toil and rest from his labors.
They and their brother Lazarus were three of the most intimate friends
Jesus had on earth." (Mortal Messiah, 3:270)
READ JOHN 11:17-27. Jesus returns to Bethany.
- WHY DID JESUS DELAY MAKING THE TRIP TO BETHANY WHEN HE KNEW THAT LAZARUS
- Jesus said to his disciples, "This sickness is not unto death,
but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby"
- James E. Talmage: "The raising of Lazarus stands as the third
recorded instance of restoration to life by Jesus. In each the miracle
resulted in a resumption of mortal existence, and was in no sense a resurrection
from death to immortality. In the raising of the daughter of Jairus, the
spirit was recalled to its tenement within the hour of its quitting; the
raising of the widow's son is an instance of restoration when the corpse
was ready for the grave; the crowning miracle of the three was the calling
of a spirit to reenter its body days after death, and when, by natural
processes the corpse would be already in the early stages of decomposition.
Lazarus was raised from the dead, not simply to assuage the grief of mourning
relatives; myriads have had to mourn over death, and so myriads more shall
have to do. One of the Lord's purposes was that of demonstrating the actuality
of the power of God as shown forth in the works of Jesus the Christ, and
Lazarus was the accepted subject of the manifestation, just as the man
afflicted with congenital blindness had been chosen to be the one through
whom the Works of God should be made manifest." (Jesus The Christ,
READ JOHN 11:30-35. Jesus goes to Lazarus' tomb.
- WHAT DID MARTHA DO WHEN SHE HEARD THAT JESUS WAS COMING?
- "...as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met
- WHAT IMPRESSES YOU ABOUT MARTHA'S TESTIMONY?
- "Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life:
he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live"
- In these few words, Jesus has made a powerful declaration of his mission.
- Bruce R. McConkie: "Thus saith the Lord. He has spoken and
so it is. He is the resurrection; it comes by him; without him there would
be no immortality; he is the personification of that power which molds
the dust of the grave into an immortal man....
"He also is the life; eternal life
comes by him. Without him there would be no salvation in the highest heaven,
no exaltation no continuation of the family unit in eternity, no fulness
of joy in the realms ahead. He is the personification of that power which
gives eternal life to all those who are born again who are alive in Christ.
Those who believe and obey, though they die the natural death, yet shall
they gain eternal life in the resurrection. Yea, those who believe in Christ
shall never die spiritually: they shall be alive to the things of the Spirit
in this life, and they shall have eternal life in the world to come. Death,
as men view it, is nothing to sorrow about where the faithful saints are
concerned; what if they, as do all men lose their lives here -- they shall
yet gain the far more glorious reward of eternal life hereafter."
(Mortal Messiah, 3:275-276)
John 11:38-40: "Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh
to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.
- WHAT DID JESUS DO WHEN HE SAY MARY AND MANY OTHERS WEEKPING?
- HOW DOES THIS INFLUENCE YOUR FEELINGS ABOUT JESUS?
"Jesus said, Take ye away the
stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by
this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.
"Jesus saith unto her, Said I
not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory
READ JOHN 11:41-42. Jesus prays to his Father.
- Martha, with her powerful testimony of the Savior, did not seem to
comprehend that Jesus could raise her brother from the grave after four
JOHN 11:43-45: "And when he thus had spoken, he cried with
a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
- It is noteworthy, that before performing this great miracle, Jesus
took a moment to pray. The Master knew what he was going to do and knew
that he had the power to do so, but he paused and communed with his Father.
- When we are involved in the work of the Lord, whether it is administering
ordinances, teaching classes, or taking the youth on a hike, are we consulting
with the Lord before we do his work? Are we pausing to thank Heavenly Father
for our blessings and requesting his assistance?
"And he that was dead came forth,
bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with
a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.
"Then many of the Jews which
came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him."
- Bruce R. McConkie: "And there the inspired account ends. A
reverent curtain of silence drops over the sayings and doings of Lazarus
-- from his youth to the day he fell asleep in the arms of death; during
the four days his spirit visited with friends in paradise, as he awaited
the call to come back to the turmoils of life; and from the time he again
breathed the breath of life until he laid down again his mortal tabernacle,
this time to await that glorious day of resurrection of which Martha spoke.
Lazarus lived and Lazarus died and Lazarus rose -- again that he might
continue his mortal probation; that he might die again; that he might be,
for his day and for all days, a living witness of the power of him who
ministered in Bethany as the Son of God. We cannot doubt that he bore many
fervent testimonies to many Jewish brethren relative to the life and death
and life that was his."
- WHAT EFFECT DID THIS MIRACLE HAVE ON THE PEOPLE WHO WITNESSED IT?
- "Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the
things which Jesus did, believed on him" (v45).
- Testimonies were born and strengthened. To those whose spiritual eyes
were not completely blinded, they saw a great miracle and humbly came to
- "But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told
them what things Jesus had done" (v46).
- Can you imagine such a thing? These others witnessed a great and marvelous
miracle. They were not so blind that they denied the miracle, but like
jealous children they ran and told the Jewish leader what had happened,
as if Jesus were up to mischief.
- HOW DOES THIS MIRACLE STRENGTHEN YOUR TESTIMONY?
The stories from this lesson teach us more about Heavenly Father and
his Beloved Son. We learn that they deeply love us. The prayers of the
faithful are heard and answered. Compassion is shown to all, whether it
be a tax collector, a blind man, or a weeping woman. We are on a journey
through eternity. This stop in mortality can often times be difficult,
but to those who have faith and endeavor to serve the Lord, Heavenly Father
will reach out and bless and strengthen them.
Lesson 15: Matthew 21-23; John 12:1-8
Additional Reading: Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 11-12; 14:3-9; Luke
11:37-51; 19:29-48; 20; John 12:12-18; Bible Dictionary, "Pharisees,"
750; "Sadduccess," 767; "Spikenard," 776
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