Saint John Chapter Six Review

The Gospel According to St John: John Chapter Six: Please open the following link to read chapter six: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/john/6?lang=eng

Great multitudes followed Jesus because of the miracles He performed.

Jesus

Jesus blessed and broke food, lds.org

They following Jesus and His disciples into a mountain. Jesus asked a question of his disciples, not because He needed His disciples answer, or because He didn’t know what to do. Jesus knew that He could feed the multitude. He asked His disciples the question to prove them or test their faith (see vs. 6).

Philip stated the obvious. They did not have enough money to buy food for the multitude (see vs. 7).

Andrew pointed out that a boy had a small amount of food, but not nearly enough to feed a great multitude (see vs. 8-9).

Then Jesus performed the miracle of feeding the five thousand, with twelve baskets full of fragments remaining after everyone had eaten (see vs. 10-13).

The multitude believed on Jesus, because they saw a miracle that day, that He was the promised Messiah. But they did not understand His mission. They wanted to make Him a king (see vs. 14-15).

Jesus’s disciples left for Capernaum before Jesus did. The sea rose boisterously because of the wind. Then Jesus came to them walking on the water. He calmed the sea and calmed their fears when He said, “It is I; be not afraid.” The were then glad to receive Jesus into the ship, and they immediately reached their destination (see vs. 16-21).

Interestingly, the people whom Jesus had taught knew that He hadn’t entered the ship with His disciples; but since they couldn’t find him, they got into their ships and headed for Capernaum to look for Him (see vs. 22-24).

The exchange between Jesus and the multitude who sought Him is very telling. They asked, “Rabbi, when camest thou hither?” To which He responded, “Ye seek me, not because ye desire to keep my sayings, neither because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loves and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting lie, which the Son of man shall give you: for Him hath the Father sealed” (vs 25-27, JST).

For what purpose do we seek Jesus? What are our reasons for following Him? We should interview ourselves now, before we bear the chastisment of His interview in the coming day.

They asked Jesus a good question. “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?” His response: “This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent” (vs. 28-29).

But then they showed their lack of faith which resulted from their own wickedness and yet carnal state, asking, “What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? What dost thou work” (vs. 30)?

Jesus taught the multitude that He is The Bread of Life. Jesus came to do His Father’s will. Because He did so, He will inherit eternal life. His Father’s will is that Jesus save us all. If we believe on Jesus and seek His face, we will also be lifted up by Him in the resurrection of the just at the last day (see vs. 31-40).

Of course, there were those who were offended in that day when Jesus told them that He is The Bread of Life and The Living Water; and there are those who are offended today. But we know that the manna that was fed to the Israelites in the wilderness, or the bread that Jesus fed to the multitudes as recorded in this chapter did not have lasting power to give life eternally. But Jesus did and does.

Do we trust more in earthly treasures or heavenly ones? If we have our daily portion of physical food, is that enough for us?

Many foresook Jesus when He told them that they must eat His flesh and drink His blood. How important is it that we partake of the sacrament, The Lord’s Supper, that we have this communion with God? We can only understand spiritual things through the gift and power of the Holy Ghost. Hopefully, we will not turn away from Him in offense, because He has offered us everything if we accept His gift. Hopefully, we can be like Peter and say, “Lord to whom shall we go? And we believe and are sure that thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God” (vs. 41-69).

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St Mark 4 Reflections

The Gospel According to St Mark: Mark Chapter Four: Read here: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/mark/4?lang=eng

04 Calm the storm

Jesus often taught the multitudes from a ship in the sea, because the greatness of the number of people who flocked to Him.

‘And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land. And he taught them many things by parables’ (Matthew 4:1-2)

The Parable of the Sower: Read Matthew 4, verses 3 through 9.

‘And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. And he said unto them,

“Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.”

‘And he said unto them,

“Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables” (vs. 10-13)?

Can we see that His disciples did not understand the parables without asking the Lord? We can learn from that. How then will we know all parables? The apostles and close disciples were privileged to ask the Lord in person and gain further understanding. (And Mark recorded the Lord’s explanation.) But still our eyes and hearts are only open to greater truths as we gain a desire to know and ask in faith. Today we can approach the Lord in prayer to gain an understanding of those teachings we hear, read, ponder, and study. Through the power of the Holy Ghost, we can be taught from on high.

Explanation to the Parable of the Sower: Read Matthew 4, verses 14 through 20.

We agree that the souls of all mankind are important and the word is important. Just how important?

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16-17).

Jesus’s last commission before He ascended into heaven was,

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matt 28:19-20).

Jesus is the Word, and His gospel is the word that we must plant within ourselves and within our fellowmen. How can we prepare our soil to receive the word and allow it to grow? How can we help to nourish others so that they may come to know Him and not be lost?

Alma also compares the word to a seed:

“Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me” (Alma 32:28).

So many people feel the Spirit and are excited about the gospel, but they don’t take care of their budding testimonies until true conversion can take root. We need to help each other to make certain that the good seed planted within us is not neglected.

Common verses also found in The Sermon on the Mount: Read verses 21 through 25:

‘And he said unto them,

“Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick? For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad. If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.

‘And he said unto them,

“Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.”

How about that? Take heed what we hear. We are supposed to seek truth in the Spirit of Truth. We cannot spend our time searching out false teachers who make us feel satisfied in doing evil. The Lord has told us that if we seek, we shall find. We should be seeking Him and His glory.

‘And he said,

“So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come” (vs. 26-29).

And he said,

“Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth: But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it.”

‘And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it. But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples’ (vs. 30-34).

When we do not understand the word, we should find a place where we can be alone in prayer and ask for understanding. The Spirit will help us gain that portion we are ready to receive. It is okay if we start out with just a particle of faith; that can grow into something large. As we place our faith in Jesus Christ, it can lead us into life eternal.

“But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words” (Alma 32:27).

In the concluding verses of this chapter, after the multitudes were sent away, Jesus and His apostles set out for the land on the other side of the sea. While Jesus slept, a storm arose.

‘And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him,

“Master, carest thou not that we perish?”

‘And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea,

“Peace, be still.”

‘And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

‘And he said unto them,

“Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?”

‘And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another,

“What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him” (vs. 35-41)?

Does Jesus care if we perish? Certainly. Can He calm the storms in our lives? Most assuredly.

St Matthew 27 Reflections

The Gospel According to St. Matthew: Matthew Chapter 27: Read Here: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/matt/27?lang=eng

27 Behold the Man

Behold the Man, by Antonio Ciseri

The chief priests and elders delivered Jesus to Pilate. When Judas saw that Jesus was condemned, he was sorry for what he had done and took the thirty pieces of silver back to the priests and elders (see Matt 28:1-2).

‘Judas said,

“I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.

‘And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself’ (vs. 4-5).

‘And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying,

“Art thou the King of the Jews?”

‘And Jesus said unto him,

“Thou sayest.”

‘And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing.

‘Then said Pilate unto him,

“Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee?”

‘And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly.

‘Now at that feast the governor was wont to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they would. And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas. Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them,

“Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?”

‘For he knew that for envy they had delivered him’ (vs. 11-18).

What can we learn from Jesus’s quiet self-control? How about when He said, “Thou sayest.” Is it up to Him who has created all things and done all things well to prove to us who He is? Or is it up to us to be believing and to seek a witness through the Holy Spirit? These people had witnessed miracles and heard the reports of the wonderful things Jesus was doing. Do signs convert?

Maybe those who seek a sign of proof will not be too happy when they receive it. We can always choose how to act and what to do and not do; but, we cannot choose the consequences.

If we are doing what we should and others mock us or cast blame upon us, we shouldn’t allow that to consume us. We can have the calm assurance of the Spirit that we are in the right, without feeling the necessity of proving it to anyone. Our eternal reward is far too great to put into jeopardy for immediate comfort.

Pilate certainly was hoping the people would release Jesus, because he didn’t believe the people had a just cause in condemning Jesus. They delivered him out of spite and envy.

Pilate’s wife also warned him, “Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him” (vs. 19).

‘But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. The governor answered and said unto them,

“Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you?”

‘They said, Barabbas.

‘Pilate saith unto them,

“What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?”

They all say unto him,

“Let him be crucified.”

‘And the governor said,

“Why, what evil hath he done?”

‘But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified’ (vs. 20-23).

The chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude to condemn Jesus. Who holds the blame? Unrighteous leaders, or those who follow them even after accepting Jesus as their King the week before? Did they fear repercussions from their leaders? Did they really know Jesus?

‘When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying,

“I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.”

‘Then answered all the people, and said,

“His blood be on us, and on our children.”

‘Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified’ (vs. 24-26).

When we know something is wrong, do we join in with the crowd to save face? Are there things that we would not do by ourselves, but because others are doing them, we then feel justified to do so? Were there some people who yelled for Jesus to be crucified because He seemed helpless, so they abandoned Him? Were they looking for the signs and wonders that had been prophesied, or were they looking for miracles to satisfy their own lusts?

Pilate knew that what was being done was wrong, but it was done by his consent. Can we so easily wash our hands of guilt? Can we dismiss our part in the shedding of innocent blood by looking the other way? These are difficult things to consider, but things that are important to consider.

After scourging Jesus, or beating Him with forty stripes save one (which is another proof of the chief priests and elders corrupting the law and misusing their power), ‘the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers. And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.  And when they had plaited a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying,

“Hail, King of the Jews!”

‘And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him’ (vs. 27-31).

With His flesh torn and bleeding, his robe was placed on His open wounds. And then He was ridiculed. The Master of the Universe was belittled, mocked, and spit upon. And He endured that for me. Could I endure it for Him?

‘And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross’ (vs. 32).

Would it be an honor to carry the cross for the Lord? How can we help to carry the load?

‘And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull, They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink. And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.

‘And sitting down they watched him there’ (vs. 33-36).

Can you imagine? They nailed Him to a tree. They crowned Him with thorns. They made sport over who would own something which had belonged to Him. And then that sat down to watch.

‘And set up over his head his accusation written,

“THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

‘Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left. And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, And saying,

“Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.”

‘Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said,

“He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.”

‘The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth’ (vs 37-44).

Jesus endured so much for all of us. As His disciples we should feel honored to be able to endure some of the shame of the world for Him. We will continue to be mocked and belittled as long as we hold to the truth and do not subscribe to the evil of the world around us. It’s okay. He has already delivered us. And He will not leave us alone. He has sent His Comforter, the Holy Ghost, to sustain us.

‘Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying,

“Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?”

‘that is to say,

“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

‘Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said,

“This man calleth for Elias.”

‘And straightway one of them ran, and took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink. The rest said,

“Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him.”

‘Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost’ (vs. 45-50).

Jesus completed His mission perfectly. From childhood through His atoning sacrifice in Gethsemane and on the cross, He did His Father’s will. The Great Jehovah, I Am, took upon Himself flesh and blood and redeemed a fallen world.

Some Things That Happened Following His Death: Read Matthew 27:51-66.

  1. ‘The veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent’ (vs. 51).
  2. Because of the earthquake, the centurion and they that were with him said,

“Truly this was the Son of God” (vs. 54).

  1. Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s children were all present and had witnessed the crucifixion (vs. 55-56).
  2. Joseph of Arimathæa, one of Jesus’s disciples, begged Pilate for Jesus’s body. ‘And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed’ (vs. 57-60).
  3. Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, grieved outside the sepulcher (vs. 61).
  4. The chief priests and Pharisees asked Pilate to secure the place of burial. ‘Pilate said unto them,

“Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can.”

‘So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch’ (vs. 62-66).

  1. Following the resurrection of Jesus Christ, many ‘graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many’ (vs. 52-53).

St Matthew 17 Reflections

The Gospel According to St. Matthew: Matthew Chapter 17: Read Here: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/matt/17?lang=eng

17 transfiguration

Peter, James, and John were with Jesus at the Mount of Transfiguration

Six days later, Jesus took Peter, James, and John with Him, apart from the other disciples, into a high mountain.

‘And [He] was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus,

“Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.”

‘While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said,

“This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.”

‘And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said,

“Arise, and be not afraid.”

‘ And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only’ (Matt 17:2-8).

Further thoughts: It appears at the time of the vision, Peter, James, and John were astonished and thrilled to be there with Jesus and to behold such great things; but, they did not yet understand the significance thereof.

Isn’t it often the same with us when we receive spiritual light? Only after further thought, prayer, pondering, living up to our spiritual gifts, and gaining more experience do we acquire more spiritual understanding, which allows us to begin to unlock the treasure.

When they heard the voice of God the Father proclaim that Jesus is His Son, they “fell on their face” (vs. 6) in fear. Truly they did not expect such a spectacular vision and testimony from God Himself.

It is interesting to note that whenever God the Father’s voice has been heard, the message has been the same. He has testified of Jesus Christ as His Beloved Son in whom He is well pleased. He also did this when Jesus Christ was baptized; and later, when Jesus visited the Americas after His resurrection; and again, when They appeared to the boy prophet Joseph Smith.

While heading back down the mountain, Jesus gave them this charge,

“Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead” (vs. 9).

They then asked what it meant that Elias must first come. Jesus answered,

“Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them” (vs. 11-12).

‘Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist’ (vs. 13).

Further thought: There is more to the meaning of the term Elias than is to be found in this one reference to John the Baptist. An Elias is someone who restores truth and prepares the way of the Lord. So John the Baptist is referred to as Elias.

Jesus Heals the Son Who is Possessed

When they were back with the multitude, a man came to Jesus and kneeled down before him and said,

‘“Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatic, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.”

‘Then Jesus answered and said,

“O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.”

‘And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.

‘Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said,

“Why could not we cast him out?”

‘And Jesus said unto them,

“Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

“Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting”’(vs. 15-21).

Further thoughts: To whom was Jesus’s rebuke directed? Both the man’s father, who sought the healing, and His disciples were lacking in faith; so, the miracle did not happen.

Elder Scott has stated that three things must be present for a healing miracle to occur: the faith of the one, or those, seeking the blessing; the faith of those giving the blessing; and the will of God.

Jesus further teaches the disciples that sometimes, or perhaps often, fasting is necessary. Why? Because fasting can draw us closer to God and to His designs, purposes, and will. Fasting can aid the Spirit in cleansing us, and it can cause our faith to increase, so that we can become instruments in our Heavenly Father’s hands to do His will.

While they were still in Galilee, Jesus said to His disciples,

“The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men: And they shall kill him, and the third day He shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry” (vs. 22-23).

In Capernaum, those collecting tribute money asked Peter,

“Doth not your master pay tribute” (vs. 24)?

Peter questioned Jesus concerning the matter. And Jesus explained that our allegiance really is to God.

‘“What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?”

‘Peter saith unto him,

“Of strangers.”

‘Jesus saith unto him,

“Then are the children free”’ (vs. 25-26).

These verses seem to agree with what the Savior spoke about rendering unto Caesar the things that be Caesars and unto God the things that be Gods, because Jesus continued the conversation with the following,

“Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee” (vs. 27).

St Matthew 4 Reflections

The Gospel According to St. Matthew: Matthew Chapter 4: Read Here: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/matt/4?lang=eng

high mountain

Jesus was Led by the Spirit to Be with God

Jesus was never led by the Spirit to be tempted of the devil; that is not how the Spirit works. Rather, he was led by the Spirit to be with God. And He spent much time, even 40 days, fasting and praying and being taught by His Father. But when Jesus’s fast came to a close, he was hungry, and the devil showed up, ready to tempt Him.

I. Satan first tempted Jesus by mocking Him, trying to get Him to prove His divine Sonship. This is totally out of character with Diety.

1a. The devil temped Jesus with food. The devil likewise appeals to our appetites in tempting us.

1b. Jesus appealed to the scriptures to answer Satan. “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matt 4:4).

II. Then Jesus was carried by the Spirit into the Holy City and set on the pinnacle of the temple. Again the devil mocked Him, trying to get Him to prove His divine Sonship.

2a. Satan tempted Jesus with the abuse of power, saying that if Jesus threw Himself down from the temple, God would send His angels to protect Him. The devil likewise appeals to our desires for power.

2b. Jesus again appealed to the scriptures to answer Satan. “It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God” (Matt 4:7).

III. The Spirit then took Jesus into an exceeding high mountain and showed to him all of the kingdoms of the world and the glory associated with them.

3a. The devil tempted Jesus with riches, fame, and glory if Jesus would bow down and worship him.

3b. Again, Jesus turned to the scriptures. He commanded Satan to leave Him as well. ‘Then saith Jesus unto him, “Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve”’ (Matt 4:10).

The devil left, and angels came and ministered to Jesus.

Further thoughts:

We can learn from Jesus that there is power in the word of God. If we want to withstand the temptations of the devil, we need to be well-versed in the word of God, so that we can both recognize good from evil and have the ability to choose only the good no matter how persuasive the presentation is from Satan or those who would have us follow him.

Also, once we have overcome a present struggle with the adversary, showing ourselves true to God, the Lord will bless us with added light and strength.

Jesus’s fast and time spent in prayer prepared Him for His ministry.

Jesus heard that John the Baptist was cast into prison. From that time forth, Jesus began to preach repentance and preparation for the kingdom of heaven.

When Jesus called Simon Peter and Andrew to follow Him and be fishers of men, they both straightway left their nets and followed Jesus. Likewise, when Jesus called James and John, the sons of Zebedee, they immediately left their father and followed Jesus.

Jesus taught in Galilee and healed the people of all manner of diseases. His fame spread throughout Syria. Many brought their sick to Him and He healed them all. People followed Jesus from Galilee, Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, from beyond Jordan, and from Syria as well.

More thoughts:

Jesus has called all of us to “Come, Follow Me.” Do we listen promptly and put those less important things to the side so that we can do His will presently? Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can all be healed through faith in Him, especially from the effects of our own sins. He offers us both forgiveness and salvation. Are we flocking to Him in our own country and in all the surrounding countries? If we believe in Him, are we spreading the good news so that others can put their trust in Him and be believing too? If we have felt His healing power, shouldn’t we want others to know and feel it too? Let’s hear His call, “Come, Follow Me.”

St Matthew 1 Reflections

The Gospel According to St. Matthew: Chapter 1: Read Here: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/matt/1?lang=eng

Jesus Mary Joseph

Joseph Hearkens

In Matthew Chapter 1, the lineage of Jesus Christ is shown, giving credibility to His Kingship. Jesus Christ was the son of David, who was the son of Abraham, from whom the blessings of the gospel flow. Both Joseph and Mary were direct descendants from the throne of David.

Jesus Christ was conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, and He was and is literally the Son of God in the flesh. He was not Joseph’s mortal son, although Joseph was privileged to act as an earthly adoptive father to Jesus. Joseph did not sleep with Mary until after Jesus was born.

An angel appeared to Joseph in a dream assuring Joseph that Mary was faithful and that Jesus was God’s own Son, the Savior of the world. Jesus is Emmanuel, or God with us.

I’m thankful that Joseph listened to the angel who delivered the word of the Lord.

Further thoughts:

During our Christmas vacation, we were privileged to see the production of The Savior of the World at The Conference Center on Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah. In this powerful production, my love for my Savior grew, along with my love for both Mary and Joseph. Mary listened to the angel and said, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38). Joseph also hearkened unto the word of the Lord given through His angel in a dream, and he took Mary unto himself to be his wife and received Jesus into that union as if his own son.

In their day, there was a great stigma for a woman to be with child outside of wedlock (to the point of being punishable by death), as there was for a man to take a woman in marriage who was not a virgin. Although Mary was a virgin, there are many who would have thought otherwise. It really was a blessing for them to travel to Bethlehem and relocate there.

But I have seen the judgments of people even in our day. I am certain that a certain stigma followed Mary and Joseph in their early years of marriage by many skeptics and nonbelievers. But Mary was most favored above all other women, and she was true to her mission of rearing the Son of God and preparing Him for His service to all of us. Joseph was likewise favored to stand in as a father to Jesus and rear Him to adulthood, teaching Him both carpentry and the laws of God.

Parenthood is indeed a noble calling. Like Joseph and Mary we are called to put aside our personal ambitions to do the Lord’s will, thus fulfilling our life’s purposes and preparing the next generation for their missions as well. And I look at those who willingly adopt a child as their own, and believe that their goodness is just like Joseph’s in doing so; and that those mothers who are single are blessed as they offer the blessing of life to another; as are those parents who support each other in rearing God’s children. We come to earth, as Jesus did, in the humble circumstances of mortality, relying upon the goodness of those who are our caregivers to give us love and aid us in our growth and progression. Our Heavenly Father cares for and watches over all of us, just like He did His own Child Jesus.