Lesson 19 – Luke 18:1-8, 35-43; 19:1-10; John 11
Before Elder Hugh B. Brown left on a mission, his mother told him: “Hugh, you remember when you were a little boy and you would have a bad dream or wake up in the night frightened? You would call from your room, ‘Mother, are you there?’ and I would answer and try to comfort you and remove your fears. Now as you go on a mission and out into the world, there will be times when you will be frightened, when you feel weak, inadequate, alone, and have problems. I want you to know that you can call to your Heavenly Father as you used to call to me and say, ‘Father, are you there? I need your help.’ Do this with the knowledge that He is there and that He will be ready to help you if you will do your part and live worthy of your blessings. I want to reassure you that He is there and will answer your prayers and needs for your best good” (told by Marvin J. Ashton, “Know He Is There,” Ensign, Feb. 1994, 50).
In this lesson we will study scriptural accounts that can help us develop greater faith that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ know and love each of us.
Jesus presented this parable to a group of Pharisees.
Luke 18:1 According to this verse, Jesus gave the parable of the unjust judge and the widow to teach men that they should always pray and be tireless about prayer.
Elder James E. Talmage taught, “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, 3rd ed. , 436).
Luke 18:7; Alma 34:27 To pray always indicates that we need to pray throughout the day—at any time we need to communicate with Heavenly Father. And when we are not in prayer, we can have a prayer in our hearts throughout the day.
Luke 18:7-8; 2 Nephi 32:9, D&C 90:24 Blessings that can come to us when we pray always include protection and justice, the Lord’s support as we act in his service, and that all things shall work together for our good.
Persevering in prayer is an act of faith. Sometimes, when we have persevered in prayer and feel that we have not received an answer, we should heed the counsel of Elder Richard G. Scott, who said: “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, 30-31).
Think about the principles and lessons you have learned as you have persevered in prayer.
Luke 18:38-42 The blind man near Jericho showed that he had faith in the Lord by calling to him for mercy. As you consider his faith, think about how you have been blessed as you have exercised faith in Jesus Christ.
Luke 18:43 Records how this man showed gratitude when he received his sight. Ask yourself, “How can I show my gratitude to the Lord”.
Luke 19:2 Zacchaeus was chief among the publicans and was a rich man, but publicans were Jews who worked as tax collectors for the Roman government, and therefore, the Jews generally disliked the publicans and considered them to be traitors and sinners.
Luke 19:3-4 Zacchaeus showed his great desire to see Jesus by climbing a tree.
Luke 19:5 Jesus told Zacchaeus to get down and take him to his house.
Luke 19:6 Zacchaeus responded with joy to Jesus’ words. Considering his example, think about what you can do to receive the Savior joyfully into your home.
According to verse 7, people reacted unfavorably when Jesus went to stay with Zacchaeus because of their prejudice toward publicans. Jesus’ response to Zacchaeus differed from the response of the others. Many people shunned Zacchaeus because of his profession as a publican. Sometimes we may make similar judgments against others, excluding them or thinking that we are better than they are.
Elder Joe J. Christensen said: “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 within your own family” (Ensign, Nov. 1996, 39).
John 11:1-5 Soon after Jesus went to Zacchaeus’s home, he received a message from his friends Mary and Martha that their brother Lazarus, who was also Jesus’ dear friend, was sick. Two days later, Jesus directed his disciples to go with him to Bethany, the city in Judea where Mary, Martha, and Lazarus lived. When Jesus returned to Bethany, Lazarus had been dead for four days.
John 11:20-27 Martha, when she heard that Jesus was coming, went out to meet him and expressed her testimony of the Savior’s divine mission.
John 11:33-35 Jesus groaned and wept when he saw Mary and many others weeping.
Despite her strong testimony, Martha’s faith seemed weak when Jesus asked that the stone be removed from Lazarus’s tomb, so the Savior counseled her to believe.
John 11:41-42 Jesus’ prayer before he raised Lazarus teaches us about his relationship with his Father.
John 11:43-44 records that Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead.
Jesus had already raised two people from the dead (Mark 5:22-24; Mark 5:35-43 and Luke 7:11-17. Raising Lazarus from the dead was different from the two previous instances because the daughter of Jairus and the son of the widow of Nain were raised from the dead soon after their body and spirit had separated. They had not been placed in tombs. Lazarus had been dead for four days, and his body was already in a sepulchre.
The miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead was a witness of the Savior’s divine mission.
John 11:45-46 This miracle had differing effects on the people who witnessed it.
The principles taught in the accounts discussed today can strengthen our faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
As Elder Thomas S. Monson said: “The passage of time has not altered the capacity of the Redeemer to change men’s lives. As he said to the dead Lazarus, so he says to you and me: ‘… come forth.’ (John 11:43) Come forth from the despair of doubt. Come forth from the sorrow of sin. Come forth from the death of disbelief. Come forth to a newness of life. Come forth” (Ensign, May 1974, 50).
Look for ways in which you can strengthen your faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
These lessons are posted on the Internet at http://www.neumanninstitute,org