“Unto You Is Born … a Saviour”

Lesson 3 – Luke 2; Matthew 2


Introduction

 

Today, we will ponder rejoicing in the birth of Jesus Christ and following the example he set in his youth, “[increasing] in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man” (Luke 2:52)

 

Match the following responses with the appropriate person:

Person
Response

a shepherd

I traveled a great distance to find him, gave him gifts, and worshiped him. (Matthew 2:1-2, 9-11)

Simeon

I made no room for him.  (Luke 2:7)

a wise man from the east

Having received a witness from the Holy Ghost, I took the child up in my arms and knew that I could die in peace. (Luke 2:25-32)

  Herod

I said, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”  (Luke 2:13-14)

 a person at an inn

I went quickly to see him. (Luke 2:15-16)

Anna

I was troubled and tried to kill him. (Matthew 2:3-4, 16)

an angel

After seeing him in the temple, I expressed gratitude and spread the news of his birth. (Luke 2:36-38)

Mary

I pondered the event in my heart. (Luke 2:19)

 

As we proceed with today’s lesson, ponder these questions:

§         How do you respond to the account of the Savior’s birth?

§         How do you respond to his life, death, atonement, and resurrection?

 

The Birth of Jesus Christ

 

John 17:5 Jesus had glory with Heavenly Father “before the world was”.

Mosiah 3:8 He created the heavens and the earth.

3 Nephi 15:2-5 As Jehovah, he revealed commandments and gospel truths to the prophets of the Old Testament.

3 Nephi 27:13-16 teaches that Jesus came to earth to do the will of the Father, sacrificing himself in the Atonement, and providing a way for men to be saved.

Luke 2:1-7 provides us with the circumstances of Jesus’ birth. These circumstances foreshadowed his mortal ministry and his atoning sacrifice as he came to earth in very humble surroundings and went unnoticed by much of the world.

People today often refuse to make room for the Savior in their lives, just as the innkeeper did at his birth.  It would be worthwhile for us to ponder that which we can do to make room for him in our daily lives.

 

Angels and many others rejoiced at Jesus’ birth.

 

Luke 2:13-14 records the message of the angels as they announced Jesus’ birth. Jesus glorified the Father by accepting and fulfilling his mission of salvation and redemption.  He brought peace and goodwill to all people as they have accepted his teachings and sacrifice. 

It is our challenge to find ways in which we can show our gratitude to God for the gift of his Son.

Luke 2:17-18 The shepherds, after they saw the newborn Savior, made his birth known to others. 

We need to follow their example by sharing our testimony that the Messiah has come. Think of someone with whom you can share your testimony of the Savior.

Luke 2:19 After Jesus’ birth and the visit of the shepherds, the scripture reveals that Mary pondered these events.  Obviously, Mary took time to cherish and ponder sacred experiences.

Think about how much time you take to cherish and ponder sacred or spiritual experiences.

Luke 2:25-26, 37 bears testimony that Simeon and Anna had been prepared to see the child Jesus by their years of devout worship and obedience.

Luke 2:27-35, 38 records the response of these devout servants when they saw Christ.

From their prophecies we learn that the Savior would bring salvation, be a light to both the Jews and Gentiles, and would bring redemption to his people.

 

Wise men came to worship the child Jesus. Herod sought to kill him

 

Matthew 2:1-2 testifies that the “wise men from the east” sought Jesus that they might worship him.

Matthew 2:11 When they found him, they worshiped him and offered gifts.  Note that when they finally reached Jesus, he was a “young child,” not a newborn baby. 

We should follow the example of the wise men and consider what gifts we could offer to the Lord.

Matthew 2:3-6, 13 Herod wanted to find Jesus because he was troubled, and he wanted to kill Jesus.

Matthew 2:2, 6 Jesus Christ’s birth troubled the king because, according to prophecy, Jesus would rule Israel.

Matthew 2:13-15 Jesus was protected from Herod by being taken to Egypt until Herod was no longer a threat to him. 

Matthew 2:19-23 Joseph know when to return from Egypt because of a dream in which he was instructed.  Joseph was able to receive this guidance from God because he was faithful and obedient, following the Spirit in his actions.

Today’s fathers and mothers also need to be able to receive revelation concerning dangers and challenges affecting their families. Consider carefully how God has helped you as you have sought his guidance for your family.

 

Guided by the Father, Jesus prepared in his youth for his ministry.

 

Luke 2:41-42 Every year Joseph and Mary and other faithful Jews celebrated the Feast of the Passover in Jerusalem. As was customary, Jesus accompanied them when he reached the age of 12.

Luke 2:43-45 After celebrating the Passover in Jerusalem, Mary and Joseph had begun their journey back to Nazareth when they realized that 12-year-old Jesus was not with them.

Luke 2:46 records that they finally found the young Jesus in the temple.

Think about this:  If your parents or other loved ones did not know where you were, could they be confident that you were doing things that would please your Heavenly Father?

Luke 2:46 (Joseph Smith Translation) says that the men in the temple “were hearing [Jesus], and asking him questions.” This reveals the thoroughness and depth of Jesus’ training in his youth.

Luke 2:48 When Mary and Joseph found Jesus, Mary said to him, “Thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing”.  In this verse, she was referring to Joseph when she said “thy father”.

Luke 2:49 Jesus’ responded to Mary’s concern by saying that he was about “my Father’s business”, referring to his Heavenly Father. Obviously, Jesus understood his foreordained mission at this time in his youth.

Luke 2:51 As a youth, Jesus treated Mary and Joseph with honor and respect. Even though he was the Son of God, he was subject to his mother and to Joseph.

We should learn from his example of humility.

Luke 2:52 As a youth, Jesus “increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man”. In other words, he developed intellectually, physically, spiritually, and socially.

Think about how we might follow that example with some specific things that will help us intellectually, physically, and spiritually.

D&C 93:11-17 We learn from these verses that in his preparation to be our Redeemer, Jesus did not receive all the necessary intelligence, power, wisdom, and glory at once. He received these things “grace for grace,” a little at a time.

D&C 93:18-20 teaches that if we keep the commandments, we will receive of his fulness.

 

Conclusion

We should rejoice in the birth of the Savior and follow the example he set in his youth, growing “grace for grace”.

 

These lessons are posted on the Internet at http://www.neumanninstitute.org