New Testament
Lesson 4
Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord


Lesson Highlights

A study of this lesson will inspire us to draw near to the Savior by repenting of our sins, keeping our baptismal covenants, and withstanding temptation.

Scripture references for study:  Matthew 3–4; John 1:35–51
    Note: Underlined scripture references have been hyperlinked to the LDS Scriptures at LDS.org and will open in a new window.

Lesson 4 Handout (PDF format)


Prepare The Way Of The Lord

John's mission foretold.

John's Calling in the Spirit of Elias.

The Time & Setting (see The Mortal Messiah, Volume 1).

WHERE DID JOHN GET HIS AUTHORITY?

John spent some time in the desert as a period of trial, testing, training.

WHAT DID JOHN DO TO PREPARE THE WAY FOR THE LORD?

WHY WAS IT IMPORTANT THAT SOMEONE PREPARE THE WAY FOR JESUS?

The Prophet Joseph Smith summarized John's mission: "The question arose from the saying of Jesus—'Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist; but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.' How is it that John was considered one of the greatest prophets? His miracles could not have constituted his greatness.
    "First. He was entrusted with a divine mission of preparing the way before the face of the Lord. Whoever had such a trust committed to him before or since? No man.
    "Secondly. He was entrusted with the important mission, and it was required at his hands, to baptize the Son of Man. Whoever had the honor of doing that? Whoever had so great a privilege and glory? Whoever led the Son of God into the waters of baptism, and had the privilege of beholding the Holy Ghost descend in the form of a dove, or rather in the sign of the dove, in witness of that administration?....
    "Thirdly. John, at that time, was the only legal administrator in the affairs of the kingdom there was then on the earth, and holding the keys of power. The Jews had to obey his instructions or be damned, by their own law; and Christ Himself fulfilled all righteousness in becoming obedient to the law which he had given to Moses on the mount, and thereby magnified it and made it honorable, instead of destroying it. The son of Zacharias wrested the keys, the kingdom, the power, the glory from the Jews, by the holy anointing and decree of heaven, and these three reasons constitute him the greatest prophet born of a woman." (TPJS, p276)


The Baptism Of Jesus

Baptism Anciently.

Can you imagine what John must have felt when Jesus came to him requesting baptism?

WHY DID JESUS NEED TO BE BAPTIZED?

WHY WAS THE HOLY GHOST SYMBOLIZED BY A DOVE AT JESUS BAPTISM?


The Temptation In The Wilderness

Jesus communes with God in the wilderness.

Jesus tempted to change stones into bread.

READ MATTHEW 4:5-7. Tempted to cast Himself down from the temple.

READ MATTHEW 4:8-10. Tempted with the kingdoms of the world.

WHY WAS JESUS TEMPTED?

WHAT CAN THE SAVIOR'S RESPONSES TO SATAN TEACH US ABOUT OVERCOMING TEMPTATIONS?

"Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him." (Matthew 4:11)


Disciples Of John The Baptist Follow Jesus

READ JOHN 1:35-40. Andrew and John follow Jesus.

WHAT DID ANDREW DO WHEN HE DISCOVERED THE MESSIAH?

READ JOHN 1:43-51. Phillip and Nathanael called to follow the Lord.

Five have been called by the Lord to follow him:


Gospel Doctrine Notebook

John the Baptist was called to prepare the way for the Lord. His ministry was involved in assisting individuals to prepare themselves to participate in the kingdom of God. He taught them to repent, to be baptized, seek for the true Messiah, and to live a good life. Jesus set the example by being baptized and resisting temptation. We need to prepare ourselves for the coming of the Lord by following in the footsteps of Jesus and heeding the counsel of John.

Record your thoughts on the baptism of Jesus and his temptations. What can you do to resist temptation? How can you better prepare yourself to become a forerunner to the Lord's second coming?


Resources Used In This Lesson

Ensign.

Gospel Ideals by David O. McKay.

Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage.

Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith selected and arranged by Joseph Fielding Smith.

Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball.

That We Might Have Joy by Howard W. Hunter.

The Mortal Messiah: From Bethlehem to Calvary, Volume 1, by Bruce R. McConkie.


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Changes last made on:  16 December 2014