Come Follow Me LDS- Luke 12-17; John 11 Part 1

'You, A Lost Child & Chiasmus'
- Jesus talks about the individual and responsibility
- The Prodigal Son- Who are you?
- The Secret Code of Chiasmus



Come Follow Me New Testament

LDS Mormon Luke John Bible


this episode is about you the individual

a lost child and a secret code in the

scriptures called Chiasmus here we go

all right so this week's lesson covers

six chapters in Luke and then also one

chapter in John what we're going to do

is since so many of these chapters in

Luke overlap with things that we have

already covered this year and come

follow me I'm going to kind of dance

around a little bit not literally here

but we're gonna dance around a little

bit through these chapters and touch on

some things that we haven't touched on

yet and maybe just a little bit of

review on a few of the points here where

I may want to make a little bit more of

a nuanced point about what the scripture

is trying to tell us so we're gonna

start here in Luke 12 now Luke from

actually chapters 12 to 19 focus a lot

on the spiritual economy and what Jesus

does here specifically is he works in a

lot about a physical economy about the

rich and the poor and uses several

parables and teachings around the idea

of whoever's rich needs to watch out and

whoever is poor is more likely to be

blessed and so that a lot of these

parables are going to go along that

theme but there's a second theme that

Luke goes through here that I want to

point out and that is the theme of the

individual and you know a lot of times

we talk about pride and how we don't

want to focus on ourselves but what

Jesus is going through here is he's

pointing out

that you are important and that you are

an individual that you have agency and

that that is invaluable there is no

value that can be placed on that because

of your eternal future and a couple of

things that he goes over here in Chapter

12 give us this idea of each of our

importance as an individual this is

where he talks about the lilies have you

considered the lilies of the field he

gives the example of five sparrows and

not one of them being is forgotten of

God he gives the example of the hairs on

your head that each of them are counted

he wants us to know that each of us is

ultimately an individual but what goes

along with that is our agency that's

what makes us an individual and with

that agency comes responsibility and so

as he goes through this chapter giving

these different examples of how he's

watching out over us and how he sees

each of us counts each of us as an

invaluable individual he then comes down

and starts talking about our

responsibility that goes along with that

and this is where we've gone over before

don't worry about what you're going to

eat don't worry about your clothing

don't worry about all of these different

physical things but worry about what's

in your heart where is your treasure

are you building up treasures in heaven

and you know what how are you using your

agency and then as we use that agency

we're able to grow and to receive

blessings but then he gives us an

example of how this responsibility plays

in with this agency in this

individuality that we've been given he

says finishing up on the parable of the

steward he says in verse 47 and that

servant which knew his Lord's will and

prepared not himself neither did

according to his Will shall be beaten

with many stripes that's

the metaphor obviously but that person

is going to be beaten with many stripes

why because a servant that has been

given all of the right gifts given all

the right opportunities and received

numerous blessings but does not prepare

himself herself is going to be beaten

with many stripes in other words we're

going to suffer because of that probably

a lot of that is regret right we can

think sometimes maybe you have those

stripes that were beaten with as stripes

of regret but then in 48 he says but he

that knew not and did commit things

worthy of stripes so he that knew not

the Lord and did commit things worthy of

stripes shall be beaten with few stripes

for unto whomsoever much is given of him

shall be much required and to whom men

have committed much of him they will ask

the more so we get this idea through

this chapter here of how the Lord sees

each one of us as an individual and how

important we are and we start feeling

really good about that but that can't

sit by itself it's kind of like always

looking for something to receive but

then never taking on the responsibility

that goes for that it's like it's like

wanting rights it's not what what's do

to me what are my rights what are my

gifts what am I going to receive but

then never coupling those things with

our duty or coupling those things with

any responsibilities that would go along

with that that's kind of remaining like

a child

right you see a teenager wanting to grow

out and become an individual and have

freedom and depend independence but are

they willing to take on with that new

agency are they willing to take on the

responsibility that goes with it because

they have to go together things don't

function without that independence and

agency being coupled with the

responsibility that goes along with it

and along with this idea he follows up

here in verse 51 and says suppose ye

that I am come to give peace on earth

again just giving everything to us

I tell you nay but rather division and

so you think about that well why is he

gonna give us division isn't he the

Prince of Peace right isn't heaven

the idea of going in doing everything

right supposed to bring us just

blessings and the answer is no it's not

it is it is something that is fought for

it is something that is earned because

we have to take on the adversity and

the responsibility and the growth that's

going to go along with accepting the

message of truth and he says in 52 for

from will henceforth there shall be five

in one house divided three against two

and two against three so some are going

to accept this and some are not going to

accept the truth and a lot of it has to

do with responsibility it's interesting

a couple points here just above here

where I had mentioned the sparrows where

the Lord is mindful of the sparrows he

mentions five sparrows and then down

here where he's talking about the family

members being divided he mentions five

in one household we're gonna get to the

number five here again in a minute but

it's a consistent theme throughout a

number of these parables that Luke gives

us the second point here that I would

like to make about this verse is that

again there are divisions right there

are groups of people among the Jews I've

reiterated this numerous times because

it's hard to break this idea that the

Jews are all lockstep together in this

idea of who Jesus is and if they're

aligned with the high priests and the

Sadducees and the Pharisees and the

scribes the answer is no they're not

right there are a lot of different

groups and a lot of different people

accept Christ as the Son of God not just

the Messiah important distinction and a

number of them that don't even within

households and so the again the whole

idea it's really important to understand

the dynamics that are going on here

right people in groups don't act that

way we don't have everybody they're all

just the same a lot of people break out

of a collectivist idea and a number

of people have here and they accept

Jesus as the Son of God then I want to

bring in a couple points here about the

jobs of Smith translation and we're

gonna start with one of them here we're

gonna skip all the way over to chapter

14 and coming down all the way down to

verse 35 there's a pretty big insertion

here that shows us Smith gives and this

is really important in understanding

what has been lost in the scriptures if

you go through the Joseph Smith

translation you're going to find a theme

of apostasy of the higher law and of the

Melchizedek priesthood and here we see it

again in in chapters 14 and then later

in chapter 16 and so let's go over verse

chapter 14 right here and this is verse

35 in the Joseph Smith translation then

certain of them came to him saying good

master we have Moses this is the

Pharisees and others we have Moses and

the prophets and whosoever shall live by

them shall he not have life so again

I've talked a lot about this rivalry of

Moses and Jesus and where the a lot of

the Pharisees and Sadducees minds are in

respect to the law of Moses we really

need to keep a Ben and I in mind

throughout all of this a Ben and I is

key to understanding the situation in

the New Testament and just as we know

that it's another the Book of Mormon is

another testament of Jesus Christ it is

another testament of the New Testament


it clarifies a lot of things so a been a

dye King Noah and the priests that

situation there that mock-trial that is

going on there is key to understanding

what is happening in the time of Jesus

here in Jerusalem and so here we will

finish up here with verse 35 let me

start over with 35 then certain of them

came to him saying good master we have

Moses and the prophets and whosoever

shall live by them shall he not have

life and then 36 and Jesus answered

saying ye know not Moses neither the

prophets for if he had known them he

would have believed on me for - this

intent they were written for I am sense

that you might have life therefore I

will liken it unto salt which is good so

this gives us a different idea of what

Jesus is talking about when he uses the

metaphor of salt but if the salt has

lost its savor wherewith shall and be

seasoned here he's talking about the

scriptures he's talking about the law of

Moses and the scriptures that they have

as the salt the salt is no good if it's

lost its savor what good is the law of

Moses and everything that the prophets

have prophesied about if you don't

understand that it is all looking

forward to the Son of God being born and

sacrificed for the world as the Redeemer

if you don't understand all of that it's

worthless it's dead it is a dead law and

so that's what Christ is saying here

about the salt the law that you have the

the trust on Moses and Moses here is

both author of the law and he's also in

sent in a sense a title right we see him

kind of as used as a title here among

the Pharisees and the Sadducees this is

the same situation with a Benedict where

King Noah and the priests have forsaken

the law of Moses although they preach it

they don't follow it

and they don't look forward to the Son

of God coming down being born of a woman

and taking on the sins of the world so

it's the same situation it gives us

great clarification as to what Jesus is

preaching here and Joseph Smith is

filling in the gaps here with the

translation so that we understand that

what is lost during this time is the

higher law what is lost is the

Melchizedek Priesthood what is lost is

the idea that Jehovah is the son of God

and is Jesus and that he is going to be

sacrificed for the sins of the world

that does not exist in the mainstream of

the Jews that are in control and then we

go over to chapter 15 and we get again

this idea that Luke gives us about both

an economy the rich and the poor and

money as well as the individual these

are the two things I don't oftentimes

see this individual being written in is

a part of the theme of these parables

but it's definitely coupled with

the idea of the rich and the poor so in

chapter 15 we get the parable of the

sheep and the one the ninety-nine and

the one here's how it's set up

remember this is overlapping a lot of

what we've gone over previously but

Jesus is sitting with the sinners and

the publicans and he speaks this parable

unto them but mostly unto the Pharisees

that are wondering why he is sitting

with the publicans and the sinners and

he says what man of you having an

hundred sheep if he lose one of them

does not leave the ninety and nine in

the wilderness and go after that which

is lost until he find it and when he

hath found it he layeth it on his

shoulders rejoicing and when he cometh

home he calls together his friends and

neighbors saying unto them rejoice with

me for I have found my sheep which was

lost I say unto you that likewise

joy shall be in heaven over one sinner

that repenteth more than over ninety not

ninety and nine just persons which need

no repentance stop and think about that

we're the same way if we lose something

even if it's a smaller value to what the

larger amount that we might have is of

something we're very excited about

finding that smaller amount that was

lost there is a feeling of when

something is lost and it's brought back

right that that there's a rejoicing that

we have and then a second parable is

about the woman that has ten pieces of

silver and it's the same idea hers

here's how it goes

either what woman having ten pieces of

silver if she lose one piece does not

light a candle and sweep the house and

seek diligently till she find it and

when she hath found it she called her

friends and her neighbors together

saying rejoice with me for I have found

the peace which I had lost likewise I

say unto you there is joy in the

presence of the angels of God over one

sinner that repenteth in other words the

Pharisees focus is in the wrong place

right it's the Pharisee focus is hey

we're righteous we're good we follow all

these checklists we have all these rules

that we do and here we have the

publicans and the sinners so let's

separate ourselves from them we can do

that sometimes right again we might be

the Pharisees sometimes in certain

situations are we - pure sometimes to

mix with others to put our put a hand

out to others a friendship or charity or

maybe we're the sinners and sometimes we

wish we had more of an acceptance and

maybe that would help us change if

someone reached a hand out to us maybe

we're the lost one right and then lastly

in this chapter we get again something

else that has lost an individual and

this is this what we

termed the parable of the prodigal son

although that's never called that in the

scriptures now a couple things on

parables I want to go over at this point

before we go into this into this parable

one is that what you see typically in

the parables and I brought this off of a

PhD dissertation that I had read but

this is something that is a kind of a

process that each of these parables go

through first you have an established

vision of reality this is the way things

are in our life right now and the

parable presents that reality and then

secondly you have an alternate vision of

reality something that shocks you a

little bit like oh this is the way it

should be in the parable and then third

you have a challenge given directly to

the established order of things and

again that's typically going to the

Pharisees Sadducees high priests scribes

etc they are the established order of

things and you see Jesus constantly

going after them for the type of

established order that they have they've

hijacked they've hijacked the system and

so there's an orientation to the current


then there's disorientation showing an

alternate reality and then there's going

to be a reorientation that comes in and

says okay this is we see how this is the

way it's supposed to be that is what the

parables are supposed to be doing here

the second thing about the parables that

we find often times maybe not in all of

them but throughout a lot of Scripture

we see the literary tool of Chiasmus we

have heard of this you may know a lot

about it you may know nothing about it

but basically Chiasmus is a literary

tool that is found in a number of

different scriptures but especially

Hebrew Scriptures it's found in the Book

of Mormon John Wells writes a lot about

this he discovered Chiasmus this

literary tool inside of the book

Gorman and here we find it a lot in the

New Testament and we find it within each

one of well several of these parables

the prodigal son is one of those and

basically the way this works is that you

have point a and then maybe point B and

then maybe point C and C would be the

center the central idea of the

parable in this case and then it would

reverse and go back to point B it would

correlate back to the second point and

then it would the last point would

go back to point a which was the first

point so it would be like this

a B C at the center and then back out

using the same points as above going

back out to B and then a it's something

that you can memorize easier when you

have these points that are put in place

it's something that could then be

verbally recounted to others a lot

easier if you understood the structure

but what it does for us is it lets us

see what the central point is so

typically the central point is whatever

is in the middle and so we see that in a

number of these parables so let's go

through the prodigal son then once we've

gone through it and I've read it will go

through the chiasmus on it a little bit

so he said Jesus says here a certain man

had two sons and the younger of them

said to his father father give me the

portion of goods that falls to me and he

divided unto them his living and not

many days after the younger son gathered

all together and took his journey into a

far country and there wasted his

substance with riotous living and when

he had spent all there arose a mighty

famine in that land and he began to be

in want and he went and joined himself

to a citizen of that country and he sent

him into the fields to feed swine and he

would fain have filled his belly with

the husks

that the swine did eat and no man gave

unto him and when he came to himself he

said how many hired servants of my

father's have bread enough and to spare

and I perish with hunger I will arise

and go to my father and will say unto

him father I have sinned against heaven

and before thee and I'm no more worthy

to be called thy son make me as one of

the hired servants and he arose and came

to his father but when he was yet a

great way off his father saw him and had

kept at compassion and ran and fell on

his neck and kissed him and the son said

unto him father I have sinned against

heaven and in thy sight and him no more

worthy to be called thy son but the

father said to his servants bring forth

the best robe and put it on him and put

a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet

and bring hither the fatted calf and

kill it and let us eat and be merry for

this my son was dead and is alive again

he was lost and is found and they began

to be merry

now his elder son was in the field and

as he came and drew nigh to the house he

heard music and dancing and he called

one of the servants and asked what these

things meant and he said unto Him thy

brother has come and they father hath

killed the fatted calf because he hath

received him safe and sound and he was

angry and would not go in therefore came

his father out and entreated him and he

answering said to his father lo these

many years do I serve thee neither

transgressed I at any time thy

commandment and yet thou never gave us

me a kid that I might make merry with my

friends but as soon as this thy son was

come which hath devoured thy living with

harlots thou hast killed for him the

fatted calf and he said unto Him son

thou art ever with me and all that I

have is thine it was meat that we should

make merry and be glad for the

thy brother was dead and is alive again

and was lost and is found

okay so here we have again this Lucan

theme or themes of money inheritance

economy and the individual that has been

lost and that is found and they're

coupled together here again perfectly in

this parable of the prodigal son

question before I go back into the

chiasmus of this is this fair as you're

listening to this or as you rate have

read it have you asked yourself well

wait a minute

I kind of have empathy for the other son

is this really fair and I think that we

can get caught into that trap of again

fairness as I said in the last week's

episode fairness is not a part of God's

plan it has nothing to do with fairness

just as with the lost piece of silver of

the woman just as with the lost sheep

there is going to be more joy for those

that have been lost and have then

returned and that's really important to

understand because you're lost you are

lost and just as we've talked about the

Platinum rule if you can't be merry and

grateful for somebody else who has been

lost and now is found then you're gonna

have a hard time right with a heavenly

father where you have been lost who you

are in a fallen state where you are a

sinner and then become found and

returned and are purified and in our

perfected because you're not perfected

so if you felt this way I understand I

probably felt that way but remember that

you are each one of these actors as I go

through the principle of the filter of

temple imagery and the drama it works

perfectly within these parables you

might imagine yourself as the older

brother but you're also the prodigal son

you're both at times there may be always

and so don't forget that if you place

judgment on the prodigal son or somebody

else who's lost then you're losing

perspective because you're going to be

judged you are also the prodigal son or

daughter that has been lost to Heavenly

Father and is trying to get back to him

and you're also the father or the mother

or will be and as we learn in the

structure here of the parable that

this really is focused in on the father

actually so let's look at this very

quickly if you've got your scriptures

with you then you can run down this with

me if not just kind of keep it straight

in your head as best you can and as we

look at chapter 15 verses starting with

verse 11 which is where the parable

starts 11 and 12 we have the father

dividing the property between them

that's a B is verse 13 he squandered his

inheritance on a life of dissipation

verses 14 to 16 RC nobody gave him

anything he didn't receive anything from

anybody else what he was gone out on his

own that's C D would be verses 17 to 19

father I have sinned against heaven and

against you

e is the central part of the parable

that is verse 20 and 20 is about

his father caught sight of him and was

filled with compassion so that is the

center of the parable as the son is

approaching coming back home it's the

father that sees him and is filled with

compassion and with joy over the son

that has been lost and has returned

that's the center of the parable it's

about the reunion of the child and the

parent it is about the compassion and

the joy that the father feels that the

parent feels that the mother would feel

and then we back out of it and

we return again going with now we were

at D at the sent at E at the center

we're gonna go back to D now father I

have sinned against heaven and against

you two repeats it again

and then C verses that was verse twenty

one C would be verses 22 to 24 take the

fatted calf and slaughter it that's in

comparison to him not receiving anything

when he was gone and then B would be

verses 25 to 30 your son returns who

swallowed up your property with the

harlots right and that is in comparison

with B in verse 13 he squandered his

inheritance on his life while he was

gone and then a goes right back to

everything I have is yours as he says

that to the other son and a to begin

with was the father divided the property

between the two boys and so the center

of this is the reunion of the father and

the son here and who is who you know

he's talking about this really to the

Pharisees who are upset that he is

sitting with the sinners the Pharisees

in this case as he's talking that he's

talking about are the older brother that

had stuck around that apparently are

following the rules but are very


because they don't want to sit with the

sinners and Jesus sitting with the

sinners those would be the prodigal sons

and daughters that are lost and he's

hoping to bring them back and what great

joy it would be if he can bring them

back and then of course the father is

our Heavenly Father but using the idea

of temple imagery and drama with the

parables we understand that we are all

each of these characters each of us is

the parent each of us is at times maybe

someone who's done the right thing

someone else hasn't or the other brother

and each of us is the prodigal son or

daughter no matter what even if we've

lived a more perfect life we are the

prodigal sons and daughters that are

fallen in a state in this mortality that

where we need to return back to our

father we're going to continue in part

two on another parable where we can see

and use again the temple drama with the

rich man and Lazarus and then we're

going to go to John chapter 11 as well

to finish up in part 2 for this week

I'll talk to you again next time


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