Art and scripture can work hand in hand to share and reinforce religious beliefs, and this year the MOA is selecting new artworks each week to accompany each chapter of the Come, Follow Me program. Below you'll selections for this month alongside commentary and questions written by members of the MOA team. We hope that art-lovers everywhere will be inspired by these artworks as they complement their gospel study, family discussions, and church classes with fine art from around the world.
March 27 - April 2
Carl Bloch’s Christ Healing the Sick at the Pool of Bethesda paints a profound picture of what it means to have faith in the Savior, even amid trials or doubt. The man in need of healing is depicted almost completely in shadow, while the Savior is painted in brilliant contrast. This striking use of light and shadow suggests to viewers that this man with paralysis (a representation of each of us) is both healed physically by the Savior and brought to spiritual enlightenment by him. Because the Savior can heal all parts of our minds, bodies, and souls, his presence in our lives can help calm our anxieties about life’s troubles. He wants to provide that peace and continually invites us to “be not afraid” (Matthew 14:27) and “come, follow [him]” (Luke 18:22).
As you come unto Christ this week, consider how the Lord’s light can personally bring you peace, enlightenment, and healing.
After the most hopeless moments in history, the days following the Savior’s crucifixion, the world saw hope return. When the resurrected Savior appeared to the women in his life, and later his disciples, he taught them about eternal life: the promise for each of us to rise again, and the opportunity to see our loved ones again.
This woodcut highlights the light of the Savior and various possible reactions to the news of his resurrection. Some of these figures kneel in worship. Some shield their eyes in shock. Still, others reach out to him and the hope he offers us.
Consider how the good news of the resurrection changes your life. In what ways does it create hope and deliver you from darkness?
While images of Christ vary significantly in style and theme, they consistently try to answer the question posed to us in Matthew 16: Who is Jesus Christ?
This Russian icon follows many of the traditional stylistic choices of Byzantine art, which focus on the divinity of Jesus Christ, rather than his mortal experience. Reading about Christ’s words, interactions, and experiences during his mortal ministry can help us learn about him in an additional way. Significantly, rather than relying solely on the interpretations and testimonies of others, the Savior invites us to come unto him and decide for ourselves who he really is.
As you study his teachings, miracles, and divine mission, consider the attributes you see in him. As we spend time in the scriptures, we can develop a personal testimony of who Christ is, and what real influence he can have on our lives.
As you study Christ’s teachings this week, consider how your relationship might be strengthened by approaching Christ as if we are his “little children.”
Christ famously taught, as recorded multiple times in scripture, that “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:4)
Kruseman’s painting Christ Blessing the Children illustrates the significant love the Savior holds for all his children and provides us with an opportunity to consider what being like a “little child” means.
These children are reliant on and confident in Jesus, they are willing to let him direct them. This doesn’t mean becoming like children frees us from fear or hardships, but is helps us develop greater confidence in the Lord and his divine plan.
Shepherds have an important charge to keep their sheep safe from harm and to guide them to the greenest pastures. Flocks of sheep learn to recognize their shepherd’s voice so they won’t be misdirected or led away. Similarly, when we learn to recognize the Savior’s voice in our lives, we can find safety and refuge from potential dangers of the world.
This piece illustrates the significant relationship between a shepherd and his flock. As the shepherd lets his sheep out of the barn, the sheep stay close to him. The harsh weather of the winter season and the subdued palette used in this scene suggest potential danger within the environment. Still, the sheep appear relaxed, trusting in their shepherd.
Reflect on a time when the Savior directed you. How can you practice hearing his voice more clearly this week?