A Unique Ministry
Lesson 10 | Sabbath, 5 March 2022
“From Christ’s methods of labor we may learn many valuable lessons. He did not follow merely one method; in various ways He sought to gain the attention of the multitude and, having succeeded in this, He proclaimed to them the truths of the gospel. His chief work lay in ministering to the poor, the needy, and the ignorant. In simplicity He opened before them the blessings they might receive, and thus He aroused their soul’s hunger for the truth, the bread of life. Christ’s life is an example to all His followers, showing the duty of those who have learned the way of life to teach others what it means to believe in the word of God. There are many now in the shadow of death who need to be instructed in the truths of the gospel. Nearly the whole world is lying in wickedness. To every believer in Christ, words of hope have been given for those who sit in darkness:…” –Counsels on Health, p. 387.
1. While others before and after Him carried out human programs, in what name did the true Messiah come?
Psalm 118:26 Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord: we have blessed you out of the house of the Lord.
Matthew 21:9 And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.
“Quietly returning to the temple, they [priests and rulers] heard the voices of men, women, and children praising God. Upon entering, they stood transfixed before the wonderful scene. They saw the sick healed, the blind restored to sight, and deaf receive their hearing, and the crippled leap for joy. The children were foremost in the rejoicing. Jesus had healed their maladies; He had clasped them in His arms, received their kisses of grateful affection, and some of them had fallen asleep upon His breast as He was teaching the people. Now with glad voices the children sounded His praise. They repeated the hosannas of the day before, and waved palm branches triumphantly before the Saviour. The temple echoed and re-echoed with their acclamations, ‘Blessed be He that cometh in the name of the Lord!’ ‘Behold, thy King cometh unto thee; He is just, and having salvation!’ Psalm 118:26; Zechariah 9:9. ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’… “… Prophecy had foretold that Christ should be proclaimed as king, and that word must be fulfilled. The priests and rulers of Israel refused to herald His glory, and God moved upon the children to be His witnesses. Had the voices of the children been silent, the very pillars of the temple would have sounded the Saviour’s praise.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 592.
HIS FATHER IS GOD
2. In the most desperate situations, on whom would He rely? To whom did the prophecy say He would cry?
Psalm 89:26 He shall cry unto me, Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.
1 Chronicles 22:10 He shall build an house for my name; and he shall be my son, and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever.
Luke 1:32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David
“In this age we can see the necessity of drawing men to Christ. This draws them to one another in that confidence, that love, that unity, for which Christ prayed in His last prayer with and for His disciples. This unity was essential for their spiritual growth. This world is a battlefield, upon which the powers of good and evil are in ceaseless warfare.
“At the time when Christ’s work bore only the appearance of cruel defeat, when to the disciples the case seemed hopeless, certain Greeks came to the disciples, saying, ‘We would see Jesus.’ John 12:21. This inquiry showed Christ, who was then standing in the shadow of the cross, that the sacrificial offering of Himself would bring all who believe into perfect harmony with God. By making this propitiation of man’s sins, Christ’s kingdom would be perfected and extended throughout the world. He would work as the Restorer. His Spirit would prevail everywhere.” –The Upward Look, p. 110.
3. According to prophecy, what would be the delight of God’s Son? What was engraved in His heart?
Psalm 40:7, 8 Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, 8I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.
John 4:34; 6:38 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work…. 6:38For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
Hebrews 10:9, first part Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God….
“Consider the life of Christ. Standing at the head of humanity, serving His Father, He is an example of what every son should and may be. The obedience that Christ rendered God requires from human beings today. He served His Father with love, in willingness and freedom. ‘I delight to do Thy will, O My God,’ He declared; ‘yea, Thy law is within My heart.’ Psalm 40:8. Christ counted no sacrifice too great, no toil too hard, in order to accomplish the work which He came to do. At the age of twelve He said, ‘Wist ye not that I must be about My Father’s business?’ Luke 2:49. He had heard the call, and had taken up the work. ‘My meat,’ He said, ‘is to do the will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work.’ John 4:34.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 282, 283.
THE SON REVEALS THE FATHER
4. Whom did God’s Son declare and reveal? How did He bless His brethren? What was produced by the special knowledge that He imparted?
Psalm 22:22 I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.
John 17:26, 6 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them…. 6I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.
“If we brought the truth into the daily life as we should we would advance higher and still higher, gaining a clearer and still clearer understanding of the revelation of God. We would lift Him up in songs of praise. Through the psalmist Christ declared, ‘In the midst of the congregation will I praise Thee.’ Psalm 22:22. His voice was the keynote of the universe. His unconfined power, His unsearchable understanding, His wonderful sacrifice for the human race, help us to comprehend the love of God. We need individually to have Christ abiding in the soul. We need to open our minds and hearts to the indwelling of the Spirit of truth. We need to appreciate our privileges as the possessors of sacred, elevating truth. Think of what this means to us–heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ!” –In Heavenly Places, p. 248.
5. In contrast to earthly monarchs, who put great efforts into building up their armaments, what was the Prince of Peace going to do?
Zechariah 9:10 And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.
Matthew 26:52 Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.
“So it is with the kingdom of Christ. It is a new creation. Its principles of development are the opposite of those that rule the kingdoms of this world. Earthly governments prevail by physical force; they maintain their dominion by war; but the founder of the new kingdom is the Prince of Peace. The Holy Spirit represents worldly kingdoms under the symbol of fierce beasts of prey; but Christ is ‘the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.’ John 1:29. In His plan of government there is no employment of brute force to compel the conscience. The Jews looked for the kingdom of God to be established in the same way as the kingdoms of the world. To promote righteousness they resorted to external measures. They devised methods and plans. But Christ implants a principle. By implanting truth and righteousness, He counterworks error and sin.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 77.
“…They [the disciples] go forth as witnesses for the truth, with no weapons but the Word and the Spirit of God, to triumph over all opposition…. They were transformed in character and united in the bonds of Christian love…. From their lips came words of divine eloquence and power that shook the world.” –Christ Triumphant, p. 302.
HIS MINISTRY IN GALILEE
6. What would the people see who sat in darkness, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali?
Isaiah 9:1, 2 Nevertheless the dim- ness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations. 2The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
Matthew 4:14-16 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, 15The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; 16The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.
“The prophet was permitted to look down the centuries to the time of the advent of the promised Messiah. At first he beheld only ‘trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish.’ Isaiah 8:22…. He saw the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in His wings; and, lost in admiration, he exclaimed: ‘The dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first He lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations. The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.’ Isaiah 9:1, 2.” –Prophets and Kings, p. 373.
7. What did He use in a special way in His teaching? What does this mean? Give an example of a special lesson that Jesus presented as a metaphor.
Psalm 78:2 I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old.
Matthew 13:3, 10, 11, 13 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow…. 10And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given…. 13Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
“Christ was the greatest teacher the world has ever known. He, the Son of God, came to earth in the form of a man, clothed in the habiliments of humanity, in order that he might reach the comprehension of the young as well as of the middle-aged and the aged. Through His servant David He had declared, ‘I will open My mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old.’ In parables drawn from nature and from human life, Christ showed the harmony of the natural with the spiritual. He revealed the unknown by lessons derived from the known. The heavenly was symbolized by the earthly. Natural things were presented as a reflection of the law of His kingdom.” –The Youth’s Instructor, May 6, 1897.
FOR ADDITIONAL STUDY
“Christ’s ministry lasted only three years, and a great work was done in that short period. In these last days, there is a great work to be done in a short time. While many are getting ready to do something, souls will perish for the light and knowledge.” –Counsels to Writers and Editors, p. 56.
“In consenting to become man, Christ manifested a humility that is the marvel of the heavenly intelligences. The act of consenting to be a man would be no humiliation were it not for the fact of Christ’s exalted pre-existence. We must open our understanding to realize that Christ laid aside His royal robe, His kingly crown, His high command, and clothed His divinity with humanity, that He might meet man where he was, and bring to the human family moral power to become the sons and daughters of God. To redeem man, Christ became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” –Selected Messages, book 1, pp. 243, 244.