His Life and Work
Lesson 8 | Sabbath, 19 February 2022
“Every act of Christ’s ministry was far-reaching in its purpose. It comprehended more than appeared in the act itself…. While Jesus ministered to all who came unto Him, He yearned to bless those who came not. While He drew the publicans, the heathen, and the Samaritans, He longed to reach the priests and teachers who were shut in by prejudice and tradition. He left untried no means by which they might be reached. In sending the healed leper to the priests, He gave them a testimony calculated to disarm their prejudices.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 265.
REFUGE IN EGYPT
1. Where did Joseph and Mary take the Child Jesus to escape from the impending peril? Then, what call did they receive to return to their home once the danger had passed?
Hosea 11:1 When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.
Matthew 2:13-15 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. 14When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: 15And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.
“From the moment that Christ entered the world, the whole confederacy of Satanic agencies was set at work to deceive and overthrow Him as Adam had been deceived and overthrown….
“The Commander of heaven was assailed by the tempter…. From the time that He was a helpless babe in Bethlehem, when the agencies of hell sought to destroy Him in His infancy through the jealousy of Herod, until He came to Calvary’s cross, He was continually assailed by the evil one. In the councils of Satan it was determined that He must be overcome. No human being had come into the world and escaped the power of the deceiver…. Satan knew that he must either conquer or himself be conquered. Success or failure involved too much for him to leave the work with any one of his agents of evil.” –God’s Amazing Grace, p. 162.
2. How do the Scriptures prophesy and describe the murderous plot carried out by Herod to try to destroy the holy Child? According to certain things that Jesus said, what did He think of the innocent children who were so cruelly massacred?
Jeremiah 31:15 Thus saith the Lord; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not.
Matthew 2:16-18; 5:10 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. 17Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, 18In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not…. 5:10Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Mark 10:14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.
“God sent a word of comfort to the bereaved mothers of Bethlehem that the weeping Rachels should see their children coming from the land of the enemy. Christ took little children in His arms and blessed them and rebuked the disciples who would send away the mothers, saying, ‘Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto Me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.’ Matthew 19:14.” –Selected Messages, vol. 3, p. 314.
3. What did the prophecies relate concerning Jesus’ long fast in the wilderness? What was His physical condition after passing through such a severe ordeal?
Psalm 109:24; 102:4, 5 My knees are weak through fasting; and my flesh faileth of fatness…. 102:4My heart is smitten, and withered like grass; so that I forget to eat my bread. 5By reason of the voice of my groaning my bones cleave to my skin.
Luke 4:1, 2 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Being forty days tempted of the devil. 2And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.
Matthew 4:2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered.
“Christ was our example in all things. As we see His humiliation in the long trial and fast in the wilderness to overcome the temptations of appetite in our behalf, we are to take this lesson home to ourselves when we are tempted. If the power of appetite is so strong upon the human family, and its indulgence so fearful that the Son of God subjected Himself to such a test, how important that we feel the necessity of having appetite under the control of reason. Our Saviour fasted nearly six weeks, that He might gain for man the victory upon the point of appetite. How can professed Christians with an enlightened conscience, and Christ before them as their pattern, yield to the indulgence of those appetites which have an enervating influence upon the mind and heart?” –Selected Messages, book 1, p. 284.
WILLING TO LISTEN AND OBEY
4. What was one of Jesus’ finest attributes that is rarely found among men? How do our lives compare to His?
Isaiah 50:5 The Lord God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back.
Philippians 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Hebrews 10:7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
“The fall of our first parents broke the golden chain of implicit obedience of the human will to the divine. Obedience has no longer been deemed an absolute necessity. The human agents follow their own imaginations which the Lord said of the inhabitants of the old world was evil and that continually. The Lord Jesus declares, I have kept my Father’s commandments. How? As a man! ‘Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God.’ To the accusations of the Jews He stood forth in His pure, virtuous, holy character and challenged them, ‘Which of you convinceth Me of sin?’ The world’s Redeemer came not only to be a sacrifice for sin, but to be an example to man in all things. He was a teacher, such an educator as the world never saw or heard before. He spoke as one having authority, and yet He invites the confidence of all….” –Lift Him Up, p. 169.
5. What did the psalmist prophesy concerning the Redeemer’s power over the natural elements? What effect did Jesus’ miracles have on those who witnessed them?
Psalm 107:28-30 Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their dis- tresses. 29He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. 30Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.
Luke 8:23, 24 But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. 24And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm.
“Every man’s experience testifies to the truth of the words of Scripture:
‘The wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest.’… Sin has destroyed our peace…. The masterful passions of the heart no human power can control. We are as helpless here as were the disciples to quiet the raging storm. But He who spoke peace to the billows of Galilee, has spoken the word of peace for every soul. However fierce the tempest, those who turn to Jesus with the cry, ‘Lord, save us,’ will find deliverance. His grace, which reconciles the soul to God, quiets the strife of human passion, and in His love the heart is at rest. ‘He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still…. So He bringeth them unto their de- sired haven.’…” –The Desire of Ages, pp. 336, 337.
DISPELLING HUMAN SORROW
6. What was another most blessed, wonderful attribute of the Saviour? Every day, before speaking, what did He seek from God?
Isaiah 50:4 The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.
Mark 6:2 And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?
John 7:46 The officers answered, Never man spake like this man.
“Yet He was earnest, rather than vehement. He spoke as one who had a definite purpose to fulfill. He was bringing to view the realities of the eternal world. In every theme God was revealed. Jesus sought to break the spell of infatuation which keeps men absorbed in earthly things. He placed the things of this life in their true relation, as subordinate to those of eternal interest; but He did not ignore their importance. He taught that heaven and earth are linked together, and that a knowledge of divine truth prepares men better to perform the duties of everyday life. He spoke as one familiar with heaven, conscious of His relationship to God, yet recognizing His unity with every member of the human family.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 254.
7. Among the miracles that the prophets wrote that the Son of God would perform, what was especially prominent? After being blessed by very special experiences, how do you think the beneficiaries felt?
Isaiah 29:18, 19; 35:5-7 And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness. 19The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel…. 35:5Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be un- stopped. 6Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. 7And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.
John 9:6, 7 When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, 7And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.
“In word and in deed the Messiah, during His earthly ministry, was to reveal to mankind the glory of God the Father. Every act of His life, every word spoken, every miracle wrought, was to make known to fallen humanity the infinite love of God….
“Thus, through patriarchs and prophets, as well as through types and symbols, God spoke to the world concerning the coming of a Deliverer from sin. A long line of inspired prophecy pointed to the advent of ‘the Desire of all nations.’ Haggai 2:7. Even the very place of His birth and the time of His appearance were minutely specified.” –Prophets and Kings, pp. 696, 697.