Kindness vs. Indifference
Lesson 6 | Sabbath, 11 February 2023
“Oh how great is Thy goodness, which Thou hast laid up for them that fear Thee; which Thou hast wrought for them that trust in Thee before the sons of men!” Psalm 31:19.
“Let the law of kindness be upon your lips and the oil of grace in your heart. This will produce wonderful results. You will be tender, sympathetic, courteous. You need all these graces. The Holy Spirit must be received and brought into your character; then it will be as holy fire, giving forth incense which will rise up to God, not from lips that condemn, but as a healer of the souls of men. Your countenance will express the image of the divine…. By beholding the character of Christ you will become changed into His likeness. The grace of Christ alone can change your heart and then you will reflect the image of the Lord Jesus. God calls upon us to be like Him–pure, holy, and undefiled. We are to bear the divine image.” –Our Father Cares, p. 218.
- What order were the Israelites given regarding those in need? What moral obligation did they have to the poor?
Deuteronomy 15:10, 11 Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto. 11For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.
Proverbs 3:27; 19:17 Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it…. 19:17He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.
“Religion brings man into personal relation with God, but not exclusively; for the principles of heaven are to be lived out, that they may help and bless humanity. A true child of God will love Him with all his heart, and his neighbor as himself. He will have an interest for his fellowmen. True religion is the work of grace upon the heart, that causes the life to flow out in good works, like a fountain fed from living streams. Religion does not consist merely in meditation and prayer. The Christian’s light is displayed in good works, and is thus recognized by others. Religion is not to be divorced from the business life. It is to pervade and sanctify its engagements and enterprises. If a man is truly connected with God and heaven, the spirit that dwells in heaven will influence all his words and actions. He will glorify God in his works, and will lead others to honor Him.” –Our Father Cares, p. 35.
- What did a Samaritan do when he saw a wounded man? Why was the relationship between the Jews and the Samaritans so contentious?
Luke 10:33, 34 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, 34And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
“A certain Samaritan, in his journey, came where the sufferer was, and when he saw him, he had compassion on him. He did not question whether the stranger was a Jew or a Gentile. If a Jew, the Samaritan well knew that, were their condition reversed, the man would spit in his face, and pass him by with contempt. But he did not hesitate on account of this. He did not consider that he himself might be in danger of violence by tarrying in the place. It was enough that there was before him a human being in need and suffering. He took off his own garment with which to cover him. The oil and wine provided for his own journey he used to heal and refresh the wounded man. He lifted him on his own beast, and moved slowly along with even pace, so that the stranger might not be jarred, and made to suffer increased pain. He brought him to an inn, and cared for him through the night, watching him tenderly.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 503.
- What additional provisions did this extraordinary man provide for?
Luke 10:35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
“In the morning, as the sick man had improved, the Samaritan ventured to go on his way. But before doing this, he placed him in the care of the innkeeper, paid the charges, and left a deposit for his benefit; and not satisfied even with this, he made provision for any further need, saying to the host, ‘Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.’” –The Desire of Ages, p. 503.
“The Samaritan came that way, and when he saw the stranger’s need of help he did not question whether he was a relative or was of his country or creed; but he went to work to help the sufferer because there was work which needed to be done. He relieved him as best he could, put him upon his own beast, and carried him to an inn and made provision for his wants at his own expense…. The Samaritan represents a class who are true helpers with Christ and who are imitating His example in doing good.
“Those who have pity for the unfortunate, the blind, the lame, the afflicted, the widows, the orphans, and the needy, Christ represents as commandment keepers, who shall have eternal life…. Christ regards all acts of mercy, benevolence, and thoughtful consideration for the unfortunate, the blind, the lame, the sick, the widow, and the orphan as done to Himself; and these works are preserved in the heavenly records and will be rewarded.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, pp. 511, 512.
- What were the responsibilities and benefits of the priests and Levites of Israel?
Numbers 18:1-4, 19, 20 And the Lord said unto Aaron, Thou and thy sons and thy father’s house with thee shall bear the iniquity of the sanctuary: and thou and thy sons with thee shall bear the iniquity of your priesthood. 2And thy brethren also of the tribe of Levi, the tribe of thy father, bring thou with thee, that they may be joined unto thee, and minister unto thee: but thou and thy sons with thee shall minister before the tabernacle of witness. 3And they shall keep thy charge, and the charge of all the tabernacle: only they shall not come nigh the vessels of the sanctuary and the altar, that neither they, nor ye also, die. 4And they shall be joined unto thee, and keep the charge of the tabernacle of the congregation, for all the service of the tabernacle: and a stranger shall not come nigh unto you…. 19All the heave offerings of the holy things, which the children of Israel offer unto the Lord, have I given thee, and thy sons and thy daughters with thee, by a statute for ever: it is a covenant of salt for ever before the Lord unto thee and to thy seed with thee. 20And the Lord spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them: I am thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel.
“They were of the class specially chosen to be representatives of God to the people. They were to ‘have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way’ (Hebrews 5:2), that they might lead men to understand God’s great love toward humanity. The work they were called to do was the same that Jesus had described as His own when He said, ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.’ Luke 4:18.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 499.
- What was the attitude of the priest when he passed by the injured man who was lying in the road?
Luke 10:31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
Hebrews 13:16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
“The priest and the Levite had been for worship to the temple, whose service was appointed by God Himself. To participate in that service was a great and exalted privilege, and the priest and Levite felt that having been thus honored, it was beneath them to minister to an unknown sufferer by the wayside. Thus they neglected the special opportunity which God had offered them as His agents to bless a fellow being….
“The priest and Levite had no excuse for their cold-hearted indifference. The law of mercy and kindness was plainly stated in the Old Testament Scriptures. It was their appointed work to minister to just such cases as the one whom they had coldly passed by. Had they obeyed the law they claimed to respect, they would not have passed this man by without helping him. But they had forgotten the principles of the law that Christ, enshrouded in the pillar of cloud, had given to their fathers as He led them through the wilderness.” –Welfare Ministry, pp. 46, 48.
- What did the Levite do when he passed by the wounded man?
Luke 10:32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
Deuteronomy 15:7, 8 If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother: 8But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth.
“The Levite was of the same tribe as was the wounded, bruised sufferer. All Heaven watched as the Levite passed down the road, to see if his heart would be touched with human woe. As he beheld the man he was convicted of what he ought to do; but as it was not an agreeable duty, he wished he had not come that way, so that he need not have seen the man who was wounded and bruised, naked and perishing, and in want of help from his fellow men. He passed on his way, persuading himself that it was none of his business, and that he had no need to trouble himself over the case. Claiming to be an expositor of the law, to be a minister in sacred things, he yet passed by on the other side.” –Welfare Ministry, p. 47.
“Then the Levite appeared. Curious to know what had happened, he stopped and looked at the sufferer. He was convicted of what he ought to do; but it was not an agreeable duty…. With all these lessons the priest and the Levite were familiar, but they had not brought them into practical life. Trained in the school of national bigotry, they had become selfish, narrow, and exclusive. When they looked upon the wounded man, they could not tell whether he was of their nation or not. They thought he might be of the Samaritans, and they turned away.” –The Desire of Ages, pp. 499, 500.
- What example do we have from the Lord Jesus?
Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
“If there is not another soul in the universe that regards you, the Lord God of Israel is looking upon you with thoughts of compassion, tenderness, and sympathy. He sees you with your strong impulses when fainthearted and discouraged,… You have the deepest, the richest, the most refreshing sympathy in the bosom of the great Shepherd. We have not an high priest who cannot sympathize with us, but One who was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Not only has every provision been made that when tried and tempted you should find help and strength and grace, but also that your influence upon other minds should be fragrant. Not only does Christ know every soul, and the temptations and trials of that soul, but He knows all the circumstances that irritate and chafe the spirit. Your great danger is in being self-sufficient. This will not do for a Christian. Christ will give you His patience if you ask for it.” –That I May Know Him, p. 53.
“In the story of the good Samaritan, Jesus gave a picture of Himself and His mission. Man had been deceived, bruised, robbed, and ruined by Satan, and left to perish; but the Saviour had compassion on our helpless condition. He left His glory, to come to our rescue. He found us ready to die, and He undertook our case. He healed our wounds. He covered us with His robe of righteousness. He opened to us a refuge of safety, and made complete provision for us at His own charges. He died to redeem us. Pointing to His own example, He says to His followers, ‘These things I command you, that ye love one another.’ ‘As I have loved you, that ye also love one another.’ John 15:17; 13:34.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 503.