Lesson 18 | Sabbath, 28 October 2023
“And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.” Luke 10:27.
“It is not possible for the heart in which Christ abides to be destitute of love. If we love God because He first loved us, we shall love all for whom Christ died. We cannot come in touch with divinity without coming in touch with humanity; for in Him who sits upon the throne of the universe, divinity and humanity are combined. Connected with Christ, we are connected with our fellow men by the golden links of the chain of love. Then the pity and compassion of Christ will be manifest in our life. We shall not wait to have the needy and unfortunate brought to us. We shall not need to be entreated to feel for the woes of others. It will be as natural for us to minister to the needy and suffering as it was for Christ to go about doing good.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 384.
1.What feelings of great love does the Creator generate in the human heart? What is His nature?
Psalm 73:25-27. Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. 26My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. 27For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish.
John 3:16, 17. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only be- gotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
1 John 4:8-10. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 9In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 10Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
“When self is merged in Christ, love springs forth spontaneously. The completeness of Christian character is attained when the impulse to help and bless others springs constantly from within, when the sunshine of heaven fills the heart and is revealed in the countenance.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 384.
2.What common question did a lawyer ask Jesus? After He replied, what counter- question did the man ask?
Luke 10:25-29. And, behold, a cer- tain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 26He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? 27And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. 28And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. 29But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Je- sus, And who is my neighbour?
“Among the Jews the question, ‘Who is my neighbour?’ caused endless dispute. They had no doubt as to the heathen and the Samaritans. These were strangers and enemies. But where should the distinction be made among the people of their own nation and among the different classes of society? Whom should the priest, the rabbi, the elder, regard as neighbor? They spent their lives in a round of ceremonies to make themselves pure. Contact with the ignorant and careless multitude, they taught, would cause defilement that would require wearisome effort to remove. Were they to regard the ‘unclean’ as neighbors?” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 376.
3.How did the former Pharisee, Paul, present the meaning of love for one’s neighbor, as seen in the second table of the Ten Commandments? How is love seen in action?
Romans 13:8-10. Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 9For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 10Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Matthew 22:37-40. Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38This is the first and great commandment. 39And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
1 John 4:20. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his broth- er whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
“In the ark was the golden pot of manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of stone which folded together like a book. Jesus opened them, and I saw the ten commandments written on them with the finger of God. On one table were four, and on the other six.” –Early Writings, p. 32.
4.According to the fifth commandment, who are the very closest “neighbors” to everyone? However, how did the Jewish leaders interpret this commandment? How were injuries and difficulties arising between neighbors to be resolved?
Ephesians 6:2, 3. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) 3That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.
Matthew 15:4-6. For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. 5But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; 6And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.
Exodus 21:35. And if one man’s ox hurt another’s, that he die; then they shall sell the live ox, and divide the money of it; and the dead ox also they shall divide.
“This question Christ answered in the parable of the good Samaritan. He showed that our neighbor does not mean merely one of the church or faith to which we belong. It has no reference to race, color, or class distinction. Our neighbor is every person who needs our help. Our neighbor is every soul who is wounded and bruised by the adversary. Our neighbor is every one who is the property of God.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 376.
5.In the parable, what two types of individuals from the very highest profession failed to show love for their neighbor? But who took on the responsibility to meet the needs of the severely wounded man?
Luke 10:30-33. And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. 33But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him.
“In journeying from Jerusalem to Jericho, the traveler had to pass through a portion of the wilderness of Judea. The road led down a wild, rocky ravine, which was infested with robbers, and was often the scene of violence. It was here that the traveler was attacked, stripped of all that was valuable, and left half dead by the wayside. As he lay thus, a priest came that way; he saw the man lying wounded and bruised, weltering in his own blood; but he left him without rendering any assistance. He ‘passed by on the other side.’ Then a Levite appeared. Curious to know what had hap- pened, he stopped and looked at the sufferer. He was convicted of what he ought to do, but it was not an agreeable duty. He wished that he had not come that way so that he would not have seen the wounded man. He persuaded himself that the case was no concern of his, and he too ‘passed by on the other side.’” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 379.
LOVING THE NEEDY
6.What did the Samaritan do for his neighbor? What did Jesus ask the doctor of the law after He finished telling the parable?
Luke 10:34-37. And 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. 35And 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. 36Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? 37And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
“In giving this lesson, Christ presented the principles of the law in a direct, forcible way, showing His hearers that they had neglected to carry out these principles. His words were so definite and pointed that the listeners could find no opportunity to cavil. The lawyer found in the lesson nothing that he could criticize. His prejudice in regard to Christ was removed. But he had not overcome his national dislike sufficiently to give credit to the Samaritan by name. When Christ asked, ‘Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?’ he answered, ‘He that showed mercy on him.’” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 380.
7.Who is the greatest example of a Good Samaritan? What are all true Christians called to be?
Matthew 9:35, 36. And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. 36But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.
1 John 2:6. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
Matthew 25:32, 34-40. And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats…. 34Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
“Many will allow a brother or a neighbor to struggle unaided under ad- verse circumstances. Because they profess to be Christians, he may be led to think that in their cold selfishness they are representing Christ. Because the Lord’s professed servants are not in cooperation with Him, the love of God, which should flow forth from them, is in great degree cut off from their fellow men. And a large revenue of praise and thanksgiving from human hearts and human lips is prevented from flowing back to God. He is robbed of the glory due to His holy name. He is robbed of the souls for whom Christ died, souls whom He longs to bring into His kingdom to dwell in His presence through endless ages.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 383.
For Additional Study
“There are those who would think it lowering to their dignity to minister to suffering humanity. Many look with indifference and contempt upon those who have laid the temple of the soul in ruins. Others neglect the poor from a different motive. They are working, as they believe, in the cause of Christ, seeking to build up some worthy enterprise. They feel that they are doing a great work, and they cannot stop to notice the want of the needy and distressed. In advancing their supposedly great work they may even oppress the poor. They may place them in hard and trying circumstances, deprive them of their rights, or neglect their needs. Yet they feel that all this is justifiable because they are, as they think, advancing the cause of Christ.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 382.
MISSIONARY REPORT FROM SPAIN
To be read on Sabbath, October 28, 2023
The Special Sabbath School Offering will be gathered on Sabbath, November 4, 2023
Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ!
“Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you:…” Romans 15:24. In his yearning to spread the gospel to the limits of the civilized world of his day, the apostle Paul cherished the desire to visit Spain, an aspiration that was confirmed when he said, “When therefore I have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will come by you into Spain.” Romans 15:28. At that time, Spain was experiencing the “genius status” as some of the greatest men in the Roman Empire were Spaniards, including Lucano, the epic poet; Marcial, the master of epigrams; Quintilian, the master of oratory; and, above all, Seneca the Stoic philosopher, who was the tutor and later the prime minister of Nero, the Roman emperor.
Paul’s missionary vision was broad, for he envisioned new and extensive fields of service and made all of his trips and plans with the burning desire in mind of establishing the Christian faith. For this reason, he wanted to travel to Spain to “raise the banner of the cross.”
The awakening of the Protestant Reformation in Spain (16th century)–“to revive in its simplicity and purity the ancient spirit of our ancestors and the prim- itive church.” The desire was to revive the gospel that was preached by Paul. But keeping high the banner of the cross would require sacrifice, for there were many Spanish believers who were burned at the stake during the Inquisition. Men and women persevered in preaching the freedom of the gospel and circulating treaties, pamphlets, and Bibles in the main ports of the Mediterranean, in the passes of the Pyrenees, and in the cities of Seville, Valladolid, Castilla, Logroño, Navarra, Toledo, Tarragona, Valencia, Zaragoza, and many more.
Many in Spain who were closely identified with the Protestant Reformation in the sixteenth century sacrificed their lives and died as martyrs, but they did not shed their blood in vain. They offered to God sacrifices of sweet fragrance. They left behind a testimony in favor of the truth that was not entirely lost.
The spiritual banner that was raised in Spain still stands, for we are inspired by the unwavering testimony of those who defended it. But we have yet to raise a physical monument. The inspired writing says: “In many fields very little has been done to establish memorials for God. This is wrong.” –Letter 128, 1902.
Abraham had the custom of building an altar to offer sacrifices to God wherever he raised his tent. “When his tent was removed, the altar remained. In following years, there were those among the roving Canaanites who received in- struction from Abraham; and whenever one of these came to that altar, he knew who had been there before him; and when he had pitched his tent, he repaired the altar, and there worshiped the living God.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 127. We, the brothers and sisters of the Spanish Field, cannot escape our responsibility. “There must be erected simple and neat churches which will give charac- ter to the important truths that we are advocating.” –Manuscript Releases, vol. 13, p. 405. We started the construction of a church in Parets del Vallés, Barcelona, on the property that functions as the headquarters of the Spanish Field, which currently has a small room in which about 15 people can worship. At that time, it was prepared with great care; but now it does not meet the current needs or reflect what the church of God should be. The construction of a church building is imperative for the Spanish Field, for it will allow services of praise to be conducted and expand the outreach.
To make this challenging project possible, we heed the inspired counsel that says, “The only means which God has ordained to advance His cause is to bless men with property…. In turn He would have men and women show their gratitude by returning Him a portion … in thank offerings, in freewill offerings,…”–Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 150.
“The liberality of the Jews in the construction of the tabernacle and the erection of the temple illustrates a spirit of benevolence which has not been equaled by Christians of any later date….
“His people had small possessions and no flattering prospect of adding to them; but an object was before them, to build a tabernacle for God. The Lord had spoken and they must obey His voice. They withheld nothing. All gave with a willing hand, not a certain amount of their increase, but a large portion of their actual possessions. They devoted it gladly and heartily to the Lord. They pleased Him by so doing.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, pp. 77, 78.
Dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, we pray in the name of Jesus that you will bring your most generous offerings for the construction of this house of worship. May the Jews’ spirit of liberality in building the tabernacle be reflected in each gift, for “there is that scattereth, and yet increaseth.” Proverbs 11:24. We thank you sincerely for your generosity. God bless you.
–Elder Wesley Alves Gomes
Spanish Field President