Sabbath School Lesson Review 2017 Quarter 3 Lesson 5
Sabbath School Lesson 2017 Quarter 3 Lesson 5 Friday
I think if we had approached it right in this setting of the predicament of distrust and misbehavior and false accusation in God’s family. What has He done to win us back? To help us see how trustworthy He is, how much He regards our freedom. Then I think we can approach that question, why then the law, and what law it was and how we can go along with Ellen White that it’s all law. All the laws God ever gave us were for the best good of His children in the predicament in which He found them.
I think the picture that we have here is the one that was illustrated so clearly by Jesus coming, He could have come as a lawyer, so many things. But He came as a Physician, He came as a Healer. He did this deliberately on purpose to say something. Everything He did was to say something. When it says in the Bible “This beginning of miracles.” The greek is usually “This is the beginning of signs” The greek is sēmainō. In which we get semantics.
These miracles were to say something they had meaning, everything He did had meaning, time was precious, and everything He said and did was to convey some truth to us. Take the law, now, and contrast the work of a physician and his help for a sick person. Perhaps the approach we might have toward a health program thats being presented. You realize if we really healthy we could do 100 pushups, we could jog several miles, we’d never grow weary. We wouldn’t need glasses, we wouldn’t need hearing aids and you read about a healthy person behaves. It’s inspiring when you look at it, look how we admire athletes when we see them, but we realize we are not like that.
If God said “Up out of bed jog five miles the first day, I‘m expecting throw your glasses away.” it doesn’t work that way does it? God has not come demanding perfect health of us, or perfect spirituality of us. It would be very depressing, very discouraging. The law is like that, it’s like expecting people to be ideally healthy immediately
Is there anything wrong with being healthy? Anything wrong having perfect eyesight and perfect hearing and being able to run five miles without being tired. Wonderful. The law does not require anything that we wouldn’t like to do. But we’re weak and we stumble at best. God say’s “I’m not coming to you that way, I’m coming as a Physician. I know some of you a very weak. In fact some of you will never get out of bed again, you’re going to die of this illness. But I want you to die trusting me and the healing will take place in the resurrection. Even our health education if we abuse it can be very discouraging.
Do we only have a health message for people who can get out and jog around a track? There are folk in hospitals that are never going to get our of bed again. Have we no healing for them? Is it possible in the most important way to die healed? If a person dies trusting God he will arise in the resurrection as fit as a fiddle won’t he? That’s the message we have to bring. That doesn’t mean that if will last we won’t do the best we can with what we have though even then we will get older.
I remember reading about a gentleman who was originally walking the streets with such vigor it was marvelous to watch and every year he walked a little slower and a little slower, and one day he stopped walking, he was old, and he died. He walked slower rather than faster, and finally he died, had the health message done nothing for him? No, it would have been very good for him, but we do get old. Where in an emergency situation. This is why Christ did spend most of His time healing the sick and it’s there were we can bear our greatest testimony. A message of health to be sure, it’s just like the ten commandments, thats the ideal, let’s aspire towards it. Wouldn’t we like to love and be trustworthy and stop all the killing and the stealing and the immorality.
Yes be perfect intact.
But God comes to us where we are, and some of us are weak and in this life, never will we be very strong the thief on the cross died soon after he got the message. But he died essentially healed and he will arise essentially healed, trusting God, and the work can go on.
I love the picture that comes, God as our heavenly Father. Who want’s us to be perfect, but He meets us where we are. This far from the tree of life, and we are very weak, and our knowledge is not very great, think of the knowledge of the people who lived before the flood for a thousand years? Ellen White says more inventions were lost in the flood than man has recovered since. She said that when she was still alive. I wonder what she would say now? Especially with what has appeared so far in the 21st century.
God says “The main thing is no matter whether you live a little while or you live a long while whether you live long enough to learn a great deal more and become a lot stronger and more disciplined. The main thing is do you trust Me? Don’t let anyone deceive you or press you in trusting because it would be worth anything. Do you personally trust Me? Do you accept the good news that I’m not arbitrary, vengeful, unforgiving and severe? That I’m your Heavenly Father, and I’ve been waiting for you to come home for a long-long time.”
Then we respond with trust, and a willingness to listen and the kindness of God leads us to repentance especially to repentance about what we said about Him over the years. “It leads us to trust” Romans 10:17 and we say “God, we look in the law it scares us. But we admire it, we wish we were like that and He says “Some day by all means you will be that way, in fact lets start right away with a new heart and a right spirit. And if you die with a new heart and a right spirit you rise with a new heart and a right spirit.”
Then of course God would go on to say “If there’s more time (Ephesians 4) you’ll grow up and no longer be children with just a new heart and a right spirit but you will grow up speaking the truth in Love and become so grown up that you’re not easily pushed about by every wind of doctrine, you’ll even become as grown up as Abraham, and Moses and Job. Then some day I can say of grown ups, Satan can do whatever he likes to those people and they will not let me down. But don’t become conceited you’re no more safe to save than the thief on the cross. I’ll save anyone who trusts Me. But if you live on of course, don’t you want to stay with Me and let Me heal you and make you stronger and help you run around the track five times if thats appropriate. Any thing that is good for you I wish for you nothing but the best physically, mentally and spiritually… but if you don’t trust me I can’t do it”
Now some say “We look in the law it’s good, and we’re going to do it.” These are weak people and who have heart conditions. and they say I saw my neighbor jogging around the track 20 times. Alright I think I’m going to jog around the track without getting medical help.”
I read an article this week that talked about all the people that are jogging themselves to death. A legalist is jogging himself to death. He looks in the law and says “That’s good and I want to be that way” and he goes after it with great determination thats a fine way to destroy yourself and become so discouraged. It is a good way to die. To try and live up to that high ideal without first presenting yourself to the divine Physician with willingness to listen and to trust.
But God says “Don’t try that 20 times around the track in fact what you need is a little more rest and you need to correct some other things, the main thing is are you willing to listen and I’ll tailer a program to just exactly what you need.”
Do you notice in the Bible how the program isn’t the same for two people. God meets people where they are, Nicodemus where he was, Gideon needed a wet fleece and a dry one. But Nicodemus didn’t get that, he got discussion on rebirth. Whatever is appropriate. But you see how it all goes back to whether or not we trust in God. It doesn’t minimize the law, it just puts it in it’s proper perspective.
I think that our ability to read any part of the bible depends on the way we have read all 66 books, and the picture of God in the great controversy, the predicament of children around the universe and He wants to save them all and he offers it to them all. He is a healing gracious Father, Creator, Physician. Anyone who trusts Him, forgiveness is so easy for our Gracious God. But to heal us means we continue to trust Him and then He can do anything that needs to be done.
It seems to me thats good news that could be understood by little children, and we could be finding more and more simple ways of explaining it so they wouldn’t have to go to a dictionary to obtain the meaning of the high sounding titles or words, nor would they have to consult the learned doctors as to the meaning. I think that the last message to the world will be clearer, simpler and more understandable than anyone that we’ve ever presented before. Now it may be essentially the same message that used to be described in these long difficult latin terms. But that restricts the circulation of the good news and limits to those who can use such terminology.
Little children ought to be able to understand this because they are members of the family too aren’t they? Is the good news only for the learned members of the family? I read at the beginning of our study, Ellen Whites statement “The bible wasn’t written for the scholar alone. On the contrary it was written for the common people and the interpretation placed upon the scriptures by the common people as lead by the Holy Spirit is more likely to accord with the truth as it is in Jesus.
Would we not do well to try to find the simplest ways to understand, these terms and these pictures, I think the simplest is to trust enough to follow inspired advice to view the word as a whole. All the paths lead to the one central theme, “The truth about our gracious Heavenly Father, who has been accused. Of being untrustworthy, arbitrary, unforgiving and severe.” We know He is NOT and we know what the evidence is.
All the stories and events recorded in Scripture. With really relatively few theological explanations woven in between. All that history. Well someday it seems to me that we will find a clearer way for our own understanding and a clearer way to explain this to others. Now I hope our future additional commentary may contribute to such understanding.
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