Jesus As The Master Teacher
FOURTH QUARTER 2020
SABBATH SCHOOL INSIGHT #5
OCTOBER 31, 2020
“JESUS AS THE MASTER TEACHER”
As we study this week’s lesson together, I believe we will see that we have much to learn. Thankfully, we do indeed have Jesus as our Master Teacher! As our memory verse states: “For it is the God Who commanded light to shine out of darkness, Who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6).
That light pointing us to the Father is His Son, Jesus.
The following E.G. White quotes in Tuesday’s lesson reaffirm this for us quite clearly (Education, pgs. 74-76, 82):
“The Light appeared when the world’s darkness was deepest…
There was but one hope for the human race … that the knowledge of God might be restored to the world. Christ came to restore this knowledge. He came to set aside the false teaching by which those who claimed to know God had misrepresented Him. He came to manifest the nature of His law, to reveal His own character the beauty of holiness.”
Everything Jesus did in His life on earth had a single purpose: “the revelation of God for the uplifting of humanity.”
The core of this lesson as we see on Monday and Tuesday is Christ’s teachings Revealing the Father. Why is this so important to us today? Satan has done a masterful job of misrepresenting God and His character to the world. For example, consider that natural disasters occurring around the world such as hurricanes, earthquakes, tornados, etc. are often referred to as “Acts of God”, the implication being that He caused these disasters presumably either as some sort of punishment or to establish “fear” as a motive to obey Him. As a result, many refuse to believe in such a God or to worship Him.
For various world religions, God is seen as a stern taskmaster who seeks to punish sinners and demands obedience through that same fear motive. With Christians, this fear motive is prevalent as well, and they see the Father as looking to punish sinners with the threat of everlasting agony and torment in hell. Christ, being on our side, has the responsibility of trying to convince the Father that we should be allowed to forgo this punishment and enter heaven. Even in Adventist circles, the concept is common that we have to work hard at “doing our part” before the Father will consider forgiving us, which is, of course, salvation by works rather than faith and negates what Christ has already done for us on the Cross.
The good news is that Christ came to our world as our Saviour, paid an infinite price to redeem the entire human race, and in doing so revealed not only His agape love for us but the Father’s as well. The plan of salvation was not a one man show.
From the very beginning the Godhead (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) have been One and before our world was created the plan of salvation was agreed to with each member of the Godhead having a specific role in anticipation of, and as a solution to, Satan and the sin problem. (the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Revelation 13:8)
The following quote from E.G. White emphasizes the enormity of the risk taken and the sacrifice made by all 3 Members of the Godhead to save this fallen world.
“Who can estimate the value of a soul? Go to Gethsemane, and there watch with Jesus through those long hours of anguish when He sweat as it were great drops of blood; look upon the Saviour uplifted on the cross; hear that despairing cry, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” Look upon that wounded head, the pierced side, the marred feet. Remember that Christ risked all; “tempted like as we are,” He staked even His own eternal existence upon the issue of the conflict. Heaven itself was imperiled for our redemption. At the foot of the cross, remembering that for one sinner Jesus would have yielded up His life, we may estimate the value of a soul. GCB December 1, 1895, par. 23
The universe and the existence of the Godhead Itself was at risk for us! That eternal separation in experiencing the second death for us was felt by the Father and the Holy Spirit as well when they had always been One together.
God is love! We see this throughout God’s word and through His Son, Jesus, the living Word. In 1 John 4: 8, 16 we see explicitly that “God is love” and the Greek word “agape” used to describe God’s love is a totally unselfish love, vastly different from our human love. We are also told that our love is a response to His infinite, unselfish love for us. In giving us His Son forever as our Saviour to die on the cross and redeem the human race at an infinite price, He gave us everything He had to give. An infinite, unselfish love giving an infinite sacrifice. This is the Father that the world needs to see and why Jesus came to reveal the Father and His love for us. This is why we are told to share His everlasting gospel with the world.
This incredibly good news is also at the heart of the “most precious message” given to us by God through Elders Waggoner and Jones which E.G. White describes in Testimonies to Ministers pgs. 91, 92 as the message that God commanded that we (His people) give to the world. It is “a testimony that presented the truth as it is in Jesus, which is the third angel’s message, in clear, distinct lines.”
We see how important it was for Christ to reveal the Father and His love for each and every one of us. As Romans 8:31 says “If God be for us, who can be against us”.
Let’s now take a look at some quotes from E.G. White, E.J. Waggoner and A.T. Jones that relate to “revealing the Father”:
“When Christ was about to ascend to heaven, He committed to His disciples the mission that His Father had committed to Him; and He taught them how to fulfil this mission. He declared that as He had represented His Father to the world, so they were to represent Him. Although He would be invisible to the natural eye, yet all who believed on Him would be able to behold Him by faith. He told His followers to work as He had worked. They were to be a spectacle to worlds unfallen, to angels, and to men, revealing the Father through a revelation of the Son. RH June 16, 1904, par. 3
… Clothed with humanity, Christ performed a work that revealed the invisible Father, in order that His disciples might understand the meaning of the prayer, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”
The life of Christ must become our life, our light, our exceeding great reward. Our words and works must bear a living testimony that in our lives we are not lying against the truth we claim to believe. If Christ is indeed formed within, the hope of glory, we shall manifest that tenderness, that love, that fervency of spirit, which reveals His character. Our hearts will be humble, our spirits contrite. Our works will bear witness to His indwelling presence. His disposition, His kindness, His compassion, manifested in us, will inspire hope in the hearts of the most hopeless. Thus, in act, as well as in word, we shall reveal to the world the character of the Unseen.” RH June 16, 1904, par. 10
E.G. White #2
“Man must be emptied of self before he can be in the fullest sense a believer in Jesus; and when self is subdued, then the Lord can make of man a new creature. New bottles can contain new wine. Truth will be received into the heart, the character will be transformed into the likeness of Christ; the Son of God will be revealed to the world by His followers, as the Father was revealed to the world by the Son. And all who reveal Christ, are revealing the Father also.” ST November 16, 1891, par. 3
E.G. White #3
“I spoke from Matthew 11:25-27. My mind was led out to dwell particularly upon the mission of Christ, which was to reveal the Father. The office work of revealing the Father and representing the character of God was reserved for Him Who had been with the Father from the beginning. The knowledge of the only true God had become indistinct, and His attributes were falsified by Satan. Satan’s special work was to clothe the character of God with his own attributes, and he hid his satanic character and agency that he might be the more successful. The knowledge of God must be made known, His divine character represented.” 6LtMs, Ms 51, 1890, par.4
“Christ, Who was one with the Father, laid off His royal robe and His royal crown, clothed His divinity with humanity, and came into the world to bless the world with a living personation of God. He could approach the human family only as He should hide His glory and employ the faculties of a human being. Then humanity could touch humanity, while His veiled divinity, recognized in heaven, could lay hold on the Infinite One. The Father and the Son saw that it was expedient that Christ, the Only Begotten of the Father, should make Himself visible and walk and talk with men, not as an angel but as a Teacher sent from God, possessing all the attributes of the Godhead under the garb of humanity, revealing the love, the sympathy, the compassion of God. 6LtMs, Ms 51, 1890, par. 11
In a body which God—and not man—had prepared, He was fully able to unveil and disclose to man the perfection of Jehovah and reveal His paternal character as a God of infinite love. “No man,” He declared, “knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son shall reveal him.” Matthew 11:27 6LtMs, Ms 51, 1890, par.12
“Christ's qualification for the work of revealing the Father, consisted in the fact that there was nothing in Him that was not of the Father. Since He lived by the Father, and there was nothing in His life that came from any other source, every thought and word and action was a revelation of God's way. It is to be the same with all Christ's followers. “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God.” 2 Corinthians 5 17-18 PTUK Feb. 16, 1899 p 100.4
E.J. Waggoner #2
“Jesus said, “All things are delivered unto Me of My Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and He to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him.” Matthew 11:27. God was revealed in Christ, for Jesus said to Philip, when He had been asked to be shown the Father, “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father, and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?” John 14:9. PTUK June 1, 1893, p. 161.7
Immediately after saying that He alone could reveal the Father, because the Father was in Him, Jesus said, “Come unto Me, all ye that labour, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Matthew 11:28, 29. Christ was meek and lowly in heart; but He was but the manifestation of the Father; therefore that is the character of God. It seems too wonderful to be true, that God, the great Creator is meek and lowly in heart, but it is true, nevertheless. One trouble is that we have so meagre an idea of what meekness is. What Christ was, that He is still, for He is “the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8. So, God is now meek and lowly in heart, and that is why He can be a companion to men.” PTUK June 1, 1893, p. 161.8
A.T. Jones - Christ glorifying God
“To glorify God, it is necessary for each one to be in the condition, and in the position, in which none but God shall be manifested, because that was the position of Jesus Christ. Therefore He said: “The words that I speak unto you I speak not of Myself” (John 14:10); “I came .... not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me” (John 6:38); “The Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works” (John 14:10); “I can of mine own self do nothing” (John 5:30); “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him” (John 6:44); “He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father” (John 14:9)? “He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory; but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.” John 7:18. GCB February 27, 1895, p. 377.3
Therefore, He said: “The words that I speak .... I speak not of Myself,” because, as in the other verse, He that speaks of himself, that is, from himself, seeks his own glory. But Christ was not seeking his own glory. He was seeking the glory of Him that sent Him; therefore He said: “The words that I speak .... I speak not of Myself.” In so doing, He sought the glory of Him that sent Him; and there stands the record that “He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.” He was so entirely emptied of Himself, so entirely was He from being manifested in any way, that no influence went forth from Him except the influence of the Father. This was so to such an extent that no man could come to Him except the Father drew that man to Him. That shows how completely He Himself was kept in the background, how completely He was emptied. It was done so thoroughly that no man could come to Him - that no man could feel any influence from Him or be drawn to Him, except from the Father Himself. The manifestation of the Father, - that could draw any man to Christ. GCB February 27, 1895, p. 377.4
In closing, we see that Christ’s role as the Master Teacher was to reveal and glorify the Father to the world. It is His desire for us individually and as His last day church to see and understand more of the infinite unselfish love and sacrifice of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit on our behalf so that our hearts may be changed and we become “new creatures in Christ” who want nothing more than to share this everlasting gospel, this most precious message at every opportunity. May that be our desire today.