Read Matthew 11:20-24, Luke 4:25-30, 17:11-19, and John 10:16. What crucial message comes from these texts? How can we take what is written here and apply it to ourselves, in our own time and context? What principle is revealed here that we have to be very careful about?
Ancient prophets foretold the conversion of non-Jewish people (Gentiles) to a scripturally based faith. Heathen deities, pagan worship, and destructive lifestyles would be toppled by uncompromising submission to, and faith in, Jehovah. Israel’s enemies would stream into Jerusalem begging for admission, thirsting for spiritual knowledge. Israel’s commission was to broadcast God’s universal invitation to the surrounding nations.
Read for This Week’s Study: Isa. 56:6-8; Matt. 11:20-24; John 12:20-32; Rom. 15:12; Acts 1:7-8.
Memory Text: For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations. (Isaiah 56:7, NKJV)
Christ’s message, from its inception, was destined for everyone everywhere. Early on the gospel went worldwide, because it is universally applicable. Doubtless, this concept challenged the disciples’ thinking. Their initial reaction, for instance, to Christ’s conversing with the Samaritan woman illustrates this challenge. They thought that Jesus as the [...]
I wanted to attend university after high school, but I didn’t score high enough on some of my exams to qualify for the public university. So I decided to work part-time while I studied to retake the exams.
My employers were Adventist Christians. They suggested that I apply to study at Valley View University, the Adventist university in Ghana. My father said that he’d heard good things about the school, so I applied and was accepted.
Further Study: Read Ellen G. White, The Centurion, pp. 315-318; Before Annas and the Court of Caiaphas, pp. 698-715; In Pilate’s Judgment Hall, pp. 723-740, in The Desire of Ages; Ministry to the Rich, pp. 209-216, in The Ministry of Healing; Almost Thou Persuadest Me, pp. 433-438, in The Acts of the Apostles.
“It is by no casual, accidental touch that wealthy, world-loving, world-worshiping souls can be drawn to Christ. These persons are often the most difficult of access. Personal effort [...]
Christ’s earliest disciples energetically advanced the gospel throughout the civilized world. Houses, synagogues, public stadiums, judgment halls, and royal palaces became stages for kingdom proclamation. Jesus, however, prophesied arrests, trials, and hostile royal audiences for those disciples (Matt. 10:16-20). Unfortunately, those saturated with earthly power were slowest to receive Christ.
Within these final scenes of Jesus’ earthly sojourn, Christ’s followers glimpse the painful price of unflinching faithfulness. From arrest until crucifixion, Christ bears witness before the most powerful in the land: monarchs, governors, priests. Person by person He studies those intoxicated with worldly authority. Apparently, they control Him. Soldiers shuffle Jesus between their courtrooms, [...]
While several of Christ’s encounters with powerful people ended acrimoniously, there were notable exceptions, such as with Nicodemus. Another constructive meeting involved a Roman centurion (ranking military officer).
Read Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10. What can we learn from these accounts about witnessing to people in power?
When the centurion learned that Jesus was approaching, he dispatched several friends to dissuade Christ from coming. Deeply respecting Jewish worship and Jesus’ spirituality, he felt undeserving of Christ’s [...]
Yet, even in His encounters with them, Jesus always sought to be redemptive. He wasn’t seeking arguments; He was seeking the salvation of all people, even of those powerful and influential people who would eventually condemn Him to death.
Read Mark 2:23-28, 3:1-6 and Matthew 12:1-16. How can [...]
Over the long centuries, people have struggled to understand the role and function of government and how citizens should relate to it. What gives rulers the right to rule? What is the best form of government? Should people always obey their government? If not, why not? These are just a few of a host of questions that we still wrestle with to this day.