Inside Story: Chipo’s Choice
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Chipo is 10 years old and lives in southern Zambia. Her parents didn’t practice any faith, but when her neighbors invited her to attend church with them, she went. She loved learning about God and went to church whenever she could.

But Chipo’s father became angry when he learned that Chipo was attending the Adventist church. “Stay away from that church,” he warned her, “Or I will punish you. But Chipo loved Jesus and wanted to worship Him. So when her [...]

Friday: Further Study: Discipling Through Metaphor
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studymore

Further Study: Read Ellen G. White, Teaching in Parables, pp. 17-27, in Christ’s Object Lessons.

“Jesus desired to awaken inquiry. He sought to arouse the careless, and impress truth upon the heart. Parable teaching was popular, and commanded the respect and attention, not only of the Jews, but of the people of other nations. . . .

“Again, Christ had truths to present which the people were unprepared to accept or even to understand. For this reason also He taught them in [...]

Thursday: Christ’s Creative Legacy
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After the record of Christ’s ministry is completed, the telling of parables seems to have disappeared from Scripture. What explains this phenomenon? Certainly the largest remaining segment of the New Testament centers around Paul. Fourteen New Testament books have been attributed to Paul, and nearly half of Luke’s historical narrative in Acts revolves almost exclusively around Paul, as well. Though he didn’t use stories in the way that Jesus did, Paul still made considerable use of metaphors, similes, and other [...]

Wednesday: The Revolutionary’s War
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Christ’s ministry was revolutionary but without the common weapons. His tools were infinitely more powerful than were swords or knives. Life-changing words, frequently expressed through parables and metaphors, became His not-so-secret weapons in the fight against evil.

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Christ’s tactics and strategies caught many leaders off guard; they were ill-equipped to counter the power of His appeal with the masses. Many of His parables contained messages that worked against the leaders. The religious leaders rightly saw [...]

Tuesday: Agricultural Analogies
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Read Matthew 13:1-30. What was Jesus teaching His audience about discipleship? What lessons can modern Christians derive from these metaphors?

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Christ’s parable of the sower is familiar to many readers. The setting for the story was commonplace for an agrarian society, something to which Jesus’ listeners could easily relate. The connection with discipleship is obvious. Essentially Jesus is challenging His listeners to evaluate their standing as disciples. Rather than confronting each individual specifically, He speaks [...]

Monday: Architectural Wisdom
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Read Matthew 7:24-27. What do these verses contribute to our understanding of Christian discipleship? Why do you think Jesus used this example from nature to teach such a crucial truth?

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Modern literate societies take literacy for granted. However, even today, numerous nonliterate societies exist. Throughout ancient history literacy was the exception rather than the rule. Ruling classes, literary specialists (scribes), obtained their power through their skill in reading. Thus, Jesus framed His messages within forms [...]

Sunday: Old Testament Examples
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Read 2 Samuel 12:1-7, Isaiah 28:24-28, Jeremiah 13:12-14, and Ezekiel 15:1-7. How do these parables and allegories expand our understanding of God’s relationship with humankind? Which objects or settings utilized by these prophets later appear in Christ’s parables?

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As we can see, Nathan tells a parable in order to disguise the real purpose of his visit. David implicates himself as the transgressor, thereby pronouncing his own sentence. Using a literary device (a parable), Nathan accomplished [...]

Sabbath: Discipling Through Metaphor
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gless02

Read for This Week’s Study: 2 Sam. 12:1-7, Isa. 28:24-28, Matt. 7:24-27, 13:1-30, Luke 20:9-19.

Memory Text: Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet: I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world (Matthew 13:34-35, NIV).

Christianity is reasonable and logical. Intellect should be cultivated. Intellect alone, however, insufficiently expresses [...]

Inside Story: Farmer Hildo’s Dream
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Farmer Hildo arrived in the sleepy town in central Brazil and thanked the man who had given him a ride. He lifted his small bag of clothes and box of herbal medicines from the cargo area of the truck and stepped to the side of the dirt road. Hildo lived far from town and came a few times a year to sell his herbal medicines door-to-door and to share his faith with those who’d listen.

Farmer Hildo had become an Adventist [...]

Friday: Further Study: Disciples and Scripture
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studymore

Further Study: Read Ellen G. White, Bible Teaching and Study, pp. 190-192, in Education; The Walk to Emmaus, pp. 795-801, in The Desire of Ages; Thessalonica, pp. 221-230, in The Acts of the Apostles.

Christ in His ministry had opened the minds of His disciples to these prophecies. . . . Peter in preaching Christ had produced his evidence from the Old Testament. Stephen had pursued the same course. And Paul also in his ministry appealed to the scriptures foretelling the [...]