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 [...]

HopeSS: Disciples and Scripture
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Current lesson of the Hope Sabbath School class led by Pastor Derek Morris. (Adobe Flash Player version.) A Youtube version of the Hope Sabbath School “Disciples and Scripture” is below. You can download the lesson outline, MP3 file and MP4 file from the HopeTV Sabbath School

Thursday: The Next Generation
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Without doubt, as we have seen, Jesus places a heavy emphasis on the Bible. Never did He question the authority, veracity, or authenticity of a single Bible text. And yet, through the centuries, and even today, many people do just that.

Read Matthew 12:15-21; Mark 1:1-3; Acts 1:16-20; 3:22-24; and Romans 10:10-11. What do these texts tells us about the ways in which the earliest Christians viewed Scripture? What lessons can we take from them for ourselves and how we relate [...]