Study Matthew 19:16-26. What spiritual dangers are revealed in this passage? How might believers benefit today’s rich young rulers?
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He possessed credentials, qualifications, abundant material resources, unquestioned morality, and unlimited self-esteem! The youthful disciple-candidate earnestly requested the Master’s formula for salvation. Should Christ have been flattered? Finally we’re converting the upper classes! Apparently no such exhilaration polluted Christ’s thinking. Had this petitioner expected commendation, he was sorely disappointed. Instead, Christ established the Ten Commandments as [...]
Analyze the following passages: Mark 4:18-19; Luke 1:51-53; 6:22-25; 12:16-21; 16:13. What practical advice do these verses contain? What spiritual warnings are found here? How might these Scriptures be utilized by believers to make disciples among the wealthy?
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It has been said that we don’t own our things; our things own us. How easy it is to be consumed by material possessions; hence, Jesus warned above about the deceitfulness of riches.
Think through just how easy [...]
Respectability does not always accompany wealth. Though many do earn their wealth honestly through hard work, industriousness, and the blessings of God, others are outright crooks. Even worse, some make their money legally but immorally, for not everything immoral is illegal, as we all know so well.
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Compare Matthew 9:10-13 with Luke 5:27-32, 19:1-10. What motivated the criticism that Jesus faced? What does His reaction to the criticism teach us about grace?
Jericho, Zacchaeus’ residence, had [...]
Wealthy, well-positioned, famous people did not intimidate Jesus. Christ neither resented nor revered the social elite. The Savior recognized that financial prosperity could not supply peace, personal contentment, meaningful relationships, or deep-seated purpose. The wealthiest magnate could easily be lonelier, emptier, and angrier than the simplest, poorest, and most humble Christian believer.
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Analyze Jesus’ interaction with Nicodemus (John 3:1-15). Which events probably stimulated Nicodemus’ interest in Jesus’ message? (Hint: review John 2:13-25.) What significance does [...]
As fallen human beings, we are subject to jealousy, especially toward those who have more money than we do (regardless of how much money we ourselves might, already, have). The Bible, however, does not unconditionally disparage wealth or the wealthy. As with so much else in life, problems arise not from things themselves but from the way in which we relate to them.
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What counsel regarding wealth does Scripture offer? Deut. 8:17-18; Gen. 13:5-6; 41:41-43; [...]
Read for This Week’s Study: Deut. 8:17-18; Gen. 13:5-6; John 3:1-15; Luke 19:1-10; Mark 4:18-19; Matt. 19:16-26.
Memory Text: For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows (1 Timothy 6:10, NKJV).
People,” it has been said, spend money they don’t have, for things they don’t need, in order to impress people they don’t like.
How much truth that statement contains [...]
Mitia [MEE-tyah] was the son of a crime syndicate godfather. His father was rich and powerful, and Mitia admired him. Mitia quit school and started his own criminal business with his father’s guidance. Soon Mitia was enjoying the riches of crime, just as his father did.
Then two of Mitia’s employees were arrested. They named Mitia, and police went to arrest him. But someone warned Mitia, and he fled before the police arrived. He hid in a neighboring country to wait [...]
Further Study: Read Ellen G. White, At Jacob’s Well, pp. 183-195; Peace, Be Still, pp. 333-341; Among Snares, pp. 460-462; in The Desire of Ages; and Helping the Tempted, pp. 164-169; Working for the Intemperate, pp. 171-182; Help for the Unemployed and the Homeless, pp. 183-200, in The Ministry of Healing.
“The one class that He would never countenance was those who stood apart in their self-esteem and looked down upon others. . . .
The fallen must be led to feel [...]
It’s hard to imagine what our world would have been like had not sin intruded. The beauty of nature, even after millennia, still testifies to the majesty and power and goodness of God. Our sin-darkened minds can barely grasp what humanity and human relations would have been like had our world not fallen. One thing we can be sure of is that the class distinctions, prejudices, and cultural and ethnic boundaries that impact every society and culture would not exist.
Study John 4:5-32, and then answer the following questions.
What social conventions did Jesus break, and why? What should this tell us about social conventions and the way in which they should be regarded when they interfere with witnessing? What social conventions might be hindering your witness to others?
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In what way did Jesus confront the woman about her sinful life? What lessons could we take from His approach?
What does this story reveal about the prejudices [...]