Societies establish hierarchies. Wealthy or well-educated people usually acquire the highest positions.
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Good moral citizens, the ordinary people, normally occupy the middle rungs on the social ladder. That leaves the bottom dwellers, those such as prostitutes, substance abusers, criminals, the homeless, and others. During Christ’s time, that list also included lepers and tax collectors.
Read Matthew 21:28-32 and Luke 15:1-10. What do these passages teach regarding Christ’s attitude toward social outcasts?
What happened that propelled the social [...]
Read for This Week’s Study: Matt. 21:28-32, John 8:1-11, Mark 5:1-20, John 4:5-32, Matt. 9:9-13.
Memory Text: The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ? (John 4:28-30, NKJV).
A young woman-having come from an unbelievably sad and horrible background (which included two out-of-wedlock children by the time she was fifteen years old) sat in prison, [...]
Megy groaned as another contraction tore through her body. She had been in labor for18 hours, and her baby hadn’t arrived yet. Four men carried Megy on a stretcher toward the river several miles away, where they hoped to meet a public vehicle that could take Megy to the government clinic.
Storm clouds gathered on the horizon and threatened heavy rain. If the men couldn’t reach the river before the rains swelled it, they couldn’t cross. Megy’s life and the life [...]
Further Study: Read Ellen G. White, The Lifework, pp. 269, 270, in Education; and Laboring for the Middle Class, pp. 564-566, in Evangelism.
In this closing work of the gospel there is a vast field to be occupied; and, more than ever before, the work is to enlist helpers from the common people. Both the youth and those older in years will be called from the field, from the vineyard, and from the workshop, and sent forth by the Master to [...]
Perhaps the most socially attractive feature of primitive Christianity was the absence of class distinctions. Dividing walls had crumbled beneath the gospel’s weight. The common person triumphed through Christ. Christ transformed the ordinary into the extraordinary. Carpenters, tax collectors, stonecutters, queens, domestic servants, priests, Greeks, Romans, men, women, wealthy, and the destitute all became equals within Christ’s kingdom of grace. In reality, the Christian community was to be a classless society.
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What do each of [...]
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 “Discipling the Sick” is below. You can download the video, the MP3 audio, and the lesson outline from the HopeTV Sabbath School Site.
An evangelist once celebrated (perhaps bragged about) the attendance of quality upper-class people at his seminars. (One would hope he equally celebrated the attendance of the more ordinary types, as well.)
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With Christ, however, no class distinctions existed; no one was ordinary; everyone was an exception. Not surprisingly, Jesus reached the masses with commonplace illustrations and straightforward speech. Nothing about His manner suggested that anyone was excluded from His concern. Modern disciple-makers must likewise carefully [...]
In the New Testament, Peter stands out as one of the most influential of all the disciples. In fact, he ended up being one of the most influential people in all of human history. Talk about changing the ordinary into the extraordinary!
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Read the following texts. How do they help us to understand how Peter had been so radically changed, despite tremendous faults?
Luke 5:1-11. What did Peter say here which showed that He was open [...]
Read John 2:1-11 and Matthew 15:32-39. How did Jesus use simple, everyday desires and needs to make disciples and transform lives?
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Ordinary people share natural physical, emotional, and social desires. They want physical nourishment, personal significance, and friendship. Jesus understood these characteristics, placing Himself in social situations that provided opportunities to reach people through these universal desires.
Whether Jesus was changing water into unfermented wine from the fruit of the vine, or turning fishermen into preachers [...]
Read Luke 2:21-28, Mark 6:2-4, and Leviticus 12:8. What do these verses tell us about the economic class into which Jesus was born? How would that class have influenced His ministry?
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Joseph and Mary’s purification offering clearly indicated their economically poor background. This tradition sprang from the Mosaic legislation recorded in Leviticus 12:8, and it required that a lamb be brought for this offering. However, a compassionate exemption had been provided for impoverished people. Turtledoves [...]