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 [...]
Read for This Week’s Study: Luke 2:21-28; Matt. 15:32-39; Matt. 16:13-17; Luke 12:6-7; 13:1-5; James 2:1-9.
Memory Text: Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him (Mark 1:16-18).
Christ’s death was the great equalizer: it showed [...]
Mama Nerea lay on her thin mattress in her humble home in western Kenya. Her family suspected that her suffering was the result of witchcdraft, a curse that someone had put on her. They visited several witchdoctors, seeking to have the curse removed, but Mama Nerea continued to languish. The illness had left her unable to stand or walk, and had taken her voice as well. Even she was sure she would die.
Mama Nerea’s life had been filled with trouble. [...]
Further Study: Read Luke 18:35-43; Luke 13:10-17; 14:1-6; John 6:1-2; Mark 6:5-7, Mark 6:54-56; Mark 7:31-37; Mark 8:22-26; Matthew 8:1-19; Matt 12:15-23. Ellen G. White, Our Example, pp. 17-21, and Healing of the Soul, pp. 73-85, in The Ministry of Healing; The Divine Plan in the Medical Missionary Work, pp. 25-29, in Medical Ministry.
The paralytic found in Christ healing for both the soul and the body. He needed health of soul before he could appreciate health of body. Before the [...]
Review Acts 3:1-19; Acts 5:12-16; Acts 9:36-42; Acts 20:7-10; 1 Corinthians 12:7-9, 1 Cor. 28-31; and James 5:13-16. How should modern Christians evaluate the importance of healing ministry to the New Testament church?
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First-century disciples witnessed firsthand Christ’s promise of seeing greater things than these fulfilled (John 1:50, compare John 5:20, John 14:12). Miraculous healings and resurrections attended the ministries of early Christianity’s most prominent disciples: Peter and Paul. These events figured significantly [...]