Lesson 4                                       *July 19–25 

Jesus, Higher and Better

Memory Text: Hebrews 7:26 NRSV 26 For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, blameless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens.

Sabbath Afternoon


Jesus’ Superiority.

Hebrews 1:4 KJV 4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

Hebrews 3:3 KJV 3 For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.

Hebrews 7:26 KJV 26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;

Hebrews 12:24 KJV 24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

Luke 22:24 KJV 24 And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest.

Luke 18:9-12 KJV 9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.



The Reason For Jesus’ Superiority.

Hebrews 2:9 KJV 9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

Philippians 2:4-9 KJV 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

Acts 10:36 NRSV 36 You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ--he is Lord of all.

Acts 10:38 NRSV 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.

Acts 10:36 KJV 36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)

Acts 10:38 KJV 38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

Numbers 12:3 NRSV 3 Now the man Moses was very humble, more so than anyone else on the face of the earth.

1 Peter 5:5 NRSV 5 In the same way, you who are younger must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you must clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble."

Numbers 12:3 KJV 3 (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)

1 Peter 5:5 KJV 5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

Luke 22:26 NRSV 26 But not so with you; rather the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like one who serves.

Luke 22:26 KJV 26 But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.


The Results Of Jesus’ Superior Ministry.

Hebrews 7:19 KJV 19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.

Hebrews 7:22 KJV 22 By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.

Hebrews 8:6 KJV 6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.

Hebrews 10:34 KJV 34 For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.

Hebrews 11:16 KJV 16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

Hebrews 11:35 KJV 35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:

Hebrews 11:13-16 KJV 13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.


Our Reaction To Christ’s Superiority: Part 1.

Joshua 24:15 NRSV 15 Now if you are unwilling to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served in the region beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."

Joshua 24:15 KJV 15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

Hebrews 11:4 KJV 4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

Genesis 4:1-8 KJV 1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. 2 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. 4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: 5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. 6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? 7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. 8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.

Hebrews 12:24-25 KJV 24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. 25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:


Our Reaction To Christ’s Superiority: Part 2.

Hebrews 12:25 KJV 25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:

Hebrews 10:28-29 KJV 28 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?


Ellen G. White, That I May Know Him, p. 339

Chap. 333 - Christ is Our Message! For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 1 Cor. 2:2. {TMK 339.1}

     The burden of our message should be the mission and life of Jesus Christ. Let there be a dwelling upon the humiliation, self-denial, meekness, and lowliness of Christ, that proud and selfish hearts may see the difference between themselves and the Pattern, and may be humbled. . . . {TMK 339.2}

     Describe, if human language can, the humiliation of the Son of God, and think not that you have reached the climax when you see Him exchanging the throne of light and glory which He had with the Father for humanity. He came forth from heaven to earth, and while on earth, He bore the curse of God as surety for the fallen race. He was not obliged to do this. He chose to bear the wrath of God, which man had incurred.... He chose to endure the cruel mockings, the deridings, the scourging, and the crucifixion. . . . "He . . . became obedient unto death," but the manner of His death was an astonishment to the universe, for it was even the death of the cross. {TMK 339.3}

     Christ was not insensible to ignominy and disgrace. He felt it all most bitterly. He felt it as much more deeply and acutely than we can feel suffering, as His nature was more exalted and pure and holy than that of the sinful race for whom He suffered. He was the Majesty of heaven, He was equal with the Father, He was the Commander of the hosts of angels, yet He died for man the death that was, above all others, clothed with ignominy and reproach. O that the haughty hearts of men might realize this! O that they might enter into the meaning of redemption and seek to learn the meekness and lowliness of Jesus! ... {TMK 339.4}

     The gifts of Him who has all power in heaven and in earth are in store for the children of God. Gifts so precious that they come to us through the costly sacrifice of the Redeemer's blood, gifts that will satisfy the deepest craving of the heart, gifts lasting as eternity, will be received and enjoyed by all who will come to God as little children. {TMK 339.5}

Ellen G. White Comments, The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 947

 (Ps. 144:5, 6; Nahum 1:5, 6.) Destruction by Water and Fire.--In the bowels of the earth God has in reserve the weapons that He will use to destroy the sinful race. Since the Flood, God has used, to destroy wicked cities, both the water and the fire that are concealed in the earth. In the final conflagration God will in His wrath send lightning from heaven that will unite with the fire in the earth. The mountains will burn like a furnace, and pour forth (p. 947) streams of lava [Nahum 1:5, 6; Ps. 144:5, 6 quoted] (MS 21, 1902). {7BC 946.10}

     11. See EGW on Rev. 3:14-18. {7BC 947.1}

     18 (Prov. 11:25; Eph. 4:15; see EGW on Rev. 2:4). Divine Law of Impartation.--It is the Lord's desire that His followers shall grow in grace, that their love shall abound more and more, that they shall be filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the praise and glory of God. . . . {7BC 947.2}

     One of the divine plans for growth is impartation. The Christian is to gain strength by strengthening others. "He that watereth shall be watered also himself." This is not merely a promise; it is a divine law, a law by which God designs that the streams of benevolence, like the waters of the great deep, shall be kept in constant circulation, continually flowing back to their source. In the fulfilling of this law is the secret of spiritual growth (ST June 12, 1901). {7BC 947.3}

     (1 Thess. 4:3.) Sanctification a Continual Growth in Grace.--[2 Peter 3:14, 18 quoted.] There is no Bible sanctification for those who cast a part of the truth behind them. . . . {7BC 947.4}

     Sanctification is not the work of a moment, an hour, or a day. It is a continual growth in grace. We know not one day how strong will be our conflict the next. Satan lives, and is active, and every day we need to earnestly cry to God for help and strength to resist him. As long as Satan reigns we shall have self to subdue, besetments to overcome, and there is no stopping place. There is no point to which we can come and say we have fully attained (RH May 6, 1862). {7BC 947.5}

     (2 Cor. 3:18; Heb. 11:27.) A Connection With the Channel of Light.--How is it possible that we may grow in grace? It is possible to us only as we empty our hearts of self, and present them to Heaven, to be molded after the divine Pattern. We may have a connection with the living channel of light; we may be refreshed with the heavenly dew, and have the showers of Heaven descend upon us. As we appropriate the blessing of God, we shall be able to receive greater measures of His grace. As we learn to endure as seeing Him who is invisible, we shall become changed into the image of Christ. The grace of Christ will not make us proud, cause us to be lifted up in self, but we shall become meek and lowly in heart (ST Jan. 16, 1893).

Mark 10:44 KJV 44 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.