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Sabbath: Mission to the Powerful — 12 Comments

  1. While the "captains and kings" of Australia's power scene remain strangers to me, and I to them, the concept of "Mission to the Powerful" still resonates. Do those we deem powerful truly reside in a different realm, distant and unapproachable?

    My experience suggests otherwise. The most influential figures in my life - academics, faculty heads, even university officials - prove to be remarkably human. They may wield power over institutions, but they also navigate relationships, some attend church, and all experience life's ups and downs, just like us.

    Perhaps this week's lesson offers a crucial reminder: captains and kings are not a breed apart. We are all equal in the eyes of God, connected by our shared humanity. Though their platforms may differ, their needs and vulnerabilities often mirror our own.

  2. Jesus knew how to make friends with the powerful. He was admired and respected by many of these people and, at the same time, was also despised by many. The powerful people in the Bible who came to Jesus for help surely sensed that He cared for them.

  3. If I were to be completely honest, then I would have to admit that I have a bias toward the poor and need among us. Nevertheless, the rich and powerful do need to hear the message of salvation like anyone else.

    May God soften my heart toward the rich and powerful so that I will be able to minister to them as I do to the poor and needy.

    Looking forward to an attitudinal shift as we study this week's lesson!!!

  4. Allow me to take you back a little. Today’s memory text talks about a “soul”. What is that soul that man is expected to fight not to lose.

    • Dear Bhud’ Methu – as an answer to your question, may I suggest to direct your thoughts to Gen.2:5-9 – v.7-9 ”And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

      The whole of man represents a ‘living soul’, established with the capacity to know its Maker and live according to its design. This ‘knowing and understanding ’ is given to man to reflect the nature of our Creator - expressed through loving kindness that we acknowledge Him and thank Him!

      The physical form of the ‘living soul’ contains the Spirit of Life from our heavenly Father to be poured out to reflect His Honor and Glory. There is no power greater than that given to man to know his Maker. He who made man has no equal, but He has called us by giving us His Son Jesus Christ to so be able again to remember Him personally with our new nature.

      If man’s spiritual focus is replaced/lost to the material/physical world as he begins to love the world more than His -its Maker, the living soul begins to die; loosing his design’s capacity to love His heavenly Father. How could this person, lost to the influence of the Spirit of God and left to its own devises get its purpose in life back?
      There is only one way back; it is through the undying Love and Grace of our Creator God – 2 Peter 3:9.

  5. Are you among the 2%, or the 98% ? In modern times, this cliche is used to describe the disparity of income and power in American society. In other countries, it still holds. Often it is used with a touch of resentment or envy, as if "they" were richer and therefore better than "us" who struggle to meet our bills.

    The attitude of the "poor" toward the rich is just as important as that of the "rich" toward the poor. The Gospel was spread in ancient times by the servants of the rich, ear to mouth to ear, and soon their influence was known in the Roman Empire. Whole households converted to Christian belief and practice, including the wives of many important rulers.

    The way to a woman's heart may be through listening well, to a man's heart may be through his wife.

  6. Jesus said What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul, or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

  7. Especially after reading Daniel 4:1-37, I perceive that Scripture and all of heaven’s revelations to be given so man can know that he has a God, Who He is and the extend of His Power - His Power ‘commands’ heaven and earth and all life within. Beyond that, Scripture through the Holy Spirit reveals that man is watched over and guided in his search for unalterable, everlasting Truth to comprehend his life and death.

    After searching so long, to wholeheartedly believe that I have a Creator whom I accept as my authority provides great comfort to me. Knowing that all man are ‘equal’ in God’s sight because He created them all, assures me of His impartiality. Knowing that we were created according to His Purpose gives me pause when considering whom He exalts to power or takes down, providing a proper perspective regarding earthly authority.

    I consider all man to be a vessel for good or for ill whether know or unbeknownst to the individual person. The fact that anyone can or could be used at any and all times by our Creator according to His Will and Purpose assures me that all believers have a special part in His everlasting plan of salvation for mankind.

    As He is no respecter of persons, why should we consider 'kings/leaders' to have a different standing with Him than humanity at large? Worldly leaders may develop an honorable standing in society based on their deeds, but as man/woman they are equal to the rest of us. If anyone ought to be walking humbly with his God, it is those given much influence and power. Prayers are made for all equally – praying for guidance, wisdom, and understanding how best to govern ones own life because what we do will affect others.

  8. “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26)

    What a powerful and true affirmation!

    "Though written many years ago, the Bible, the Word of God, is the revelation of God’s truth for our world. And among the many truths it reveals is that of human nature, and that—whether in seventh-century Judea or twenty-first-century Brazil—people are basically the same: sinners in need of divine grace."

    (I had to quote this)

  9. Surely, reaching too the rich and powerful, especially when you are perceived to be poor, is not an easy task. In my country, every city has an estate called Milimani (I don't know how they came with that agreement). At the mention of that name rich people come in the picture. Many at times we have left these areas even during evangelistic campaigns. When you are poor and you tell the rich that riches are nothing before God, they will see you as insane. This mission needs a great learning.

  10. Today's lesson says: many of the rich and powerful did not openly come to Jesus right away; they waited until they were certain that Jesus was truly the Son of God... Such was the case of Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea.

    Luke 23:50-51 says: And a man named Joseph, who was a member of the Council, a good and righteous man. 51: (he had not consented to their plan and action), a man from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who was waiting for the kingdom of God; went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.

    Lest we forget, the disciples were also waiting for Jesus to set up an earthly kingdom while He was with them.

    In the Supplemental EGW Notes for today's lesson explains WHY Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus (members of the Sanhedrin) had not openly accepted the Saviour while He was living. They knew that such a step would exclude them from the Sanhedrin, and they hoped to protect Him by their influence in its councils. For a time they had seemed to succeed; but the wiley priests, seeing their favor to Christ, had thwarted their plans. In their absence Jesus had been condemned and delivered to be crucified... They no longer concealed their attachment to Him. )Quoting The Desire of Ages, p. 773). Both of these men were members of the Sanhedrin, and were acquainted with Pilate. They were determined that the body of Jesus should have an honorable burial.

    The way I interpret the scripture and EGW comments is that there was an important reason for these two wealthy, just, men to not outwardly profess their belief in Jesus to fellow Sanhedrin members who were plotting to kill Him if the could somehow prevent it from happening.



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