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Tuesday: Jesus’ Last Words — 28 Comments

  1. The lesson study today discusses the judgement scene of the sheep and the goats. It is one of the most significant passages in the Gospels, and clearly focuses on the difference Christianity makes in our lives. I have often used this passage to remind myself that salvation is not the reservation of a place in heaven, it is about living salvation in our interaction with others.

    When I saw the title of today's lesson I thought that the author would point to something Jesus said while he hung on the cross. That would have integrated well with the notion of "being in the cruicible". However, he has left that opportunity for us to explore ourselves.

    I reread John's account of the crucifixion and there is a little event that resonated with me about the intent of today's lesson study. Here it is:

    When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
    Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home. John 19: 26, 27 KJV

    Jesus was in the midst of the anguish of being tortured, taunted, judged in an illegal court, and hung on a cross. Each breath was anguish. We can only imagine the state of his mind as he cried out asking why God had forsaken him. And in the midst of all this, he saw his mother, who would have been going through the agony of seeing her son dying in front of her. Among Jesus last words is his cry to John to look after his mother. Jesus was in the process of laying his life down, "while we were yet sinners", but he took the time to ensure that his grieving mother was looked after.

    The judgement scene is about unselfish love towards others. And, in his actions and words on the cross he demonstrated that love.

    Christ, in his own crucible experience thought about the needs of others. What is the lesson for us?

  2. Today's lesson talks about the oil in the lamps of the virgins as metaphorical for the Holy Spirit and for a Christlike character that each person needs to develop (acquire) for themselves. I would point out that in reality you can't have one of these without the other. It is only through the drawing ('wooing'), leading, guiding and empowering of the Holy Spirit that we are able to (collaboratively and progressively) develop (ie redevelop) our character to Christlikeness.

    What specifically are the attributes of a Christlike character?

    Why is cultivation of these attributes so vital/essential for a person? (NOTE: I am not implying the notion of 'perfectionism').

  3. Study asks:
    What are the implications of this story for you if the oil represents the Holy Spirit, or a Christlike character:

    "Love and marriage, love and marriage" go together like a horse and carriage ...!
    "You can't have #one# without the #other# " !

  4. What is the crucible that the 10 righteous people experienced that results in some of their "lights" going out?

    I believe: They weren't prepared for the delay. Their connection with the LORD was shallow. They depended too much on the group.
    The groom said: "I don't know you". What an awful verdict!
    Matt 25:11-13

    • Hi sister Shirley
      Good observations !

      However, see what the apostle Paul called light and darkness, Eph 5:8-20

      The were 5 wise wise virgins with the light/Spirit/oil in them in righteous living, in the parable.

      Shalom in Christ's oil in us, we beg each day for his salvation working in us!


    • Beautiful insight. It revealed so much for me, that I want 2 meditate on it for a while. Thank you.

    • Shirley’
      Thank you. “They depended too much on the group.”
      This actually made me consider that they also depended too much upon themselves. They didn’t think they needed to worry about more oil. They had enough. It makes me think of the lukewarm Christians in Revelation 3:15.
      Shallow connection with the Lord. Perfect!

      Still, if anyone cares to address my stressor:
      I found Tuesday’s lesson to be the same old confusion of faith versus works under salvation. I must admit it put the hair up on my neck. Something to be worked out in me, wink.
      When the crucible comes to me (or the green pastures) do I even consider that God might be trying to show me something in my life that is weak, that He can strengthen with my permission; OR, something in my life that is sadly unlike His character and strong— something that can be changed with his help?
      Am I deluded with the lie that I cannot be Christlike? Am I deluded with the lie that I cannot love everyone? Am I deluded with the lie that my weaknesses will always overcome me to one degree or another? Am I deluded with the lies because I don’t WANT to change something?
      But still (confusion) I must somehow balance the understanding that I am not saved by these works even though many texts and EGW quotes suggest that I am lost without them.

      • Humans were created in the image of the LORD.

        I believe He has two aims:
        1) to give them eternal life, and
        2) to restore them into His image/character

        1) if we confess our sins the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all unrighteousness, and thus we are safe to save
        2) in addition the benefit is that He works to transform our character so that we may partake of the divine nature

        Rom 6:22-23 ISV  But now that you have been freed from sin and have become God's slaves, the benefit you reap is sanctification, and the result is eternal life.  (23)  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in union with Jesus Christ our Lord.

        2Peter 1:3-8; Rom 8:29; Rom 12:2; 1John 1:7-9; Rom 4:21-25,5:1-5

  5. I was hungry and you gave me spiritual food, I was thirsty and you poured me a drink from the well of salvation, I came in filthy from off the streets and you took me in as though I was your best friend, I was naked and you shared the garment of Christ's righteousness with me, my mind was sin-sick and I was filled with disease but you kept coming to see me to apply the balm of Gilead, I was chained in Satan's prison house but you didn't give up on me. This is the gospel, this is how it was done for me, and how I will do it for others when Christ is living in me.

  6. Well, now, to me: Character shines in the daylight, moonlight, starry nights, cloudy nights, etc. and etc. Yet, in each case we never equal the pattern of Jesus but He covers us with His Righteous Character in all cases.

    • Yup ...
      There are 5 lamps burning bright in the graphics of the 10 lamps above in this study!

      Eyes to see are needed !
      You got it !
      Thanks brother!

  7. The first thing I noticed in the story of separating the sheep and goats, was that Jesus does the separating, not me. The way He separates them is not by the words they said, but by the deeds they did. Interestingly, the “sheep” didn’t even realize that they had done the things listed, it was just how they lived, which takes me back to the story of the 10 bridesmaids and the question of The Holy Spirit vs character. Without the Holy Spirit, our character can never be transformed, and all we’ll have is words without deeds.

  8. Please help me with the background of story. Is it the custom that all should have a lamp each to brighten the room? Or a ticket to enter? Why a lamp each?

    • Why a lamp each?
      You are the lamp
      1 Corinthians 3:16
      2 Corinthians 5:1-10
      Ephesians 1:13-14
      Colossians 1:27

      Be blessed with the gift of God's holy oil, Holy Spirit , to bless others in kind !

  9. I was going to say what Phil said, but he beat me to it. It really doesn't matter if the oil represents the Holy Spirit or character as the Holy Spirit is the source of true character development. Character development is not something we strive for on our own.

    However, I was a little bothered by the way they made it sound like Ellen White's interpretation trumps everything else. I don't she would agree with that. Scripture is to interpret scripture. Are there any verses that any of you know of where oil represents character in the Bible? I'm not aware of any, but I will change my mind if someone points me there. However, as I said, I don't think it matters in this story.

    • I read the chapter "Meet the Bridegroom" from Christ's Object Lesson and I now understand what the brief phrase in the lesson meant. Ellen White is quite clear:
      Lamp = the Bible
      Oil = the Holy Spirit
      If one has both in our hearts and minds the result is a character like Jesus Christ.
      In the parable the foolish virgins wanted to borrow oil however the point of the parable is that character (the result of oil and lamp) can not be shared it has to be developed.

      Meet the Bridegroom

      The two classes of watchers represent the two classes who profess to be waiting for their Lord. They are called virgins because they profess a pure faith. By the lamps is represented the word of God. The psalmist says, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105. The oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. Thus the Spirit is represented in the prophecy of Zechariah
      Zec 4:1-14 COL 406.3

      Without the Spirit of God a knowledge of His word is of no avail. The theory of truth, unaccompanied by the Holy Spirit, cannot quicken the soul or sanctify the heart. One may be familiar with the commands and promises of the Bible; but unless the Spirit of God sets the truth home, the character will not be transformed. COL 408.3

      So the followers of Christ are to shed light into the darkness of the world. Through the Holy Spirit, God's word is a light as it becomes a transforming power in the life of the receiver. By implanting in their hearts the principles of His word, the Holy Spirit develops in men the attributes of God. The light of His glory—His character—is to shine forth in His followers. Thus they are to glorify God, to lighten the path to the Bridegroom's home, to the city of God, to the marriage supper of the Lamb. COL 414.2

      • Thank you for taking the time to read the passage and share it. It makes more sense now. I didn't have a copy of Christ's Object Lessons available to quickly look it up (though I guess it can all be found online).

    • I agree with all you said. Without the oil, we cannot develop a Christ-like character. I, too, would like to see scripture that oil represents character.

      Yet, here is a monkey wrench: My father had what I would call a Christlike character. He did not believe in God.

      Hence, when it comes to salvation, I believe the oil is more important than the character. I also believe king David is a representation of this belief. When it comes to character, he fell pretty short. IMHO

    • If the oil represents the holy spirit and the fruit of the spirit is christ character as recorded in Galatians 5:22. Then the evidence of the holy spirit in ones life is Christ character

  10. There are two persons we cannot hide from, God and ourselves. Thus we are what we are right now, and only God can measure that... perhaps if we live in gratitude and self-control, it might take a while, but He can show us the way!

  11. Daniel 12:2-3. Verse 3: And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. (KJV) Be sure to read verse 2 as well!

    Their lamps (light of God's character) are bright, and NEVER go out. I can't wait for the day!

  12. When God created us he intend to glorify him .This is shining being brightness in dark .The image of God is the character which stand for ten commandment the glory of God Which should shine daily

  13. Lesson 4 has been one of the most intriguing.
    My question is on Tuesday - Can one have bad character, yet exhibit goodness, mercy and good deeds?

    • To Collins NWANMA - Example: The Rich Young Ruler -- Sometimes it's not about what you're doing but WHY you do it that counts. AND what you are NOT doing also matters


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