1. CHRIST’S WORK PROPHESIED
a. Which prophecies were fulfilled at the birth of Jesus? Isaiah 7:14; Micah 5:2; Luke 1:35.
“Before the foundations of the world were laid, Christ, the Only Begotten of God, pledged Himself to become the Redeemer of the human race, should Adam sin. Adam fell, and He who was partaker of the Father’s glory before the world was, laid aside His royal robe and kingly crown, and stepped down from His high authority to become a Babe in Bethlehem, that by passing over the ground where Adam stumbled and fell, He might redeem fallen human beings. He subjected Himself to all the temptations that the enemy brings against men and women; and all the assaults of Satan could not make Him swerve from His loyalty to the Father. By living a sinless life He testified that every son and daughter of Adam can resist the temptations of the one who first brought sin into the world.”—Selected Messages, vol. 1, p. 226.
b. What did John the Baptist announce about the work of Jesus? Matthew 3:11.
2. FULFILLING PROPHECY
a. What was to be the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Messiah? Isaiah 11:2, 3; 61:1–3.
“The work that the Saviour was to do on the earth had been fully outlined: ‘The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; and shall make Him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord.’ The One thus anointed was ‘to preach good tidings unto the meek; . . . to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.’ Isaiah 11:2, 3; 61:1–3.”—The Acts of the Apostles, p. 224.
“In His life no self-assertion was to be mingled. The homage which the world gives to position, to wealth, and to talent, was to be foreign to the Son of God. None of the means that men employ to win allegiance or to command homage, was the Messiah to use. . . .
“The Messiah was to be hid in God, and God was to be revealed in the character of His Son.”—Prophets and Kings, pp. 692, 693.
b. When were the prophecies of Isaiah concerning the Messiah’s ministry fulfilled? Luke 4:16–21.
“Jesus stood before the people as a living expositor of the prophecies concerning Himself. Explaining the words He had read, He spoke of the Messiah as a reliever of the oppressed, a liberator of captives, a healer of the afflicted, restoring sight to the blind, and revealing to the world the light of truth. His impressive manner and the wonderful import of His words thrilled the hearers with a power they had never felt before. The tide of divine influence broke every barrier down; like Moses, they beheld the Invisible. As their hearts were moved upon by the Holy Spirit, they responded with fervent amens and praises to the Lord.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 237.
3. A SPIRIT-FILLED MINISTRY
a. How did the Holy Spirit affect the life of Jesus? Luke 2:40, 52.
“In the sunlight of His Father’s countenance, Jesus ‘increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.’ Luke 2:52. His mind was active and penetrating, with a thoughtfulness and wisdom beyond His years. Yet His character was beautiful in its symmetry. The powers of mind and body developed gradually, in keeping with the laws of childhood.
“As a child, Jesus manifested a peculiar loveliness of disposition. His willing hands were ever ready to serve others. He manifested a patience that nothing could disturb, and a truthfulness that would never sacrifice integrity. In principle firm as a rock, His life revealed the grace of unselfish courtesy.”—The Desire of Ages, pp. 68, 69.
b. What occurred at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry on this earth? What example has Jesus left for us to follow? Mark 1:12, 13; 1 Peter 2:21, 22.
“When Jesus was led into the wilderness to be tempted, He was led by the Spirit of God. He did not invite temptation. He went to the wilderness to be alone, to contemplate His mission and work. By fasting and prayer He was to brace Himself for the bloodstained path He was to travel.”—Selected Messages, bk. 1, p. 227.
“‘The prince of this world cometh,’ said Jesus, ‘and hath nothing in Me.’ John 14:30. There was in Him nothing that responded to Satan’s sophistry. He did not consent to sin. Not even by a thought did He yield to temptation. So it may be with us. Christ’s humanity was united with divinity; He was fitted for the conflict by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. And He came to make us partakers of the divine nature. So long as we are united to Him by faith, sin has no more dominion over us. God reaches for the hand of faith in us to direct it to lay fast hold upon the divinity of Christ, that we may attain to perfection of character.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 123.
4. IN THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT
a. What took place immediately after the baptism of Jesus? Matthew 3:16, 17.
“Upon coming up out of the water, Jesus bowed in prayer on the river bank. . . .
“Never before have the angels listened to such a prayer. They are eager to bear to their loved Commander a message of assurance and comfort. But no; the Father Himself will answer the petition of His Son. Direct from the throne issue the beams of His glory. The heavens are opened, and upon the Saviour’s head descends a dovelike form of purest light—fit emblem of Him, the meek and lowly One. . . .
“The glory that rested upon Christ is a pledge of the love of God for us. . . . The light which fell from the open portals upon the head of our Saviour will fall upon us as we pray for help to resist temptation. The voice which spoke to Jesus says to every believing soul, This is My beloved child, in whom I am well pleased.”—The Desire of Ages, pp. 111–113.
b. What did Jesus accomplish through the power of the Holy Spirit? Luke 4:14; Acts 10:38; Matthew 12:28.
“As a man [Jesus] supplicated the throne of God, till His humanity was charged with a heavenly current that connected humanity with divinity. Receiving life from God, He imparted life to men.”—Education, pp. 80, 81.
“Never was there such an evangelist as Christ. He was the Majesty of heaven, but He humbled Himself to take our nature, that He might meet men where they were. To all people, rich and poor, free and bond, Christ, the Messenger of the covenant, brought the tidings of salvation. His fame as the Great Healer spread throughout Palestine. The sick came to the places through which He would pass, that they might call on Him for help.”—The Ministry of Healing, p. 22.
“Toward the close of His ministry in Galilee, He again visited the home of His childhood. Since His rejection there, the fame of His preaching and His miracles had filled the land. None now could deny that He possessed more than human power. The people of Nazareth knew that He went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed by Satan. About them were whole villages where there was not a moan of sickness in any house; for He had passed through them, and healed all their sick. The mercy revealed in every act of His life testified to His divine anointing.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 241.
5. LIVING BY THE WORD
a. Who inspired the words which Jesus spoke? John 6:63; 8:28.
“The life of Christ that gives life to the world is in His word. It was by His word that Jesus healed disease and cast out demons; by His word He stilled the sea, and raised the dead; and the people bore witness that His word was with power. He spoke the word of God, as He had spoken through all the prophets and teachers of the Old Testament. The whole Bible is a manifestation of Christ, and the Saviour desired to fix the faith of His followers on the word. When His visible presence should be withdrawn, the word must be their source of power. Like their Master, they were to live ‘by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.’ Matthew 4:4.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 390.
b. How can we make the Word of God our source of power? Jeremiah 15:16.
“As our physical life is sustained by food, so our spiritual life is sustained by the word of God. And every soul is to receive life from God’s word for himself. As we must eat for ourselves in order to receive nourishment, so we must receive the word for ourselves. We are not to obtain it merely through the medium of another’s mind. We should carefully study the Bible, asking God for the aid of the Holy Spirit, that we may understand His word. We should take one verse, and concentrate the mind on the task of ascertaining the thought which God has put in that verse for us. We should dwell upon the thought until it becomes our own, and we know ‘what saith the Lord.’”—Ibid.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. What is one reason the Son of God came as a real man to our world?
2. How was the power of the Holy Spirit shown in the life of Christ?
3. How was the Holy Spirit visibly present at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry?
4. What significance does Christ’s resistance of temptation have for believers?
5. What must you do for yourself in order to live as Christ lived?