1. ESTABLISHING GOD’S KINGDOM
a. What question did Jesus ask regarding God’s kingdom? Mark 4:30. To what did He desire to draw the people’s attention?
“Christ found the kingdoms of the world corrupt. . . . When Christ came to the world to establish a kingdom, He looked upon the governments of men, and said, ‘Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God?’ Nothing in civil society afforded Him a comparison. . . .
“In striking contrast to the wrong and oppression so universally practised were the mission and work of Christ. . . . He planned a government which would use no force; His subjects would know no oppression. . . . He came as the divine Restorer, bringing to oppressed and downtrodden humanity the rich and abundant grace of Heaven, that by the power of His righteousness, man, fallen and degraded though he was, might be a partaker of divinity.”—God’s Amazing Grace, p. 14.
“Christ was establishing a kingdom on different principles. He called men, not to authority, but to service, the strong to bear the infirmities of the weak. Power, position, talent, education, placed their possessor under the greater obligation to serve his fellows.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 550.
2. THE MISSION OF CHRIST
a. How is the character of the coming Deliverer described? In what power did He work? Isaiah 42:1–4.
“The dimly burning wick of faith and hope, [Christ] would encourage, and not quench. He would feed His flock like a shepherd; He would gather the lambs with His arms, and carry them in His bosom.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 4, p. 1146.
b. What royal title was the Messiah to carry? Isaiah 9:6.
“Christ is ‘the Prince of Peace’ (Isaiah 9:6), and it is His mission to restore to earth and heaven the peace that sin has broken. . . . Whoever consents to renounce sin and open his heart to the love of Christ, becomes a partaker of this heavenly peace. . . .
“The heart that is in harmony with God is a partaker of the peace of heaven and will diffuse its blessed influence on all around.”—Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, pp. 27, 28.
c. What sums up Christ’s lifework? Acts 10:38. What practical things did Christ’s work include? Matthew 4:23, 24.
“With a heart ever touched with the feelings of our infirmities, an ear ever open to the cry of suffering humanity, a hand ever ready to save the discouraged and despairing, Jesus, our Saviour, ‘went about doing good’ (Acts 10:38).”—God’s Amazing Grace, p. 14.
“The sick came to the places through which He would pass, that they might call on Him for help. Hither, too, came many anxious to hear His words and to receive a touch of His hand. Thus He went from city to city, from town to town, preaching the gospel and healing the sick—the King of glory in the lowly garb of humanity.”—The Ministry of Healing, p. 22.
“Tender, compassionate, sympathetic, ever considerate of others, [Christ] represented the character of God, and was constantly engaged in service for God and man.”—Ibid., p.423.
3. CHRIST’S WORK IS TO BE OUR WORK
a. How extensive was the work Christ did under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit? Isaiah 61:1–3.
“The mission described by the prophet is the mission of every disciple of Christ. We are to practice the words of Christ, and present before others the covenant of grace, the righteousness of Christ. We are to make it manifest to the world that we have the oil of grace in our vessels in our lamps. The work of every representative of Christ, both in the ministry and among the laymen, is to tell of the great salvation brought to them as God’s free gift.”—The Review and Herald, March 27, 1894.
b. What are we called to do as followers of Christ? Isaiah 58:6, 7.
“All who are members of the kingdom of Christ will represent Him in character and disposition.”—God’s Amazing Grace, p. 14.
“Through yielding to sin, man placed his will under the control of Satan. He became a helpless captive in the tempter’s power. God sent His Son into our world to break the power of Satan, and to emancipate the will of man. He sent Him to proclaim liberty to the captives, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free.”—Our High Calling, p. 104.
“Find out what the poor and suffering are in need of, and then, in love and tenderness, help them to courage and hope and confidence by sharing with them the good things that God has given you. Thus you will be doing the very work that God means you to do.”—The Medical Missionary, June 1, 1891.
“Christ’s work is to be our example. Constantly He went about doing good. In the temple and the synagogues, in the streets of the cities, in the marketplace and the workshop, by the seaside and among the hills, He preached the gospel and healed the sick. His life was one of unselfish service, and it is to be our lesson book. His tender, pitying love rebukes our selfishness and heartlessness.”—Testimonies, vol. 9, p. 31.
c. What promise did Christ make to His disciples concerning the power which was to attend the spreading of the gospel? Acts 1:8.
4. WITNESSES TO DELIVERANCE
a. What encouraging words should inspire us to follow in Jesus’ footsteps in reaching out to others? Isaiah 52:7; 61:6–9.
“[God] wants you to go forth to our churches to labor earnestly for Him. He wants you to institute meetings for those outside the churches, that the people may learn the truths of this last message of warning. There are places where you will be gladly received, where souls will thank you for coming to their help. May the Lord help you to take hold of this work as you have never yet taken hold of it.”—Testimonies, vol. 9, p. 107.
“It will require moral courage to do God’s work unflinchingly. Those who do this can give no place to self love, to selfish considerations, ambition, love of ease, or desire to shun the cross.”—The Review and Herald, February 7, 1893.
b. What is a wonderful example of what Jesus wants those who have been delivered from sin to do? Matthew 8:28; Mark 5:6–8, 18–20.
“The two restored demoniacs were the first missionaries whom Christ sent to preach the gospel in the region of Decapolis. For a few moments only these men had been privileged to hear the teachings of Christ. Not one sermon from His lips had ever fallen upon their ears. They could not instruct the people as the disciples who had been daily with Christ were able to do. But they bore in their own persons the evidence that Jesus was the Messiah. They could tell what they knew; what they themselves had seen, and heard, and felt of the power of Christ. This is what every one can do whose heart has been touched by the grace of God. John, the beloved disciple, wrote: ‘That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; . . . that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you’ (1 John 1:1–3). As witnesses for Christ, we are to tell what we know, what we ourselves have seen and heard and felt. If we have been following Jesus step by step, we shall have something right to the point to tell concerning the way in which He has led us. We can tell how we have tested His promise, and found the promise true. We can bear witness to what we have known of the grace of Christ. This is the witness for which our Lord calls, and for want of which the world is perishing.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 340.
5. WORKING IN HUMILITY
a. What attitude did Jesus have as He worked for others, and what can we learn from this? John 6:38; James 4:6, 10.
“The greatest possible kindness and freedom are to be granted to the purchase of the blood of Christ. Over and over again in His teaching, Christ presented the value of true humility, showing how necessary it is that we exercise helpfulness, compassion, and love toward one another. . . .
“No confidence can be placed in human greatness, human intellect, or human plans. We must place ourselves under the guidance of an infinite mind, acknowledging that without Jesus we can do nothing.”—The Review and Herald, August 18, 1896.
b. How far should we go in reaching out to those in need? Job 29:15, 16; Matthew 25:34–40.
“Notice, you are not to comfort only the few whom you are inclined to regard with favor, but all that mourn, all who apply to you for help and relief; and more, you are to search for the needy. Job says, ‘The cause which I knew not I searched out.’ He did not wait to be urged, and then turn away, saying, ‘I will not help him.’”—Ibid., October 15, 1901.
“The world is full of men and women who carry a heavy burden of sorrow and suffering and sin. God sends His children to reveal to them Him who will take away the burden, and give them rest. It is the mission of Christ’s servants to help, to bless, to heal.”—Ibid., October 29, 1903.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. How is Christ’s kingdom different from worldly kingdoms?
2. How can I be a part of Jesus’ mission to restore the peace that sin has destroyed?
3. As we are rescued from the slavery of sin, what is our duty?
4. How can I show my gratitude for God’s unselfish interest in me?
5. Who should I help? What should my mission be?