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Sabbath Bible Lessons

Lessons from The Book of Mark

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Lesson 8 Sabbath, November 21, 2020

When Jesus Commanded Silence

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: . . . a time to keep silence, and a time to speak” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7 (last part).

“The Saviour never went to extremes, never lost self-control, never violated the laws of good taste. He knew when to speak and when to keep silent.”—Gospel Workers, p. 317.

Suggested Reading:   The Ministry of Healing, pp. 54-58, 67-70, 95-98

Sunday November 15

1. WHEN CASTING OUT DEMONS

a. What command did Jesus give to the unclean spirits? Mark 1:23–27; 3:11, 12. What did this reveal about His authority?

“The attention of the people was diverted from Christ, and His words were unheeded. This was Satan’s purpose in leading his victim to the synagogue. But Jesus rebuked the demon, saying, ‘Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not.’. . .

“He who had conquered Satan in the wilderness of temptation was again brought face to face with His enemy. The demon exerted all his power to retain control of his victim. To lose ground here would be to give Jesus a victory. It seemed that the tortured man must lose his life in the struggle with the foe that had been the ruin of his manhood. But the Saviour spoke with authority, and set the captive free.”—The Desire of Ages, pp. 255, 256.

b. How did Jesus show that He did not want to be associated with the demons in any way? Luke 4:41 (margin).


Monday November 16

2. A COMMAND TO SOME WHO WERE HEALED

a. How did Jesus react to a man with leprosy, and what did He tell the man after He healed him? Mark 1:40–44. Why?

“Should the priests learn the facts concerning the healing of the leper, their hatred of Christ might lead them to render a dishonest sentence. Jesus desired that an impartial decision be secured. He therefore bids the man tell no one of the cure, but without delay present himself at the temple with an offering before any rumors concerning the miracle should be spread abroad. Before the priests could accept such an offering, they were required to examine the offerer and certify his complete recovery.

“This examination was made. The priests who had condemned the leper to banishment testified to his cure. The healed man was restored to his home and society. . . . Notwithstanding the caution of Jesus, he could no longer conceal the fact of his cure, and joyfully he went about proclaiming the power of the One who had made him whole.”—The Ministry of Healing, pp. 69, 70.

b. After healing Jairus’ daughter, what command did Jesus give afterwards? Mark 5:41–43; John 5:2, 3, 8, 9. Why was Jesus even reluctant to heal on another occasion?

“[Christ] longed to exercise His healing power and make every sufferer whole. But it was the Sabbath day. Multitudes were going to the temple for worship, and He knew that such an act of healing would so excite the prejudice of the Jews as to cut short His work.”—Ibid., p.81.

c. After Jesus healed the deaf and dumb man, what did He request, and what was the result? Mark 7:31–36.

“Looking up to heaven, [Jesus] sighed at thought of the ears that would not be open to the truth, the tongues that refused to acknowledge the Redeemer. At the word, ‘Be opened,’ the man’s speech was restored, and, disregarding the command to tell no man, he published abroad the story of his cure.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 404.


Tuesday November 17

3. A CONTRASTING COMMAND TO OTHERS

a. What was the condition of the man (or men, as described in other gospels) in the country of the Gadarenes? Mark 5:1–5.

“The disciples and their companions flee in terror; but presently they notice that Jesus is not with them, and they turn to look for Him. He is standing where they left Him. He who stilled the tempest, who has before met Satan and conquered him, does not flee before these demons. When the men, gnashing their teeth and foaming at the mouth, approach Him, Jesus raises that hand which has beckoned the waves to rest, and the men can come no nearer. They stand before Him, raging but helpless.”—The Ministry of Healing, pp. 95, 96.

b. Describe the man after Jesus had healed him of the unclean spirits. Verse 15.

“The evil spirits are forced to release their victims, and a wonderful change comes over the demoniacs. Light shines into their minds. Their eyes beam with intelligence. The countenances so long deformed into the image of Satan become suddenly mild, the bloodstained hands are quiet, and the men lift their voices in praise to God.”—Ibid., p.97.

c. Although Jesus at times told those who were healed to be silent, what did He tell the man healed of the unclean spirit? Verse 19. Why?

“[The healed demoniacs] could not instruct the people as the disciples who had been daily with Christ were able to do. . . . [But] they could tell what they knew; what they themselves had seen, and heard, and felt of the power of Christ. This is what everyone can do whose heart has been touched by the grace of God. . . . This is the witness for which our Lord calls, and for want of which the world is perishing.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 340.

“He who has felt the power of the grace of Christ has a story to tell. . . . Humanity, drawing its efficiency from the great source of wisdom, is made the instrumentality, the working agency, through which the gospel exercises its transforming power on mind and heart.”—Lift Him Up, p. 230.


Wednesday November 18

4. WHEN SOME DID NOT KEEP SILENT

a. What happened when those whom Jesus requested to keep silent did the opposite? Mark 1:45; 3:9; 5:24; 6:31.

“[The healed leper’s] act in blazing abroad the matter resulted in hindering the Saviour’s work. It caused the people to flock to Him in such multitudes that He was forced for a time to cease His labors.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 265.

b. When the crowds became quite large, what did Jesus do? Why? Mark 6:45, 46; Matthew 14:23.

“All day [Jesus] ministered to the throngs that came to Him, and at eventide, or in the early morning, He went away to the sanctuary of the mountains for communion with His Father.

“Often His incessant labor and the conflict with the enmity and false teaching of the rabbis left Him so utterly wearied that His mother and brothers, and even His disciples, feared that His life would be sacrificed. But as He returned from the hours of prayer that closed the toilsome day, they marked the look of peace upon His face, the freshness and life and power that seemed to pervade His whole being. From hours spent alone with God He came forth, morning by morning, to bring the light of heaven to men.”—The Ministry of Healing, pp. 55, 56.

“In a life wholly devoted to the good of others, the Saviour found it necessary to turn aside from ceaseless activity and contact with human needs, to seek retirement and unbroken communion with His Father. As the throng that had followed Him depart, He goes into the mountains, and there, alone with God, pours out His soul in prayer for these suffering, sinful, needy ones.”—Ibid., p.58.

c. Why else did Jesus at times not want His fame published everywhere? John 7:6, 30; 8:20.

“At the time of the Feast of Tabernacles [Christ’s] journey to Jerusalem was made swiftly and secretly. When urged by His brothers to present Himself publicly as the Messiah, His answer was, ‘My time is not yet come.’ John 7:6. He made His way to Jerusalem unobserved, and entered the city unannounced, and unhonored by the multitude.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 485.


Thursday November 19

5. WHEN WE SHOULD BE SILENT

a. What does Solomon tell us about our speech? Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7 (last part). How did Christ exemplify this advice, and how can we do the same?

“Christ never erred in His judgment of men and of truth. He was never deceived by appearances. He never raised a question but what was clearly appropriate. He never gave an answer but what was fitting and right to the point. . . . Christ never went to extremes, never lost self-

control or the balance of mind under any excitement. He never violated the law of good taste and discernment when to speak and when to keep silent.”—That I May Know Him, p. 178.

“When any put questions that serve only to confuse the mind and sow the seeds of doubt, they should be advised to refrain from such questioning. We must learn when to speak and when to keep silent, learn to sow the seeds of faith, to impart light, not darkness.”—Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 69.

b. Name one type of circumstance when it is appropriate to be silent. Proverbs 27:2.

“Self-denial means . . . when you might praise yourself, to keep silent and let other lips praise you. Self–denial is to do good to others where inclination would lead you to serve and please yourself.”—Ibid., vol.4, p. 521.

c. How did Jesus exemplify this principle in His own life as the Son of man? John 8:50 (first part); 7:18.


Friday November 20

PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS

1. Why didn’t Christ allow the demons to speak?

2. Why did Jesus request that the leper not tell of his cure?

3. Why did Jesus give opposite instructions to the healed demoniac?

4. For what reasons did Jesus not want His fame spread everywhere?

5. When should we be silent regarding questions we may have? Why?

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