Sabbath, April 9, 2005
“Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.” Proverbs 23:22.
• To understand the responsibility we have toward our parents.
• To understand that not even the closest earthly relationship should interfere with our relationship with God.
• To be aware of what should be the only purpose of our life on this earth once we become Christians.
JESUS, THE SON OF MARY AND JOSEPH
1. What was Jesus’ relation to His earthly parents like, all his life long?
“Jesus lived in a peasant’s home, and faithfully and cheerfully acted His part in bearing the burdens of the household. He had been the Commander of heaven, and angels had delighted to fulfill His word; now He was a willing servant, a loving, obedient son. He learned a trade, and with His own hands worked in the carpenter’s shop with Joseph. In the simple garb of a common laborer He walked the streets of the little town, going to and returning from His humble work. He did not employ His divine power to lessen His burdens or to lighten His toil….
“Jesus did not ignore His relation to His earthly parents… He acknowledged the tie that bound Him to the home at Nazareth and performed the duties of a son, a brother, a friend and a citizen.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 82.
2. What conclusions can we draw about His relationship with His mother from the following events?
Luke 2:48, 49 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?
John 2: 2-5 And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.
John 19:25-27 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. 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.
“The life of Christ was marked with respect and love for His mother.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 90.
“Jesus loved his mother tenderly; for thirty years he had been subject to parental control; but the time had now come when he was to go about his Father’s business. In rebuking his mother, Jesus also rebukes a large class who have an idolatrous love for their family, and allow the ties of relationship to draw them from the service of God. Human love is a sacred attribute; but should not be allowed to mar our religious experience, or draw our hearts from God.” –The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 2, p. 101.
“Every act of Christ’s earthly life was in harmony with the precept He Himself had given, ‘Honor thy father and thy mother.’ Ex. 20:12.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 146.
3. What lesson can parents and children draw from Jesus’ relationship with His own parents?
“By many children and youth, time is wasted that might be spent in carrying home burdens, and thus showing a loving interest in father and mother. The youth might take upon their strong young shoulders many responsibilities which someone must bear.
“The life of Christ from His earliest years was a life of earnest activity. He lived not to please Himself. He was the Son of the infinite God, yet He worked at the carpenter’s trade with His father Joseph. His trade was significant…
“Parents should teach their children the value and right use of time…
“Parents cannot commit a greater sin than to allow their children to have nothing to do. The children soon learn to love idleness, and they grow up shiftless, useless men and women. When they are old enough to earn their living, and find employment, they work in a lazy, droning way, yet expect to be paid as much as if they were faithful.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 345.
JESUS, THE SON OF GOD
4. What was Jesus’ relationship with His heavenly Father like?
John 10:30 I and my Father are one.
John 14:11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.
“In all that He did, Christ was cooperating with His Father. Ever He had been careful to make it evident that He did not work independently; it was by faith and prayer that He wrought His miracles. Christ desired all to know His relationship with His Father.” –Daughters of God, p. 59.
5. Was there any conflict in His heart regarding His relationship with His earthly parents and His heavenly Father?
Luke 2:49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?
Hebrews 12:9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
“As Son of the Most High, and Saviour of the world, no earthly ties must hold Him from His mission, or influence His conduct. He must stand free to do the will of God. This lesson is also for us. The claims of God are paramount even to the ties of human relationship. No earthly attraction should turn our feet from the path in which He bids us walk.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 147.
6. What was Jesus’ highest purpose on this earth?
John 4:34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
WE AS CHILDREN OF GOD
7. What privilege do we have if we accept Jesus’ sacrifice for us?
John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
“…He will adopt you into His family, and you will be His heir. In place of the world, He will give you, for a life of obedience, the kingdom under the whole heavens. He will give you an eternal weight of glory and a life that
is as enduring as eternity.” –Testimonies, vol. 2, p. 44.
“As children of God, you will hold His honor, His character, His family, His work, as the objects of your highest interest. It will be your joy to recognize and honor your relation to your Father and to every member of His family. You will rejoice to do any act, however humble, that will tend to His glory or to the well-being of your kindred.” –Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p. 105.
8. As soon as this miracle happens in our lives, what do we become?
Philippians 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
9. As ambassadors of Christ and citizens of heaven longing to go home, what shall we feel constrained to do as we prepare for eternity?
1 Corinthians 9:16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
Acts 5:42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.
Revelation 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
“The ambassadors of Christ have a responsible and sacred work before them. They are savors of life unto life, or of death unto death. Their influence decides the destiny of souls for whom Christ died.” –Testimonies, vol. 3, p. 60.
“All who profess to be children of God should unceasingly bear in mind that they are missionaries in their labors brought in connection with all classes of minds.” –Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 554.
FOR MEDITATION AND FURTHER STUDY
• How do I honor my parents?
• Can I blame my parents for my unfruitful Christian life?
• Does the relationship with my heavenly Father take first place in my life?
• How am I fulfilling the commission God gave me?