Sabbath, January 12, 2013
“The doctrine of the incarnation of Christ in human flesh is a mystery, ‘even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations.’ Colossians 1:26. It is the great and profound mystery of godliness. ‘The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.’ John 1:14. Christ took upon Himself human nature, a nature inferior to His heavenly nature. Nothing so shows the wonderful condescension of God as this. He ‘so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son.’ John 3:16.” –Selected Messages, book 1, pp. 246, 247.
Incarnation of the Son of God
1. How was the Son of God able to become the Son of man?
John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.
Hebrews 10:5-7 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
“Nearly two thousand years ago, a voice of mysterious import was heard in heaven, from the throne of God, ‘Lo, I come.’ ‘Sacrifice and offering Thou wouldest not, but a body hast Thou prepared Me…. Lo, I come (in the volume of the Book it is written of Me,) to do Thy will, O God.’ Hebrews 10:5-7. In these words is announced the fulfillment of the purpose that had been hidden from eternal ages. Christ was about to visit our world, and to become incarnate. He says, ‘A body hast Thou prepared Me.’ Had He appeared with the glory that was His with the Father before the world was, we could not have endured the light of His presence. That we might behold it and not be destroyed, the manifestation of His glory was shrouded. His divinity was veiled with humanity–the invisible glory in the visible human form.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 23.
2. How was the incarnation of the Son of God announced?
Matthew 1:21-23 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
Luke 1:30-35 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
“Christ did not make believe take human nature; He did verily take it. He did in reality possess human nature. ‘As the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same.’ Hebrews 2:14. He was the son of Mary; He was of the seed of David according to human descent. He is declared to be a man, even the Man Christ Jesus….
“Christ brought men and women power to overcome. He came to this world in human form, to live a man amongst men. He assumed the liabilities of human nature, to be proved and tried. In His humanity He was a partaker of the divine nature. In His incarnation He gained in a new sense the title of the Son of God. Said the angel to Mary, ‘The power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God’ (Luke 1:35). While the Son of a human being, He became the Son of God in a new sense. Thus He stood in our world–the Son of God, yet allied by birth to the human race.” –Selected Messages, book 1, pp. 247, 226, 227.
3. During His childhood, whom did Jesus recognize as His 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?
“With deep earnestness the mother of Jesus watched the unfolding of His powers, and beheld the impress of perfection upon His character. With delight she sought to encourage that bright, receptive mind. Through the Holy Spirit she received wisdom to cooperate with the heavenly agencies in the development of this child, who could claim only God as His Father….
“In the school of the rabbis they found Jesus. Rejoiced as they were, they could not forget their grief and anxiety. When He was with them again, the mother said, in words that implied reproof, ‘Son, why hast Thou thus dealt with us? Behold, Thy father and I have sought Thee sorrowing.’
“‘How is it that ye sought Me?’ answered Jesus. ‘Wist ye not that I must be about My Father’s business?’And as they seemed not to understand His words, He pointed upward. On His face was a light at which they wondered. Divinity was flashing through humanity…. She Mary knew that He had disclaimed kinship to Joseph, and had declared His Sonship to God.” –The Desire of Ages, pp. 69, 81, 82.
4. As the Son of man, how did Jesus reveal His Sonship to God?
Matthew 11:27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.
John 15:9, 10 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
John 20:17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
“The Son of God came from heaven to make manifest the Father. ‘No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him.’ John 1:18. ‘Neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him.’ Matthew 11:27. When one of the disciples made the request, ‘Show us the Father,’ Jesus answered, ‘Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?’ John 14:8, 9.” –Steps to Christ, p. 11.
“By His humanity, Christ touched humanity; by His divinity, He lays hold upon the throne of God. As the Son of man, He gave us an example of obedience; as the Son of God, He gives us power to obey.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 24.
The Son of man, Lord of the Sabbath
5. How is the day of rest referred to in the Holy Scriptures? How did Jesus confirm that the Sabbath belongs to Him?
Isaiah 58:13, first part If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable;…
Matthew 12:8 For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.
“‘Wherefore the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath.’ These words are full of instruction and comfort. Because the Sabbath was made for man, it is the Lord’s day. It belongs to Christ. For ‘all things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.’ John 1:3. Since He made all things, He made the Sabbath. By Him it was set apart as a memorial of the work of creation. It points to Him as both the Creator and the Sanctifier. It declares that He who created all things in heaven and in earth, and by whom all things hold together, is the head of the church, and that by His power we are reconciled to God.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 288.
The Son of man forgives and cures
6. How could the Son of man assert His power to forgive sin and heal the sick?
Mark 2:10-12 But that you may know that the Son of man has power on earth to forgive sins, (he said to the sick of the palsy,) I say to you, Arise, and take up your bed, and go your way into your house. And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; so that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.
“Jesus came to ‘destroy the works of the devil.’ ‘In Him was life,’ and He says, ‘I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’ He is ‘a quickening spirit.’ 1 John 3:8; John 1:4; 10:10; 1 Corinthians 15:45. And He still has the same life-giving power as when on earth He healed the sick, and spoke forgiveness to the sinner. He ‘forgiveth all thine iniquities,’ He ‘healeth all thy diseases.’ Psalm 103:3….
“The angels of God are ever passing from earth to heaven, and from heaven to earth. The miracles of Christ for the afflicted and suffering were wrought by the power of God through the ministration of the angels. And it is through Christ, by the ministration of His heavenly messengers, that every blessing comes from God to us. In taking upon Himself humanity, our Saviour unites His interests with those of the fallen sons and daughters of Adam, while through His divinity He grasps the throne of God. And thus Christ is the medium of communication of men with God, and of God with men.” –The Desire of Ages, pp. 270, 143.
The Son of man performs miracles
7. As the Son of man, how did Jesus perform the miracle of calming the tempest? What did the disciples recognize as they saw Him walking on the sea and calming the winds?
Matthew 8:27 But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!”
Matthew 14:32, 33 And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.
John 5:30, first part I can of mine own self do nothing:…
“But He rested not in the possession of almighty power. It was not as the ‘Master of earth and sea and sky’ that He reposed in quiet. That power He had laid down, and He says, ‘I can of Mine own self do nothing.’ John 5:30. He trusted in the Father’s might. It was in faith–faith in God’s love and care–that Jesus rested, and the power of that word which stilled the storm was the power of God.
“As Jesus rested by faith in the Father’s care, so we are to rest in the care of our Saviour.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 336.
“‘God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son.’ He gave Him not only to live among men, to bear their sins, and die their sacrifice. He gave Him to the fallen race. Christ was to identify Himself with the interests and needs of humanity. He who was one with God has linked Himself with the children of men by ties that are never to be broken. Jesus is ‘not ashamed to call them brethren’ (Hebrews 2:11); He is our Sacrifice, our Advocate, our Brother, bearing our human form before the Father’s throne, and through eternal ages one with the race He has redeemed–the Son of man. And all this that man might be uplifted from the ruin and degradation of sin that he might reflect the love of God and share the joy of holiness.” –Steps to Christ, p. 14.
For personal study
- Mark 2:28
- Matthew 9:6