June 18, 2017 – June 24, 2017
“For as the Father hath life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself; and hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man” (John 5:26, 27).
Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 206–213.
“My authority, He said, for doing the work of which you accuse Me, is that I am the Son of God, one with Him in nature, in will, and in purpose. In all His works of creation and providence, I cooperate with God.” The Desire of Ages, 208.
1 EQUAL WITH GOD
- Besides the healing of the paralytic on the Sabbath, for what other reason did the Jews hate Jesus? John 5:17, 18.
Note: “Jesus claimed equal rights with God. …
“The whole nation of the Jews called God their Father, therefore they would not have been so enraged if Christ had represented Himself as standing in the same relation to God. But they accused Him of blasphemy, showing that they understood Him as making this claim in the highest sense.” The Desire of Ages, 207, 208.
- How did Christ vindicate the authority of God’s commandments above human traditions? Matthew 15:1–9, 13.
Note: “These adversaries of Christ had no arguments with which to meet the truths He brought home to their consciences. They could only cite their customs and traditions, and these seemed weak and vapid when compared with the arguments Jesus had drawn from the word of God and the unceasing round of nature.” The Desire of Ages, 208.
2 UNITY WITH THE FATHER
- How did Jesus explain His relationship with the Father? John 5:19, 20.
- What authority and power pertaining to the Father did Christ declare He also possessed? John 5:21–23.
Note: “The humble Nazarene asserts His real nobility. He rises above humanity, throws off the guise of sin and shame, and stands revealed, the Honored of the angels, the Son of God, One with the Creator of the universe. His hearers are spellbound. No man has ever spoken words like His, or borne himself with such a kingly majesty. His utterances are clear and plain, fully declaring His mission, and the duty of the world. ‘For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: that all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He that honoreth not the Son honoreth not the Father which hath sent Him. … For as the Father hath life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself; and hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man’ (John 5:22, 23, 26, 27).
“The priests and rulers had set themselves up as judges to condemn Christ’s work, but He declared Himself their judge, and the judge of all the earth. The world has been committed to Christ, and through Him has come every blessing from God to the fallen race. He was the Redeemer before as after His incarnation. As soon as there was sin, there was a Saviour. He has given light and life to all, and according to the measure of light given, each is to be judged. And He who has given the light, He who has followed the soul with tenderest entreaty, seeking to win it from sin to holiness, is in one its advocate and judge. From the opening of the great controversy in heaven, Satan has maintained his cause through deception; and Christ has been working to unveil his schemes and to break his power. It is He who has encountered the deceiver, and who through all the ages has been seeking to wrest the captives from his grasp, who will pass judgment upon every soul.” The Desire of Ages, 210.
“Christ is the only true standard of character, and he who sets himself up as a standard for others is putting himself in the place of Christ. And since the Father ‘hath committed all judgment unto the Son’ (John 5:22), whoever presumes to judge the motives of others is again usurping the prerogative of the Son of God. These would-be judges and critics are placing themselves on the side of antichrist.” Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 125, 126.
3 ASSURANCE OF ETERNAL LIFE
- What assurance is given to every true believer? John 5:24.
- What other divine prerogative did Christ assert He possessed? John 5:25–29.
Note: “And God ‘hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man’ (John 5:27). Because He has tasted the very dregs of human affliction and temptation, and understands the frailties and sins of men; because in our behalf He has victoriously withstood the temptations of Satan, and will deal justly and tenderly with the souls that His own blood has been poured out to save—because of this, the Son of man is appointed to execute the judgment.
“But Christ’s mission was not for judgment, but for salvation. ‘God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved’ (John 3:17). And before the Sanhedrin Jesus declared, ‘He that heareth My word, and believeth Him that sent Me, hath eternal life, and cometh not into judgment, but hath passed out of death into life’ (John 5:24, R.V.).
“Bidding His hearers marvel not, Christ opened before them, in still wider view, the mystery of the future. [John 5:28, 29, R.V. quoted.]
“This assurance of the future life was that for which Israel had so long waited, and which they had hoped to receive at the Messiah’s advent. The only light that can lighten the gloom of the grave was shining upon them. But self-will is blind. Jesus had violated the traditions of the rabbis, and disregarded their authority, and they would not believe.
“The time, the place, the occasion, the intensity of feeling that pervaded the assembly, all combined to make the words of Jesus before the Sanhedrin the more impressive. The highest religious authorities of the nation were seeking the life of Him who declared Himself the restorer of Israel. The Lord of the Sabbath was arraigned before an earthly tribunal to answer the charge of breaking the Sabbath law. When He so fearlessly declared His mission, His judges looked upon Him with astonishment and rage; but His words were unanswerable. They could not condemn Him. He denied the right of the priests and rabbis to question Him, or to interfere with His work. They were invested with no such authority. Their claims were based upon their own pride and arrogance. He refused to plead guilty of their charges, or to be catechized by them.” The Desire of Ages, 210, 211.
4 JESUS, THE CENTRAL THEME OF THE SCRIPTURES
- How did Jesus explain the cause of the Jews’ unbelief? John 5:37, 38.
Note: “Instead of apologizing for the act of which they complained, or explaining His purpose in doing it, Jesus turned upon the rulers, and the accused became the accuser. He rebuked them for the hardness of their hearts, and their ignorance of the Scriptures. He declared that they had rejected the word of God, inasmuch as they had rejected Him whom God had sent. ‘Ye search the Scriptures, because ye think that in them ye have eternal life; and these are they which bear witness of Me’ (John 5:39, R.V.).” The Desire of Ages, 211.
- Why did the Jews fail to understand the Scriptures? John 5:39, 40.
Note: “In every page, whether history, or precept, or prophecy, the Old Testament Scriptures are irradiated with the glory of the Son of God. So far as it was of divine institution, the entire system of Judaism was a compacted prophecy of the gospel. To Christ ‘give all the prophets witness’ (Acts 10:43). From the promise given to Adam, down through the patriarchal line and the legal economy, heaven’s glorious light made plain the footsteps of the Redeemer. Seers beheld the Star of Bethlehem, the Shiloh to come, as future things swept before them in mysterious procession. In every sacrifice Christ’s death was shown. In every cloud of incense His righteousness ascended. By every jubilee trumpet His name was sounded. In the awful mystery of the holy of holies His glory dwelt.
“The Jews had the Scriptures in their possession, and supposed that in their mere outward knowledge of the word they had eternal life. But Jesus said, ‘Ye have not His word abiding in you.’ Having rejected Christ in His word, they rejected Him in person. ‘Ye will not come to Me,’ He said, ‘that ye might have life’ (John 5:38, 40).” The Desire of Ages, 211, 212.
“The word of God, spoken to the heart, has an animating power, and those who will frame any excuse for neglecting to become acquainted with it will neglect the claims of God in many respects. The character will be deformed, the words and acts a reproach to the truth. … As the mind dwells upon the virtue and piety of holy men of old, the spirit which inspired them will kindle a flame of love and holy fervor in the hearts of those who would be like them in character.” Counsels on Sabbath School Work, 17, 18.
5 THE GLORY OF GOD
- What other cause of unbelief among the Jews was pointed out by Jesus? John 5:41, 42.
Note: “The Jewish leaders had studied the teachings of the prophets concerning the kingdom of the Messiah; but they had done this, not with a sincere desire to know the truth, but with the purpose of finding evidence to sustain their ambitious hopes. When Christ came in a manner contrary to their expectations, they would not receive Him; and in order to justify themselves, they tried to prove Him a deceiver. When once they had set their feet in this path, it was easy for Satan to strengthen their opposition to Christ. The very words that should have been received as evidence of His divinity were interpreted against Him. Thus they turned the truth of God into a lie, and the more directly the Saviour spoke to them in His works of mercy, the more determined they were in resisting the light.” The Desire of Ages, 212.
- What led the Jews to reject Jesus and welcome false teachers? John 5:43, 44.
Note: “ ‘I am come in My Father’s name, and ye receive Me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive’ (John 5:43). Jesus came by the authority of God, bearing His image, fulfilling His word, and seeking His glory; yet He was not accepted by the leaders in Israel; but when others should come, assuming the character of Christ, but actuated by their own will and seeking their own glory, they would be received. And why? Because he who is seeking his own glory appeals to the desire for self-exaltation in others. To such appeals the Jews could respond. They would receive the false teacher because he flattered their pride by sanctioning their cherished opinions and traditions.” The Desire of Ages, 212, 213.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 What authority and rights did Christ claim?
2 What relationship has always existed between Jesus and the Father?
3 What power does Christ possess?
4 Explain John 5:39, 40.
5 What was the result of the Jews’ rejection of Jesus as the Messiah?
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