September 11, 2016 – September 17, 2016
“The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: He wakeneth morning by morning, He wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. The Lord God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back” (Isaiah 50:4, 5).
Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 68–74.
“He [Jesus] gained knowledge as we may do.” The Desire of Ages, 70.
1 JESUS’ METHOD OF LEARNING
- How did Jesus learn the truth? Hebrews 2:10, 16–18; Matthew 7:7.
- Who was His teacher? John 5:20.
Note: “The child Jesus did not receive instruction in the synagogue schools. His mother was His first human teacher. From her lips and from the scrolls of the prophets, He learned of heavenly things. The very words which He Himself had spoken to Moses for Israel He was now taught at His mother’s knee. As He advanced from childhood to youth, He did not seek the schools of the rabbis. He needed not the education to be obtained from such sources; for God was His instructor. …
“Since He gained knowledge as we may do, His intimate acquaintance with the Scriptures shows how diligently His early years were given to the study of God’s word. And spread out before Him was the great library of God’s created works. He Who had made all things studied the lessons which His own hand had written in earth and sea and sky. … He studied the life of plants and animals, and the life of man.” The Desire of Ages, 70.
2 WHY JESUS DIDN’T ATTEND SCHOOL
- Why did Jesus refuse to learn from the rabbis? Romans 10:3; John 7:16.
Note: “In the days of Christ, the educators of the youth were formalists. During His ministry, Jesus declared to the rabbis, ‘Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God.’ And He charged them with ‘teaching for doctrines the commandments of men’ (Matthew 22:29; 15:9). Tradition was dwelt upon, amplified, and reverenced far above the Scriptures. The sayings of men, and an endless round of ceremonies, occupied so large a share of the student’s life, that the education which imparts a knowledge of God was neglected. The great teachers were continually enlarging upon little things, specifying every detail to be observed in the ceremonies of religion, and making its observance a matter of highest obligation. They paid ‘tithe of mint and anise and cummin,’ while they ‘omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith’ (Matthew 23:23). Thus there was brought in a mass of rubbish that hid from the view of the youth the great essentials of the service of God.
“In the educational system there was no place for that personal experience in which the soul learns for itself the power of a ‘Thus saith the Lord,’ and gains that reliance upon the divine Word which alone can bring peace and power with God. Busied with the round of forms, the students in these schools found no quiet hours in which to commune with God and hear His voice speaking to their hearts. That which the rabbis regarded as superior education was in reality the greatest hindrance to true education. It was opposed to all real development. Under their training, the powers of the youth were repressed, and their minds were cramped and narrowed.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 438, 439.
“Human nature is ever struggling for expression. He who is made complete in Christ must first be emptied of pride, of self-sufficiency. Then there is silence in the soul, and God’s voice can be heard.” The Signs of the Times, April 9, 1902.
- What did Jesus reject from their teaching? Matthew 15:3, 9; Colossians 2:8.64
3 RESPECTFULLY DISAGREEING
- How did Jesus respectfully listen and talk to the leaders of His own church when they replaced the gospel with tradition, misleading thousands? Luke 2:46, 47.
Note: “If Jesus had appeared to be trying to teach them [the rabbis], they would have disdained to listen. But they flattered themselves that they were teaching Him, or at least testing His knowledge of the Scriptures. The youthful modesty and grace of Jesus disarmed their prejudices.” The Desire of Ages, 80.
- Whom did Jesus consider His family on earth? Matthew 12:50. How did He respond when His own family followed human traditions?
Note: “The brothers and sisters of Jesus were taught the multitudinous traditions and ceremonies of the rabbis, but Christ Himself could not be induced to interest Himself in these matters. While hearing on every hand the reiterated ‘Thou shalt,’ and ‘Thou shalt not,’ He moved independently of these restrictions. The requirements of society and the requirements of God were ever in collision; and while in His youth He made no direct attack upon the customs or precepts of the learned teachers, He did not become a student in their schools.
“Jesus would not follow any custom that would require Him to depart from the will of God, nor would He place Himself under the instruction of those who exalted the words of men above the word of God. He shut out of His mind all the sentiments and formalities that had not God for their foundation. He would give no place for these things to influence Him. Thus He taught that it is better to prevent evil than to attempt to correct it after it has gained a foothold in the mind. And Jesus would not by His example lead others to place themselves where they would be corrupted. Nor would He needlessly place Himself in a position where He would be brought into conflict with the rabbis, which might in after years result in weakening His influence with the people. For the same reasons He could not be induced to observe the meaningless forms or rehearse the maxims that afterward in His ministry He so decidedly condemned.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 439.
4 LEARNING FROM THE MASTER
- Who was responsible for Jesus’ education? Luke 2:49; John 8:28.
Note: “Though Jesus was subject to His parents, He began at a very early age to act for Himself in the formation of His character. While His mother was His first human teacher, He was constantly receiving an education from His Father in heaven. Instead of poring over the learned lore handed down by the rabbis from century to century, Jesus, under the Divine Teacher, studied the words of God, pure and uncorrupted, and studied also the great lesson-book of nature. … He brought a purer atmosphere into the home life. Though He did not place Himself under the instruction of the rabbis by becoming a student in their schools, yet He was often brought in contact with them, and the questions He asked, as if He were a learner, puzzled the wise men; for their practices did not harmonize with the Scriptures, and they had not the wisdom that comes from God. Even to those who were displeased at His noncompliance with popular customs, His education seemed of a higher type than their own.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 439, 440.
- What should we be learning? Colossians 3:1, 2; Matthew 11:29. How should we be educated?
Note: “Every child may gain knowledge as Jesus did. As we try to become acquainted with our heavenly Father through His word, angels will draw near, our minds will be strengthened, our characters will be elevated and refined. We shall become more like our Saviour. And as we behold the beautiful and grand in nature, our affections go out after God. While the spirit is awed, the soul is invigorated by coming in contact with the Infinite through His works. Communion with God through prayer develops the mental and moral faculties, and the spiritual powers strengthen as we cultivate thoughts upon spiritual things.” The Desire of Ages, 70, 71.
“It is the work of true education … to train the youth to be thinkers, and not mere reflectors of other men’s thought. Instead of confining their study to that which men have said or written, let students be directed to the sources of truth, to the vast fields opened for research in nature and revelation.” Education, 17.
5 WE TOO CAN HAVE SUCCESS
- How did Jesus prepare Himself for His life work? Isaiah 50:4, 5.
Note: “Communion with God, a complete surrender of the soul to Him, in fulfilling His word irrespective of false education or the customs or traditions of His time, marked the life of Jesus.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 440.
- How should we study to succeed? Isaiah 55:6, 7.
Note: “To be ever in a bustle of activity, seeking by some outward performance to show their superior piety, was, in the estimation of the rabbis, the sum of religion; while at the same time, by their constant disobedience to God’s word, they were perverting the way of the Lord. But the education that has God back of it, will lead men to seek after God. … The infinite is not, and never will be, bound about by human organizations or human plans. Every soul must have a personal experience in obtaining a knowledge of the will and ways of God. In all who are under the training of God is to be revealed a life that is not in harmony with the world, its customs, its practice, or its experiences. Through study of the Scriptures, through earnest prayer, they may hear His message to them, ‘Be still and know that I am God’ (Psalm 46:10). When every other voice is hushed, when every earthly interest is turned aside, the silence of the soul makes more distinct the voice of God. Here rest is found in Him.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 440, 441.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 How did Jesus learn?
2 What was wrong with the educational system of His time?
3 How did Jesus show His disagreement with many of the then prevailing customs?
4 How can we improve our mental faculties?
5 How can we be successful like Jesus was?
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