April 9, 2017 – April 15, 2017
“Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).
Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 32–143; The Faith I Live By, 17.
“In order to enter into His joy—the joy of seeing souls redeemed by His sacrifice—we must participate in His labors for their redemption.” The Desire of Ages, 142.
1 THE TESTIMONY OF JOHN THE BAPTIST
- What did John the Baptist declare concerning Jesus? John 1:15–18.
- How did John identify himself to the priests and Levites when they asked him who he was? John 1:19–23.
- What prophecy did John fulfill? Isaiah 40:3–5.
Note: “In every stage of this earth’s history God has had His agencies to carry forward His work, which must be done in His appointed way. John the Baptist had a special work, for which he was born and to which he was appointed—the work of preparing the way of the Lord. … His wilderness ministry was a most striking, literal fulfillment of prophecy.” “Ellen G. White,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1115.
“The childhood, youth, and manhood, of John, who came in the spirit and power of Elijah to do a special work in preparing the way for the world’s Redeemer, was marked with firmness and moral power. Satan could not move him from his integrity.” The Review and Herald, March 3, 1874.
2 THE LAMB OF GOD
- When Jesus came to John to be baptized, how did John identify Him in public? John 1:29.
- What prophecy did John fulfill at the baptism of Jesus? Isaiah 61:1; John 1:34.
Note: “The word of God includes the Scriptures of the Old Testament as well as of the New. One is not complete without the other. Christ declared that the truths of the Old Testament are as valuable as those of the New. Christ was as much man’s Redeemer in the beginning of the world as He is today. Before He clothed His divinity with humanity and came to our world, the gospel message was given by Adam, Seth, Enoch, Methuselah, and Noah. Abraham in Canaan and Lot in Sodom bore the message, and from generation to generation faithful messengers proclaimed the Coming One. The rites of the Jewish economy were instituted by Christ Himself. He was the foundation of their system of sacrificial offerings, the great antitype of all their religious service. The blood shed as the sacrifices were offered pointed to the sacrifice of the Lamb of God. All the typical offerings were fulfilled in Him.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 126.
- How did John introduce Jesus to his own disciples? John 1:35, 36.
- What effect did the words of John have on his disciples? John 1:37.
Note: “On the following day, while two disciples were standing near, John again saw Jesus among the people. Again the face of the prophet was lighted up with glory from the Unseen, as he cried, ‘Behold the Lamb of God’ (John 1:29)! The words thrilled the hearts of the disciples. They did not fully understand them. What meant the name that John had given Him—‘the Lamb of God’? John himself had not explained it.” The Desire of Ages, 138.
“Those who are true to their calling as messengers of God, will not seek honor for themselves. Love for self will be swallowed up in love for Christ. They will recognize that it is their work to proclaim, as did John the Baptist, ‘Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world’ (John 1:29).” Gospel Workers, 56.
3 JESUS’ FIRST DISCIPLES
- Who were some of Jesus’ first disciples? Matthew 4:18, 21; John 1:37, 40.
Note: “Leaving John, they [the two disciples] went to seek Jesus. One of the two was Andrew, the brother of Simon; the other was John the evangelist. These were Christ’s first disciples. Moved by an irresistible impulse, they followed Jesus—anxious to speak with Him, yet awed and silent, lost in the overwhelming significance of the thought, ‘Is this the Messiah?’
“Jesus knew that the disciples were following Him. They were the first fruits of His ministry, and there was joy in the heart of the divine Teacher as these souls responded to His grace. Yet turning, He asked only, ‘What seek ye?’ He would leave them free to turn back or to speak of their desire.
“Of one purpose only were they conscious. One presence filled their thought. They exclaimed, ‘Rabbi, … where dwellest Thou?’ (John 1:38). In a brief interview by the wayside they could not receive that for which they longed. They desired to be alone with Jesus, to sit at His feet, and hear His words.” The Desire of Ages, 138. [Emphasis author’s.]
- What interest did the first disciples manifest, and how long did they stay with Him during their first meeting? John 1:38, 39.
Note: “They [Andrew and John] came and saw where He dwelt, and abode with Him that day.” The Desire of Ages, 139.
- What did the first disciples do soon after meeting Jesus? John 1:41, 42.
Note: “Andrew sought to impart the joy that filled his heart. Going in search of his brother Simon, he cried, ‘We have found the Messias.’ Simon waited for no second bidding. He also had heard the preaching of John the Baptist, and he hastened to the Saviour. The eye of Christ rested upon him, reading his character and his life history. His impulsive nature, his loving, sympathetic heart, his ambition and self-confidence, the history of his fall, his repentance, his labors, and his martyr death—the Saviour read it all, and He said, ‘Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone’ (John 1:41, 42).” The Desire of Ages, 139.
4 MORE DISCIPLES
- Whom did Jesus invite to follow Him? John 1:43, 44.
- As soon as Phillip heard the call of Christ, what did he become?
Note: “Philip obeyed the command, and straightway he also became a worker for Christ.” The Desire of Ages, 139.
- Whom did Phillip reach? John 1:45.
- When Nathanael manifested prejudice towards Jesus, what other invitation did Phillip make? John 1:46–49.
Note: “The inhabitants of Nazareth were proverbial for their wickedness. The low estimate in which they were generally held is shown by Nathanael’s question … .” The Desire of Ages, 71.
“Philip called Nathanael. The latter had been among the throng when the Baptist pointed to Jesus as the Lamb of God. As Nathanael looked upon Jesus, he was disappointed. Could this man, who bore the marks of toil and poverty, be the Messiah? Yet Nathanael could not decide to reject Jesus, for the message of John had brought conviction to his heart. …
“Philip entered into no controversy. He said, ‘Come and see. Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!’ In surprise Nathanael exclaimed, ‘Whence knowest Thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee’ (John 1:46–48).
“It was enough. The divine Spirit that had borne witness to Nathanael in his solitary prayer under the fig tree now spoke to him in the words of Jesus. Though in doubt, and yielding somewhat to prejudice, Nathanael had come to Christ with an honest desire for truth, and now his desire was met. His faith went beyond that of the one who had brought him to Jesus. He answered and said, ‘Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God; Thou art the King of Israel’ (Verse 49).” Ibid., 139, 140.
5 AN OPEN HEAVEN
- What promise did Christ make to Nathanael? John 1:50, 51.
- What is the significance of Christ’s promise?
Note: “[John 1:50, 51 quoted.]
“Here Christ virtually says, On the bank of the Jordan the heavens were opened, and the Spirit descended like a dove upon Me. That scene was but a token that I am the Son of God. If you believe on Me as such, your faith shall be quickened. You shall see that the heavens are opened, and are never to be closed. I have opened them to you. The angels of God are ascending, bearing the prayers of the needy and distressed to the Father above, and descending, bringing blessing and hope, courage, help, and life, to the children of men.” The Desire of Ages, 142, 143.
- What is available to those who accept Jesus as their Saviour, and what becomes their burden? John 4:14, 15; Revelation 22:17.
Note: “When one has received the truth in the love of it, he will make this manifest in the persuasion of his manner and the tones of his voice. He makes known that which he himself has heard, seen, and handled of the word of life, that others may have fellowship with him through the knowledge of Christ. His testimony, from lips touched with a live coal from off the altar, is truth to the receptive heart, and works sanctification upon the character.” The Desire of Ages, 142.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 According to prophecy, what was the mission of John the Baptist?
2 How did prophecy predict the birth and mission of Jesus?
3 What commendable qualities did the first disciples reveal?
4 Describe the conversion of Nathanael.
5 What does the expression “hereafter ye shall see heaven open” mean?
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