Author Topic: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 3--3rd Quarter 2020-Seeing People Through Jesus’ Eyes  (Read 587 times)

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Wally

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Lesson 3 July 11-17






Seeing People Through Jesus’ Eyes





Commentary in Navy                  Inspiration in Maroon




So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:  we have done that which was our duty to do.  Luke 17:10

Richard Myers

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Sabbath Afternoon

Read for This Week’s Study: Mark 8:22-26; John 4:3-34; John 1:40, 41; Mark 12:28-34; Luke 23:39-43; Acts 8:26-38.

Memory Text: "And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Matthew 4:19

Jesus is the master soul winner. By watching the way Jesus worked with people, we learn how to lead others to a knowledge of salvation through Jesus Christ. Journeying with Him through the crowded streets of Jerusalem, the dusty paths of Judea, and the grassy hillsides of Galilee, we discover how He revealed the principles of the kingdom to seeking souls.

Jesus saw all men and women as winnable for His kingdom. He saw each one through the eyes of divine compassion. He saw Peter not as a rough, loud-mouthed fisherman but as a mighty preacher of the gospel. He saw James and John not as quick-tempered, fiery radicals but as enthusiastic proclaimers of His grace. He saw the deep yearning for genuine love and acceptance in the hearts of Mary Magdalene, the Samaritan woman, and the woman with the issue of blood. He saw Thomas not as a cynical doubter but as one with sincere questions. Whether they were Jew or Gentile, male or female, a thief on the cross, a centurion, or a demon-possessed mad man, Jesus saw their God-given potential and viewed them through salvation’s eyes.

Amen!  He did not seek out those who were not wanting truth, but those who wanted truth that they might walk in it. So it is with us. We do not seek to argue, but to share our knowledge of God with those wanting truth. Jesus attempted to turn Judas away, but He did not succeed, and He therefore did all He could to help Judas be converted. Judas had  no excuse for rejecting the great offer being presented to Him.


Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, July 18.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Sunday         July 12

The Second Touch


There is only one miracle in the entire Bible that Jesus worked in two stages. It is the healing of the blind man at Bethsaida. This story provides timeless lessons for Christ’s church today. It illustrates God’s plan of using each believer to bring someone else to Jesus. Scripture declares, “Then He came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him” (Mark 8:22, NKJV). The two key words here are “brought” and “begged”. The blind man did not come on his own. His friends saw his need and brought him. He may not have had much faith, but they did. They believed that Jesus would heal this man’s blindness.

There are approximately 25 distinct healing miracles in the New Testament performed by Jesus. In more than half, a relative or friend brings the individual to Jesus for healing. Many people will never come to Jesus unless someone who has faith brings them. Our role is to become an “introducer” and bring people to Jesus.

Amen!!


The second word that is worthy of our consideration in Mark 8:22 is the word begged. It can mean “beseech, implore, or exhort”. It implies a softer, kinder, gentler appeal than a loud, boisterous demand. The friends of this man kindly appealed to Jesus, believing that He had both the desire and the power to help this man. The man may not have had faith that Jesus could heal him, but his friends did. Sometimes we must carry others to Jesus on the wings of our faith.

Read Mark 8:22-26. Why do you think He healed the blind man in two stages? What lessons does this story have for us today as witnesses for Jesus?

God leaves us on Earth after conversion so that the world will know Him. We are His witnesses of the power of grace to transform sinners into saints. But, our work does not end with our witness of His character. The right arm of the gospel is the health message. When we can't preach Jesus we are to reveal His love to them. We minister to their physical needs that they may see that we love them. It opens the door to the heart.


Is it possible that we, too, do not see people clearly? Do we sometimes see them more like “trees walking” in vague shadowy forms rather than as candidates for the kingdom of God? What do you think leads us at times not to see people clearly?

The Holy Spirit.


Besides the obvious lesson about how God uses us to reach people, what else can we learn from this story? What might it teach us, for instance, about how both the medical and the spiritual can have a part in healing and in ministry to the lost?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Monday       July 13

A Lesson in Acceptance


By modeling for them what it meant to see each individual from a new perspective, Jesus taught His disciples how to see people through heaven’s eyes. His view of people was radical. He saw them, not as they were but as they might become. In all of His interactions with people, He treated them with dignity and respect. Often He surprised His disciples by the way He treated people. This is especially true in His interaction with the Samaritan woman

No, in "all" of His interactions He did not treat them with dignity and respect. Nor ought we. We love those who we ought not respect.


The Archaeological Study Bible makes this interesting observation about the relationship between the Jews and the Samaritans: “The rift between the Samaritans and the Judeans dates from an early period. According to 2 Kings 17 the Samaritans were descendants of Mesopotamian peoples who were forcibly settled in the lands of northern Israel by the king of Assyria in the wake of the exile of 722 B.C. They combined the worship of Yahweh with idolatrous practices”. — The Archaeological Study Bible (Zondervan Publishing, 2005), p. 1727. In addition to these idolatrous practices, they established a rival priesthood and a rival temple on Mount Gerizim. Considering such theological differences with the Samaritans, the disciples must have been perplexed when Jesus chose the Samaritan route to Galilee. They were surprised that Jesus did not allow Himself to be drawn in a religious debate. He appealed directly to the Samaritan woman’s longing for acceptance, love, and forgiveness.

She was a religious woman looking for the coming of the Messiah. In some doctrines her understanding was ahead of the Jews. She knew she has sinned by being with a man she was not married to. Jesus revealed He was not prejudiced as were the Jews towards Samaritans, but He did not show respect for her religion.  She said “Our fathers worshiped in this mountain and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” Jesus plainly told her she was wrong. “Believe Me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.”

Read John 4:3-34. How did Jesus approach the Samaritan woman? What was the woman’s response to Christ’s conversation with her? What was the disciples’ response to this experience, and how did Jesus broaden their vision?

The eternal lesson that Jesus longed to teach His disciples and each one of us is simply this: “Those who have the Spirit of Christ will see all men through the eyes of divine compassion”. — Ellen G. White, The Signs of the Times, June 20, 1892.

Amen! Yes, we are to be compassionate even to those who must die after murdering a human. We may hate the sin and love the sinner. We do not know that a line has been crossed, so we are to look at all as if they can be saved. But, we do not respect the person who is murdering humans.

Who are people whom, due to the influence of your own culture and society, you tend to view disdainfully or with lack of respect? Why must you change your attitude, and how can that change come?

ISIS.  My culture and society is not the culture of America where I am a citizen born and reared. It is the culture of Christ. I have no respect for the people of ISIS. I love my enemy, but I do not have respect for those who have such a culture. Christ loves the rapist and murderer, but He does not respect them, nor ought we. When cleansing the temple, He showed no respect for those whom He chased out. God showed no respect to those whom He killed with the great world-wide flood. This is an important issue. How we deal with others is very important. There comes a time when we are not to be respectful to some. In fact when someone is in the act of murdering others, we ought to be on the side of God. A decent society would take the life of the murderer for the Bible says "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man." Genesis 9:6.

What respect did Jesus have for Pilot? And what respect did Jesus show to the High Priest who judged Him worthy of death?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Tuesday        July 14

Begin Where You are


Someone has rightly said, “In life the only place to start from is where you are, for there is no other place to begin”. Jesus emphasized this principle in Acts 1:8, where He declared, “But ye shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”.

Jesus’ message to His disciples was too plain to be misunderstood: begin where you are. Witness where God has planted you. Rather than dreaming of better opportunities, start with those around you. See with divine eyes the possibilities closest to you!

You don’t need to be the most educated person in the world, the most eloquent, the most gifted. However helpful some of those gifts could be if rightly used, in the end all you need is your own love of God and your love for souls. If you are willing to witness, God will open the way for you to do so.

What we need is to be born again of the Spirit. If we truly are converted then we are filled with the Holy Spirit and we will begin where we are for we want to share the truth about Jesus and what He has done for us.


Read John 1:40, 41, John 6:5-11, and John 12:20-26. What do these passages tell you about both Andrew’s spiritual eyesight and his approach to witnessing?

Andrew’s experience speaks volumes to us. He began in his own family. He first shared Christ with his brother Peter. He developed a cordial relationship with a little boy who then provided Jesus with the material for a miracle, and Andrew knew just what to do with the Greeks. Rather than debate theology, He sensed their need and introduced them to Jesus.

The art of effective soul winning is the art of building positive caring relationships. Think about the people closest to you who may not know Jesus. Do they sense in your life someone who is compassionate and caring? Do they see in you a peace and purpose that they long for? Is your life an advertisement for the gospel? We make friends for God by sharing Jesus. They become Christian friends, and eventually, as we share God’s end-time message of biblical truth, they may become Seventh-day Adventist Christians, as well.

Often we must first before introducing the person of Jesus reveal the character of Jesus in our own lives. Let the world see Jesus in His witnesses. Then as they see what we are and what we have, many will want the same and inquire as to why we are so different from the world.


Why can it be so difficult at times to lead our family members and relatives to Christ? Have you been successful in sharing Jesus with any of your family members or close friends? Share any principles that the class might find helpful.

It can be very hard or rather impossible to lead family members to Christ if we do not do what we say. In a Laodicean church, most of the members are not truly walking in the light of God's love and grace. We misrepresent Jesus and reveal hypocrisy that is not desired by others. That is why I left the church when 12 years old. I saw hypocrisy in the church and did not like it.


Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Wednesday         July 15

Dealing With Difficult People


Jesus was a master at dealing with difficult people. By both His words and actions, He demonstrated acceptance. He listened sensitively to their concerns, raised questions, and gradually revealed divine truths. He recognized the inner longing in the most hardened hearts and saw potential in the vilest sinners. For Jesus, no one was beyond the reach of the gospel. Jesus certainly believed that “None have fallen so low, none are so vile, but that they can find deliverance in Christ”. — Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 258. Jesus looked at people through a different set of lenses than the rest of us do. He saw in each human being a reflection of the glory of the original Creation. He raised their thinking to grasp the possibility of what they might become, and many rose to meet His expectations for their lives.

This must be put into context. Jesus knows what we do not. We must think that all we come in contact with can be saved, but many cannot for their probation has closed. Jesus knew when Judas had past that point. It is not how low one has fallen, but it is the hardness of the heart that makes it impossible to be saved. When the still small voice cannot be heard, then all the grace in the world will not change the hard heart. When probation closes for the world, none who are hardened to the point of no return can be saved. Thus, it would be well for us to not think we can save all. We must follow the leading of the Spirit. We must not think one cannot be saved. We ought not spend time arguing with those who are not seeking truth. Pour coals on their head and move on unless the
spirit tells you to stay involved. Maybe at another time it will become possible to share truth with the one who had been closed to it.


Read Matthew 4:18, 19; Mark 12:28-34; and Luke 23:39-43. What do you find similar in Christ’s appeals to Simon Peter and Andrew, an unnamed questioning scribe, and the thief on the cross? Study Christ’s approach to each of these carefully. What stands out to you?

Everywhere Jesus went He saw spiritual possibilities; He saw potential candidates for the kingdom of God in the most unlikely circumstances. We call this ability “church growth eyes”. Church growth eyes are a cultivated sensitivity to see people as Jesus saw them, as winnable for the kingdom of God. This also involves “church growth ears”, which has to do with listening to the unspoken needs of those around us. It has to do with listening to their hearts’ longing for something they do not have, even if they have not openly expressed it.

Ask the Lord to make you sensitive to the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the lives of others. Pray that God will give you the second touch and open your eyes to the spiritual opportunities He brings before you each day to share your faith with others. Seek God for a seeing eye, a listening sensitive heart, and a willingness to share the Christ you know and love with others, and you will be on your way to an exciting journey of a lifetime. Life will take on a whole new meaning. You will have a sense of satisfaction and joy that you have never experienced before. Only those who work for souls can know the satisfaction it can bring.

Amen! And it all begins with the new heart. When we awake in the morning we must do as did the priests in the sanctuary. Before they could have these eyes and ears, they must first have Jesus. Not as many think today, but really have Him in the heart. Unless the heart is fully given to Jesus, we do not have these eyes and ears that are spiritual and can know the leading of God.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Thursday        July 16

Sensing Providential Opportunities


The book of Acts is filled with stories of how the disciples took advantage of providential opportunities for the advancement of God’s kingdom. From one end of the book to the other, we read fascinating accounts of the early church and how it grew, even despite the challenges it faced both internally and externally.

In 2 Corinthians 2:12, 13 (NKJV), for example, the apostle Paul tells his experience at Troas: “Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened to me by the Lord, I had no rest in my spirit, because I did not find Titus my brother; but taking my leave of them, I departed for Macedonia”. God miraculously opened a door for Paul to preach the gospel on the European continent, and he knew that doors that God opens today might be shut tomorrow. Seizing the opportunity and seeing the possibilities, he immediately sailed for Macedonia.

Paull was filled with the Holy Spirit and before He left, He prayed about what to do. God opens doors as does Satan. Many go through doors not opened by God. When God opens a door, as the lesson says, it may close very soon if we are not in tune with the Spirit.


The God of the New Testament is the God of the open door — the God who provides providential opportunities for us to share our faith. Throughout the book of Acts, God is at work. There are open doors in cities, in provinces, in countries, and most of all, in individual hearts.

Read Acts 8:26-38. What do these verses teach about Philip’s openness to God’s leading and his responsiveness to divine opportunities?

“An angel guided Philip to the one who was seeking for light and who was ready to receive the gospel, and today angels will guide the footsteps of those workers who will allow the Holy Spirit to sanctify their tongues and refine and ennoble their hearts. The angel sent to Philip could himself have done the work for the Ethiopian, but this is not God’s way of working. It is His plan that men are to work for their fellow men”. — Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles, p. 109.


If we have ears to hear and eyes to see, we, too, will be guided by unseen angels to reach truth seekers with the truths of the kingdom.

Amen!! But, again, we can ask and ask and ask, but if have washed our hands and feet in the living water, then we shall not received eyes and ears that discern the working of the Spirit.


Notice how central the Scriptures were in this story. Also, notice how at this point it was so important for someone who knew the Scriptures to expound on them. What lessons are here for us?

We ought to be studying the Bible that we can teach from it. And we ought to be truly converted that we have spiritual understanding of what we are reading.


Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Friday       July 17

Further Thought:

Read Ellen G. White, “The Gospel in Samaria”, pp. 103-111, in The Acts of the Apostles.

All around us people are seeking for the things of eternity. As Jesus so aptly put it, “The harvest truly [is] plenteous, but the labourers [are] few;” Matt. 9:37. The problem was not with the harvest. With eyes divinely anointed, Jesus saw a plentiful harvest where the disciples saw only opposition. What was Christ’s solution to the problem? “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest” (Matt. 9:38). The solution is to pray that God will send you out into His harvest.

If we are truly converted, we will want to tell others about Jesus even though we may not at first be able to use His name. Jesus is telling those who are converted to pray that He will bring more that are needed to  bring in the harvest. Today, the problem is not with those who love Jesus with the whole heart, but the problem is there are not enough who love Jesus with the whole heart. Here is the problem in the Words of our Savior. From Revelation chapter three:

 3:14   And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 
 3:15   I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 
 3:16   So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 
 3:17   Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 
 3:18   I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 
 3:19   As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 
 3:20   Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 
 3:21   To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 
 3:22   He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. 


Do not listen to anyone who attempts to twist what Jesus has said. If you do not understand what is written, then the problem is a spiritual one. We need to have spiritual ears to hear the simple truth Jesus is here speaking. We must be born again of the Spirit to understand spiritual things. How can this be? By beholding Jesus we will be transformed in character, into His character (2 Cor. 3:18).


Why not pray this prayer? “Lord, I am willing to be used for the advancement of Your kingdom. Open my eyes so that I can see the providential opportunities You are opening before me each day. Teach me to be sensitive to the people around me. Help me to speak words of hope and encouragement and share Your love and truth with those I come in contact with each day”. If you will pray this prayer, God will do some extraordinary things with your life.

And, if you are unwilling to pray this prayer, then pray this: "Lord make me willing to be made willing, take my heart for I cannot give it. Give me a mind to behold Jesus each day, especially the closing scenes of His life."


Discussion Questions:


    If you have worked to bring souls to Jesus, one thing you know: it is not always easy, is it? Yes, of course, only God can convert hearts, but in His wisdom He has chosen to use us to be part of that process. To work for even one soul takes time, effort, patience, and a love born from above. What choices can you make that will help you have the death to self that you need in order to be an effective witness for Christ?

The greatest battle we shall ever have to fight is the battle with self. Self does not want to die. What can we do to kill the "old man"? Study John 3:1-16. There you will find not only the problem in the church, but the solution as to how the new birth happens. What we must do in order to be saved (converted daily).

 3:1   There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 
 3:2   The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. 
 3:3   Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 
 3:4   Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? 
 3:5   Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 
 3:6   That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 
 3:7   Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 
 3:8   The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. 
 3:9   Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? 
 3:10   Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? 
 3:11   Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. 
 3:12   If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you [of] heavenly things? 
 3:13   And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, [even] the Son of man which is in heaven. 
 3:14   And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 
 3:15   That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 
 3:16   For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 


Did you find the answer as to what we do in order to born again of the Spirit? We all have been born of the flesh, but we must be born again of the Spirit. How can these things be was the question asked by Nicodemus. The answer followed. It would be well to spend a thoughtful hour a day contemplating the  life of Jesus, especially the closing scenes. What happened at the close of our Savior's life? He was lifted up on the cross. If you have not seen the answer in these verses, go back to verse 14. Prayerfully read it again. Now, go to the verses Jesus was talking about when  the nation of Israel was going to Canaan. What did God tell Moses to tell the people who were bitten? Was there magic in the uplifted serpent? No. Then how were those bitten who looked healed? It was the power of God. What was the lesson? Then we must do the same. We must look upon Jesus uplifted on the cross in order to be converted so self dies....each day. It is by beholding the glory of God that we are changed into His image day by day by the Holy Spirit. We are saved by grace. What do we call God's dear Son suffering and dying for our sins when we were yet sinners? It is grace.


    Who are some of the people you come in contact with who don’t know the Lord? What have you done, or are doing, or should do, to witness to them?

    Think about Saul of Tarsus. Here is someone who appeared to be about as unlikely a convert as one could imagine! And yet, we know what happened to him. What should this tell us about the danger of too quickly judging others by outward appearances?

We are to judge one's teaching and spirituality by the fruits of the Spirit. It was not hard to know Saul was unconverted. What we cannot know is the heart, where it is prior to conversion. Many want to write off murderers, but we cannot know where the heart is. Saul wanted to, and thought He was, serving God. He was innocently persecuting Christians thinking it was for God.  And, many priests were converted after the cross. We do not know if a heart can be converted or not, therefore we are to look upon all as if they could be saved.


    Keeping in mind the story of Saul, what do we do with a text like Matthew 7:6: “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you”?

We do as it says. And, there must be a way to judge one. Yes? The fruits of the Spirit are not present and the works of the flesh are. We can tell dogs and swine. Jesus did  not go looking for 'dogs' and "swine." He went looking for those seeking truth. It is true that He argued with those who sought Him, and always they lost the argument. But, again, Jesus was seeking those open to truth. So we are to spend our time searching for those seeking truth. And, we may have to argue with those who come seeking to pervert the truth. But, often it will be a waste of time. Do not seek to convert those who are seen to be "dogs" and swine. Pray for them that they will see their need of a Savior. Many in the church think they are fine the way they are. Many are not seeking truth, but want to argue. How many times have you succeeded in saving one who is right and will not listen? Follow the example of Christ. Seek the lost who are wanting to know the truth.  And wash your hands and feet before seeking to share the love of Jesus with others.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.