Ellen G. White Writings

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Humble Hero, Page 212

Sabbath law justified His work of healing at Bethesda. According to the law, every male child must be circumcised on the eighth day. If the appointed time fell on the Sabbath, the rite must be performed then. How much more must it be in harmony with the spirit of the law to make a man “completely well on the Sabbath.” He warned them, “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” His reasoning silenced the rulers.

Erroneous Ideas of the Messiah and His Coming

Many who lived at Jerusalem felt drawn to Christ by an irresistible power. The conviction grew on them that He was the Son of God. But Satan was ready to suggest doubt. People generally believed that Christ would be born at Bethlehem, but that after a time He would disappear, and when He appeared again no one would know where He came from. Many held that the Messiah would have no natural relationship to humanity.

While the people were wavering between doubt and faith, Jesus spoke about their thoughts: “You both know Me, and you know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know.” Christ’s words repeated the claim He had made in front of the Sanhedrin many months before, when He declared that He was the Son of God.

Among the people, many believed on Him and said, “When the Christ comes, will He do more signs than these which this Man has done?” The leaders of the Pharisees, watching the course of events, caught the expressions of sympathy among the crowds. Hurrying to the chief priests, they made plans to arrest Him when He was alone, because they did not dare seize Him in the presence of the people.

The false reasoning of the priests and rabbis misled many who were convinced that Jesus was the Son of God. These teachers had impressed the people by repeating the prophecies concerning the Messiah, that He would “reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem and before His elders, gloriously,” that He would “have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.” Isaiah 24:23; Psalm 72:8. Then with contempt they contrasted the glory pictured in such verses with the humble appearance of Jesus. If the people had studied the Word for themselves, they would not have been misled. Isaiah 61 testifies that Christ was to do the very work He did. Chapter 53 portrays His rejection, and chapter 59 describes the character of the priests and rabbis.

Power to Discriminate Between Right and Wrong

God does not compel people to give up their unbelief. He wants them to decide not from impulse but from the weight of evidence, carefully comparing scripture with scripture. If the Jews had compared written prophecy with the facts, they would have recognized a beautiful harmony between the prophecies and their fulfillment in the life and ministry of the humble Galilean.

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