Ellen G. White Writings

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The Youth’s Instructor

September 23, 1897

Christ Declaring His Mission

Part 1.

The Son of God came to the world as a restorer. He was the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Every word he uttered was spirit and life. He spoke with authority, conscious of his power to bless humanity, and deliver the captives bound by Satan; conscious also that by his presence he could bring to the world fulness of joy. He longed to help every oppressed and suffering member of the human family, and show that it was his prerogative to bless, not to condemn.

It was no robbery for Christ to do the works of God; for this was the purpose he came from heaven to fulfil, and for this the treasures of eternity were at his command. In the disposal of his gifts he was to know no control. He passed by the self-exalted, the honored, and the rich, and mingled with the poor and oppressed, bringing into their lives a brightness, a hope, and an aspiration they had never before known. He pronounced a blessing on all who should suffer for his sake, declaring: “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”

Christ distinctly appropriated to himself the right to authority and allegiance. “Ye call me Master and Lord,” he said, “and ye say well; for so I am.” “One is your Master, even Christ.” Thus he maintained the dignity that belonged to this name, and the authority and power he possessed in heaven.

There were occasions when he spoke with the dignity of his own true greatness. “He that hath ears to hear,” he said, “let him hear.” In these words he was only repeating the command of God, when from his excellent glory the Infinite One had declared, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” Standing amid the frowning Pharisees, who sought to make their own importance felt, Christ did not hesitate to compare himself with the most distinguished representative men who had walked the earth, and to claim pre-eminence above them all.

Jonah was one of these men, held in high estimation by the Jewish nation. His voice had been heard throughout Nineveh, and had made kings and the highest nobility tremble. His words of warning from God had humbled the mightiest in that wicked city, and had made them understand that there was a living God who was about to punish them for their iniquity. Because the Ninevites heard the message of mercy to some purpose, because they humbled their hearts and repented at the preaching of Jonah, the God of heaven was revered before the heathen world. As Christ recalled to the minds of his hearers, Jonah's message and his instrumentality in saving that people, he said: “The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.”

Christ knew that the Israelites regarded Solomon as the greatest king that ever wielded a scepter over an earthly kingdom. By special appointment of God, he had built their first magnificent temple, which was a marvel of beauty, richness, and glory, and gave influence and dignity to Israel as a nation. He was endowed with wisdom, and his name had been glorified by them. To be superior to him was, in their eyes, to be more than human, to possess the prerogatives of Deity. Yet Christ declared: “The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.”

Mrs. E. G. White

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