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Humble Hero

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    Greater Care Shown Animals

    The spies did not dare to answer Christ. They knew He had spoken the truth. Rather than violate traditions, they would allow a man to suffer, while they would relieve a work animal because neglecting it would bring loss to the owner. They showed greater care for the animals than for human beings. This illustrates how all false religions work. They originate in our human desire to exalt ourselves above God, but they result in degrading us below the animals. Every false religion teaches its followers to be careless of human needs, sufferings, and rights. The gospel places a high value on humanity as the purchase of Christ’s blood, and it teaches us to regard human wants and distress with tenderness. See Isaiah 13:12.HH 128.1

    The Pharisees were hunting Jesus’ life with bitter hatred, while He was saving life and bringing happiness to large numbers of people. Was it better to kill on the Sabbath, as they were planning to do, than to heal the suffering ones, as He had done?HH 128.2

    In healing the withered hand, Jesus condemned the custom of the Jews and left the fourth commandment standing as God had given it. “It is lawful to do good on the Sabbath,” He declared. By sweeping away senseless restrictions, Christ honored the Sabbath, while those who complained about Him were dishonoring God’s holy day.HH 128.3

    Those who hold that Christ abolished the law teach that He broke the Sabbath and justified His disciples in doing the same. In this way, they are taking the same position as did the disapproving Jews. In doing so, they contradict Christ Himself, who declared, “I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” John 15:10. Neither the Savior nor His followers broke the Sabbath. Looking at a nation of witnesses who were trying to find some way to condemn Him, He could say unchallenged, “Which of you convicts Me of sin?” John 8:46.HH 128.4

    “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath,” Jesus said. God gave the Ten Commandments, including the Sabbath, to His people as a blessing. See Deuteronomy 6:24. Of all who keep “from defiling the Sabbath,” the Lord declares, “Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer.” Isaiah 56:6, 7.HH 128.5

    “The Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” For “all things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” John 1:3. Since Christ made everything, He made the Sabbath. He is the One who set it apart as a memorial of Creation. It points to Him as both Creator and Sanctifier. It declares that He who created all things is the Head of the church and that by His power we are reconciled to God. He said, “I gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and Me, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them,” or makes them holy. Ezekiel 20:12. The Sabbath is a sign of Christ’s power to make us holy. And He has given it to all whom He makes holy, as a sign of His sanctifying power.HH 128.6

    To all who receive the Sabbath as a sign of Christ’s creative andHH 128.7

    redeeming power, it will be a delight. See Isaiah 58:13, 14. Seeing Christ in it, they delight themselves in Him. While it reminds us of the lost peace of Eden, it also tells us of peace restored through the Savior. And every object in nature repeats His invitation, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28.HH 129.1

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