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Humble Hero

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    The Multitudes Were Amazed

    The people had come to think that happiness consisted in possessing the things of this world and that fame and honor were something to covet. It was very pleasing to be called “Rabbi” and to be praised as wise and religious. But Jesus declared that earthly honor was all that such persons would ever receive. A convincing power accompanied His words. Many were convinced that the Spirit of God was working through this remarkable Teacher.HH 136.3

    After explaining how to obtain true happiness, Jesus pointed out His disciples’ duty. He knew that they would often be insulted and their testimony be rejected. The humble men who listened to His words would experience slander, torture, imprisonment, and death, and He continued:HH 136.4

    “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”HH 136.5

    The world loves sin and hates righteousness, and this is what caused its hostility to Jesus. The light of Christ sweeps away the darkness that covers their sins, revealing the need for reform. Those who yield to the Holy Spirit begin war with themselves; those who cling to sin war against the truth and its representatives.HH 136.6

    Because of this, people accuse Christ’s followers of being troublers of the people. But it is fellowship with God that brings them the world’s hatred. They are walking the path that the noblest of earth have walked. Each fiery trial is God’s agent to refine them. Each conflict will add to the joy of their final triumph. When they keep this in mind, they will cheerfully accept the testing of their faith rather than dread it.HH 136.7

    “You are the salt of the earth.” “Do not withdraw yourselves from the world in order to escape persecution. You are to live among people, so that the distinctive quality of divine love may be like salt to preserve the world from corruption.” If those who serve God were removed from the earth, this world would be left to destruction. The wicked owe even the blessings of this life to the presence in the world of God’s people, whom they despise and oppress. But if Christians are Christians in name only, they are like salt that has lost its flavor. By misrepresenting God, they are worse than unbelievers.HH 137.1

    “You are the light of the world.” Salvation is like sunshine; it belongs to the whole world. We must not keep the religion of the Bible between the covers of a book nor just within the walls of a church. It must sanctify the daily life and reveal itself in all our interactions with people. We must cherish the principles of righteousness in our hearts. The consistent life, the unswerving integrity, the kindly spirit, the godly example—these are the mediums through which God conveys light to the world.HH 137.2

    Jesus knew that spies stood ready to grasp every word that they could twist to serve their purpose. He said nothing to unsettle faith in the institutions committed to them through Moses. Christ Himself had given both the moral and the ceremonial law. He did not come to destroy confidence in His own instruction. While He set aside false interpretations of the law, He carefully guarded against surrendering the vital truths God had committed to the Hebrews.HH 137.3

    To the Pharisees, the Savior’s words sounded like heresy. As He swept away the rubbish under which truth had been buried, they thought He was sweeping away the truth itself. He read their thoughts and answered them, saying, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.” His mission was to vindicate the sacred claims of the law that they charged Him with breaking. If God could have revoked or changed His law, then Christ did not need to have suffered the consequences of our transgressions. He came to explain how the law related to us and to illustrate its principles by His life of obedience.HH 137.4

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