Read for This Week’s Study
Memory Text:“This is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens” (Hebrews 8:1, NKJV).
A Jewish document written a few decades after Hebrews, around a.d. 100, contains a prayer: “All this I have spoken before you, O Lord, because you have said that it was for us that you created this world. . . . And now, O Lord, behold, these nations, which are reputed as nothing, domineer over us and devour us. But we your people, whom you have called your first-born, only begotten, zealous for you, and most dear, have been given into their hands.”—James H. Charlesworth, ed., The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, vol. 1 (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1983), p. 536.
The readers of Hebrews probably felt something similar. If they were God’s children, why were they going through such suffering?
Thus, Paul wrote Hebrews to strengthen the faith of the believers amid their trials. He reminded them (and us) that the promises of God will be fulfilled through Jesus, who is seated at the right hand of the Father, and who will soon take us home. In the meantime, Jesus mediates the Father’s blessings to us. So, we need to hold fast to our faith until the end.
*Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, January 8.
Supplemental EGW Notes
In this life we must meet fiery trials and make costly sacrifices, but the peace of Christ is the reward. There has been so little self-denial, so little suffering for Christ’s sake, that the cross is almost entirely forgotten. We must be partakers with Christ of His sufferings if we would sit down in triumph with Him on His throne. So long as we choose the easy path of self-indulgence and are frightened at self-denial, our faith will never become firm, and we cannot know the peace of Jesus nor the joy that comes through conscious victory. . . .
Oh, for a living, active faith! We need it; we must have it, or we shall faint and fail in the day of trial. The darkness that will then rest upon our path must not discourage us or drive us to despair. It is the veil with which God covers His glory when He comes to impart rich blessings. We should know this by our past experience. In that day when God has a controversy with His people this experience will be a source of comfort and hope.—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 215.
Christ has made every provision for us to be strong. He has given us His Holy Spirit, whose office is to bring to our remembrance all the promises that Christ has made, that we may have peace and a sweet sense of forgiveness. If we will but keep our eyes fixed on the Saviour, and trust in His power, we shall be filled with a sense of security; for the righteousness of Christ will become our righteousness. . . .
We dishonor Him by talking of our inefficiency. Instead of looking at ourselves, let us constantly behold Jesus, daily becoming more and more like Him, more and more able to talk of Him, better prepared to avail ourselves of His kindness and helpfulness, and to receive the blessings offered us.
As we thus live in communion with Him, we grow strong in His strength, a help and a blessing to those around us.—Messages to Young People, p. 107.
The greatest victories . . . [are those] which are gained in the audience chamber with God, when earnest, agonizing faith lays hold upon the mighty arm of power. When Jacob found himself utterly prostrate and in a helpless condition, he poured out his soul to God in an agony of earnestness. The angel of God pleaded to be released, but Jacob would not let go his hold. The stricken man, suffering bodily pain, presented his earnest supplication with the boldness which living faith imparts. “I will not let Thee go,” he said, “except Thou bless me.” . . .
Living faith must grasp the promises unflinchingly, and then many may come from close communion with God with shining faces, saying, as did Jacob: “I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, pp. 443, 444.
The above quotations are taken from Ellen G. White Notes for the Sabbath School Lessons, published by Pacific Press Publishing Association. Used by permission.