Humble Hero


No Doubts or Hesitancy

He spoke as one having authority. The rabbis spoke with doubt and hesitancy, as if Scripture might be interpreted to mean one thing or exactly the opposite. But Jesus taught Scripture as having unquestionable authority. Whatever His subject, He presented it with power. HH 110.7

Yet He was earnest rather than forcible. He revealed God in every theme. Jesus worked to break the spell of shortsightedness that keeps people absorbed in earthly things. He showed the true value of the things of this life as subordinate to eternal interests, but He did not ignore their importance. HH 111.1

He taught that a knowledge of divine truth prepares us to perform the duties of everyday life better. Conscious of His relationship to God, He still recognized His unity with every member of the human family. He knew “how to speak a word in season to him who is weary.” Isaiah 50:4. He had the tact to meet prejudiced minds and to surprise them with illustrations that got their attention. He took His illustrations from the things of daily life. These were simple, but they had a wonderful depth of meaning. The birds, the lilies, the seed, the shepherd, the sheep—with these objects Jesus illustrated immortal truth; and from that time on, when His hearers happened to see these things, they recalled His lessons. HH 111.2

Christ never flattered people or praised them for their clever inventions, but deep, unprejudiced thinkers received His teaching and found that it tested their wisdom. His words charmed the highly educated and always profited the uneducated. He made even the heathen understand that He had a message for them. HH 111.3

Even amid angry enemies, He was surrounded with an atmosphere of peace. The loveliness of His character, the love He expressed in look and tone, drew to Him all who were not hardened in unbelief. Those in difficulty felt that He was a faithful and tender Friend, and they wanted to know more of the truths He taught. They longed to have the comfort of His love with them continually. HH 111.4

Jesus watched the faces of His hearers. Faces that expressed interest gave Him satisfaction. As the arrows of truth pierced through the barriers of selfishness and brought about repentance and gratitude, the Savior was glad. When His eye recognized faces He had seen before, His own face lighted up with joy. When plainly spoken truth touched some cherished idol, He noticed the change of expression that revealed that the light was unwelcome. When He saw men and women refuse the message of peace, it pierced His heart to the very depths. HH 111.5

In the synagogue, Jesus was interrupted while speaking of His mission to set free the captives of Satan. A madman rushed from among the people, crying out, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did you come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!” HH 111.6

The scene was all confusion and alarm. The people’s attention was diverted from Christ, and His words went unheard. But Jesus rebuked the demon, saying, “‘Be quiet, and come out of him!’ And when the demon had thrown him in their midst, it came out of him and did not hurt him.” HH 111.7

Satan had darkened the mind of this poor sufferer, but in the Savior’s presence, the man began to long for freedom from Satan’s control. But the demon resisted. When the man tried to appeal to Jesus for help, the evil spirit put words in his mouth, and he cried out in an agony of fear. HH 111.8

The demon-possessed man partially understood that he was in the presence of One who could set him free. But when he tried to come within reach of that mighty hand, another’s will held him, another’s words found expression through him. The conflict between the power of Satan and his own desire for freedom was terrible. HH 112.1

The demon exerted all his power to keep control of his victim. It seemed that the tortured man would surely lose his life in the struggle with the enemy that had ruined his best years. But the Savior spoke with authority and set the captive free. The man stood before the amazed people, happy in the freedom of self-possession. Even the demon had testified to the divine power of the Savior. The eye that had so recently glared with insanity now beamed with intelligence and over-flowed with grateful tears. HH 112.2

The people exclaimed, “What is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.” HH 112.3

This man had been fascinated by the pleasures of sin and had thought to make life a grand carnival. He did not dream of becoming a terror to the world and a disgrace to his family. He thought he could spend his time in innocent folly. But intemperance and a failure to take life seriously perverted his nature, and Satan took absolute control of him. When he would have sacrificed wealth and pleasure to regain control of his life, he had become helpless in the grasp of the evil one. Satan had taken possession of all his abilities. When the poor man was finally in his power, the demon became relentless in his cruelty. It is like this with everyone who yields to evil. The fascinating pleasure of the early days ends in despair or the madness of a ruined life. HH 112.4

The same evil spirit controlled the unbelieving Jews, but with them he took on an air of piety. Their condition was more hopeless than that of the demon-possessed man, for they felt no need of Christ and so were held firmly under Satan’s power. HH 112.5

Christ’s personal ministry on earth was the time of greatest activity for the forces of the kingdom of darkness. For ages Satan had been working to control the bodies and souls of men and women, to bring sin and suffering on them; then he had blamed all this misery on God. Jesus was revealing the character of God to them, breaking Satan’s power and setting his captives free. Love and power from heaven were moving human hearts, and the prince of evil was angry. At every step he challenged the work of Christ. HH 112.6