Counsels on Sabbath School Work


Simplicity and Sympathy

How important are the lessons that may be given to the children and youth in unfolding the Scriptures in the simplicity of Christ. Let the teacher leave all his hard, high-sounding words at home, and take only the simplest words, that will be readily comprehended by the minds of the young. CSW 108.1

But in order to be a successful teacher, not only should the methods of teaching be simple, but you must take sympathy and love with you into the Sabbath school. The children will recognize this element and be influenced by it. Men and women are only grown-up children. Do we not respond to words and looks of real sympathy and love? Jesus, the divine Teacher, assured His disciples of His love toward them. He assumed human nature for no other purpose than to display to men the mercy, the love, and the goodness of God in providing for the salvation and happiness of His creatures. It was for this end that He died. While uttering His tenderest words of sympathy, He rejoiced in the consciousness that He intended to do “exceeding abundantly,” above what they were able to ask or think. Daily He exhibited before them, in works of blessing to man, how great was His tenderness and love to the fallen race. His heart was a fountain of inexhaustible compassion, from which the longing heart could be supplied with the water of life. CSW 108.2

When Jesus spoke to the people, they were astonished at His doctrine; for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. The scribes had labored to establish their theories, and they had to labor to sustain them, and to keep their influence over the minds of the people, by endless repetition of fables and childish traditions. The loftiest models of public instruction consisted largely in going through heartless rounds of unmeaning ceremonies, and in the repetition of frivolous opinions. The teaching of Jesus inculcated the weightiest ideas and the most sublime truths in the most comprehensible and simple manner, and “the common people heard Him gladly.” This is the kind of instruction that should be given in our Sabbath schools. Light, heaven's light, must be reflected from Jesus, the wonderful Teacher, and the souls of the children and youth must be illumined with the divine glory of His character and love. Thus the children may be led in beautiful simplicity to “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”—Testimonies on Sabbath-School Work, 39, 40. CSW 109.1