Sermons and Talks, vol. 2


Chapter 26—Our Elder Brother

Manuscript 20, 1902

[Hebrews 2:1-4, quoted.] “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man” [verse 9]. Thank God for the words, “every man.” 2SAT 190.1

“For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” Clothing His divinity with humanity, Christ came to this world to stand at the head of the human race. He came to bear the trials that we must bear, to overcome the temptations that we must overcome. He came to show that by the power received from on high man can live an unsullied life. He was tempted as we are tempted, but not once did He yield. 2SAT 190.2

“For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren.” Leaving His high command, he came to this earth to be our Elder Brother. 2SAT 190.3

[Hebrews 4:14-16, quoted.] 2SAT 190.4

What hope and courage and confidence these words should inspire in us! Let us not sink into hopeless discouragement because we make mistakes. 2SAT 190.5

“Every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity” [chapter 4:1, 2]. Let those who have little compassion for the ones who make mistakes, read and study these words. 2SAT 190.6

Our Saviour did not live in mysterious seclusion during the years that preceded His public ministry. He lived with His parents at Nazareth, and worked with Joseph at the carpenter's trade. His life was simple, free from any extravagance or display. When the time came for His public work to begin, He went forth proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom. To the close of His work He preserved the simplicity of habit. He chose His helpers from the lower ranks of life. His first disciples were humble fishermen of Galilee. His teaching was so simple that little children understood Him, and afterward might be heard repeating His words. All that He said and did possessed the charm of simplicity. 2SAT 190.7

Christ was a close observer, noticing many things that others passed by. He was ever helpful, ever ready to speak words of hope and sympathy to the discouraged and the bereaved. He allowed the crowd to press round Him, and complained not, though sometimes almost lifted off His feet. When He met a funeral, He did not pass by indifferently. Sadness came over His face as He looked upon death, and He wept with the mourners. 2SAT 191.1

As the children gathered the wild flowers growing so abundantly around them, and crowded up to present to Him their little offerings, He received them gladly, smiled upon them, and expressed His joy at seeing so many varieties of flowers. 2SAT 191.2

These children were His heritage. He knew that He had come to ransom them from the enemy by dying on the cross of Calvary. He spoke words to them that ever after they carried in their hearts. They were delighted to think that He appreciated their gifts and spoke so lovingly to them. 2SAT 191.3

Christ watched children at their play, and often expressed His approval when they gained an innocent victory over something they were determined to do. He sang to children in sweet and blessed words. They knew that He loved them. He never frowned on them. He shared their childish joys and sorrows. Often He would gather flowers, and after pointing out their beauties to the children, would leave them with them as a gift. He had made the flowers, and He delighted to point out their beauties. 2SAT 191.4

It has been said that Jesus never smiled. This is not correct. A child in its innocence and purity called forth from His lips a joyous song. 2SAT 191.5

To those who followed Him He explained the Word of God so clearly that they loved to be in His company. He led their minds from the inferior things of earth to the holy principles of truth and righteousness. He prepared them to understand what is comprehended in transformation of character after the divine similitude. His words encouraged faith. He carried the minds of His hearers from this world, with its busy cares, to the higher, nobler world, which so many had lost sight of. He showed that every moment of life is fraught with eternal significance. He declared that the things of this world are of minor importance in comparison with the things of the world to come. 2SAT 191.6

Christ always encouraged industry. “Why stand ye here all the day idle?” He said to the indolent. “Work while the day lasts; for the night cometh, in which no man can work.” He showed them that God has entrusted everyone with talents, which are to be improved and multiplied by faithful use. Seeing men absorbed in pursuit of worldly riches, using their entrusted capabilities to obtain advantage over one another, He exclaimed, “How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of heaven.” 2SAT 191.7

Our Saviour was the Majesty of heaven, the King of glory. But He laid aside His royal robe and kingly crown, and clothed His divinity with humanity, that He might know for Himself the sufferings and temptations of human beings. He came to be their surety, to overcome in their behalf, to live for them a sinless life, that through His power they might obtain the victory over sin. 2SAT 192.1

He came saying, “I will declare Thy name unto My brethren: in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.” [See Psalm 22:22.] He placed Himself on a level with human beings, saying, “I will stand at the head of the race, that through My humiliation they may be accepted as members of the royal family. I will declare the name of God to My brethren. I will put My trust in Him, just as I desire My disciples to do.” 2SAT 192.2

“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy Him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” [Hebrews 2:14, 15]. 2SAT 192.3

Only by bearing the penalty of our disobedience could He deliver us from eternal death. He became sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Thus He placed us on vantage ground, where we could live pure, sinless lives. The guilty who come to Him for pardon, confessing their sins, stand before the Father as innocent, because the Innocent One has borne their guilt. The undeserving are made deserving, while in their behalf the deserving became the undeserving. 2SAT 192.4

Behold the Son of God bowed in Gethsemane in an agony of grief. He who was ever touched with human woe, who ever sought, by word and deed, to relieve human suffering, now seems to be as a bruised reed. 2SAT 192.5

“Verily He took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on Him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted” [verses 16-18].—Ms 20, 1902 (MR 900.43). 2SAT 192.6

Ellen G. White Estate Washington, D. C. August 7, 1986. Entire Ms.