The Youth’s Instructor


September 16, 1897

“What Think Ye of Christ?”


“The word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.... And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” “As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” YI September 16, 1897, par. 1

Jesus of Nazareth declared himself the Light of the world. What think ye of him? What position does he occupy among the world's religious teachers? Hundreds, yes thousands, of men are recognized as having been great thinkers, men who speculated, who published their theories, and charmed the minds of many with their intellectual and moral attainments. These so-called great men who have left to the world the productions of their life of thought, have been ranked as the wisest men the world has ever known. But these cannot compare with Christ. There was a revelation before man's productions were brought forth. His finite knowledge is but the result of beholding the wondrous things that have been shining in our world, contained in the teachings of Christ, the greatest of all teachers. Whatever great ideas man may have evolved, have come through Christ. Every precious gem of thought, every flash of the intellect, is revealed by the Light of the world. No human being, however learned, however gifted with talents, has precedence of the divine Teacher. YI September 16, 1897, par. 2

Christ makes no apology when he declares, “I am the Light of the world.” He was, in life and teaching, the gospel, the foundation of all pure doctrine. Just as the sun compares with the lesser lights in the heavens, so did Christ, the source of all light, compare with the teachers of his day. He was before them all; and shining with the brightness of the sun, he diffused his penetrating, gladdening rays throughout the world. YI September 16, 1897, par. 3

There is much of worldly wisdom among men. “Higher education” is regarded as the fruit of human thought and effort. But this is an absurdity which He who rules in the heavens looks upon with contempt. Measured by finite minds, men are called learned and great; but with all their boasted wisdom, their science and learning, they cannot thus know God, and Jesus Christ whom he has sent. If they would turn from the teachings of men, and receive their illumination from the Light of the world, they would no longer walk in the sparks of the fire of their own kindling. They would know the laws that govern the kingdom of heaven, the laws that angels adore, and would be able to distinguish between light and darkness, between truth and error. No man who has ever lived, or who ever will live, can claim to be the infallible guide, the supreme revealer of truth. Men may seek to reach the highest standard in learning, but there is One, “a teacher sent from God,” who still stands higher than they. No human teacher can equal him. YI September 16, 1897, par. 4

In his teachings, Christ drew his lessons from the objects of nature around him,—those things with which his hearers were acquainted in their daily life. He was a perfect teacher. His speech was never hurried. His words were spoken with clear enunciation and appropriate emphasis. And this is the Pattern set before every one who would become a teacher of the truth. Rapid utterance is a defect that every speaker should make decided efforts to overcome. There is altogether too much jingling of words. They sound upon the ear, but are spoken in so hurried a manner that the hearers cannot get the sense of one word before another is spoken, and another, and the meaning is lost. Every word should be spoken plainly, so that it may have its full significance. Only in this way can God's truth, deep with meaning, come to human ears with such import as to impress the mind. YI September 16, 1897, par. 5

John bore testimony of Christ that he was “the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” How was he to lighten them?—By precept and example. Men who accept the high calling of ambassadors for Christ, must in all things follow the example of Christ, who came to this world to seek and save that which was lost. YI September 16, 1897, par. 6

To human eyes, Christ was only a man, yet he was a perfect man. In his humanity he was the impersonation of the divine character. God embodied his own attributes in his Son,—his power, his wisdom, his goodness, his purity, his truthfulness, his spirituality, and his benevolence. In him, though human, all perfection of character, all divine excellence, dwelt. And to the request of his disciple, “Show us the Father, and it sufficeth us,” he could reply, “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?” “I and my Father are one.” YI September 16, 1897, par. 7

John declared of Christ: “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” And Christ says to his disciples: “If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another comforter, that he may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him.” At noonday and in the night season the heavenly messengers walk among us, but their footsteps are not heard. YI September 16, 1897, par. 8

The strong denunciation of the Pharisees against Jesus was, “Thou, being a man, makest thyself God;” and for this reason they sought to stone him. Christ did not apologize for this supposed assumption on his part. YI September 16, 1897, par. 9

He did not say to his accusers, “You misunderstand me; I am not God.” He was manifesting God in humanity. Yet he was the humblest of all the prophets; and he exemplified in his life the truth that the more perfect the character of human beings, the more simple and humble they will be. He has given to men a pattern of what they may be in their humanity, through becoming partakers of the divine nature. YI September 16, 1897, par. 10

Christ declares: “The bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.... I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” In this belief there is a fulness of peace and rest,—a peace which, whatever may arise of difficulties, or persecution, or trial, man can neither give nor take away. YI September 16, 1897, par. 11

The centuries that have passed since Christ was among men have not lessened the confidence of our testimony that Christ is all that he claimed to be. Today the question may be repeated, “What think ye of Christ?” and without a moment's hesitation the answer may be given, “He is the Light of the world, the greatest religious thinker and teacher the world has ever known.” All who hear his voice today, all who study the principles set forth in his teaching, must say, in truthfulness, as did the Jews of his day, “Never man spake like this man.” “Is not this the Christ?” YI September 16, 1897, par. 12

Mrs. E. G. White