The Review and Herald

942/1902

July 12, 1898

Treasure Hidden

EGW

The sayings of Christ are to be valued not merely in accordance with the measure of man's understanding; they are to be considered in the important bearing which Christ himself gave them. He took old truths, of which he himself was the originator, and placed them before his hearers in heaven's own light. And how different was their representation! What a flood of meaning, and brightness, and spirituality was brought in by their explanation! RH July 12, 1898, par. 1

Christ set forth deeper and more spiritual truths than had ever before been heard from rulers, scribes, or elders. “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” he declared. The rich treasures of truth opened before the people attracted and charmed them. They were in marked contrast with the spiritless, lifeless expositions of the Old Testament Scriptures by the rabbis. And the miracles which Jesus wrought kept constantly before his hearers the honor and glory of God. He seemed to them a messenger direct from heaven; for he spoke not to their ears only, but to their hearts. As he stood forth in his humility, yet in dignity and majesty, as one born to command, a power attended him; hearts were melted into tenderness. An earnest desire was created to be in his presence, to listen to the voice of him who uttered truth with such solemn melody. RH July 12, 1898, par. 2

At the beginning of his ministry, Christ had declared the character of his work. “And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” RH July 12, 1898, par. 3

That word was fulfilled. The sick were healed, demoniacs were restored, lepers and paralytics were made whole. The dumb spoke, the ears of the deaf were opened, the dead were brought to life, and the poor had the gospel preached to them. Every miracle wrought by Christ convinced some of his true character. Had a man in the common walks of life done the same works that Christ did, all would have declared that he was working by the power of God. But there were those who did not receive the light of heaven, and they set themselves more determinedly against this evidence. RH July 12, 1898, par. 4

The Jews were expecting an earthly prince, who would deliver them from power which God had declared would rule over them if they refused to keep the way of the Lord, and obey his laws. They had made their proud boast that Israel's king, the star arising from Judah, would break their thraldom, and make of them a kingdom of priests. RH July 12, 1898, par. 5

It was not the absence of external honor and riches and glory that caused the Jews to reject Jesus. The Sun of Righteousness, shining amid the moral darkness in such distinct rays, revealed the contrast between sin and holiness, purity and defilement, and such light was not welcome to them. Christ was not such a one as themselves. The Jews could have borne the disappointment of their hopes better than they could bear the righteous denunciation of their sins. In parables, Christ laid bare their professed sanctity. He compared them to whited sepulchers, deceiving the people by their pretensions to purity. RH July 12, 1898, par. 6

In his youth, Christ was subject to his parents,—an example of obedience to all the youth. In his youth he learned the trade of a carpenter, and earned his bread by the sweat of his brow. Thus he honored physical labor. It should be an encouragement and source of strength to every human being, in the performance of the commonplace duties of life, to know that Jesus toiled to provide for his own temporal wants. RH July 12, 1898, par. 7

The teachings of Christ, in precept and example, were the sowing of the seed afterward to be cultivated by his disciples. The testimony of these fishermen was to be referred to as the highest authority, by all the nations of the world. They had not learned in the schools of the prophets; but Jesus had been their teacher, and had given them knowledge uncorrupted by tradition and bigotry. Christ scattered the heavenly grain, which minds and hearts that desired light and knowledge might gather up as precious treasure sent from heaven. RH July 12, 1898, par. 8

After his resurrection, Christ opened the understanding of his followers, that they might understand the Scriptures. Everything had been transformed by the working of the arts of Satan. Truth was covered up by the rubbish of error, and hidden from finite sight. When Christ had foretold his humiliation, rejection, and crucifixion, the disciples would not take in his meaning. It had been a part of their education that the Messiah would set up a temporal kingdom; and when Christ spoke of his sufferings, they did not understand his words. He reproved them because of their slowness of apprehension, and promised them that when the Comforter should come, he would bring many things to their remembrance. RH July 12, 1898, par. 9

Christ had many truths to give to his disciples, of which he could not speak, because they did not advance with the light that was flashed upon Levitical laws and the sacrificial offerings. They did not accept the light, advance with the light, and follow on to still greater brightness as Providence should lead the way. And for the same reason, Christ's disciples of 1898 do not comprehend important matters of truth. So dull has been the comprehension even of those who teach the truth to others, that many things can not be opened to them until they reach heaven. This ought not to be. But as men's minds become narrow, they think they know all, when they have only a glimpse of truth. They close their minds, as if there were no more for them to learn; and should the Lord attempt to lead them on, they would not accept the increased light. They cling to the spot where they see light, when that which they see is only a glimmer of the bright beams they might enjoy. They know very little of what it means to follow in the footsteps of Christ. RH July 12, 1898, par. 10

In their harmonious relation, the truths of Scripture are like links in a chain. Just as fast as our minds are quickened by the Spirit of God to comprehend light, and in humbleness appropriate it, we shall dispense it to others, and give the glory back to God. The development of truth is the reward of the humble-hearted seeker who will fear God, and walk with him. The truth which the mind grasps as truth is capable of constant expansion and new development. While we behold it, the truth is revealed in all its bearings in the life and character, and becomes more clear, and certain, and beauteous. The mind that grasps it in its preciousness becomes elevated, ennobled, sanctified. RH July 12, 1898, par. 11

Far, very far, are human minds from grasping the teachings of Christ. These are old truths in new settings. The entire system of Judaism was the gospel veiled. Those who will not consider are like the Jews. It is humbling to their dignity and pride to work the mines of truth. But the Light of the world is sending his divine rays to illuminate the entire Jewish economy, and the minds that have been accepting the sayings of men as the commandments of God are to be educated to look to God himself, the author of all truth. RH July 12, 1898, par. 12

In his habits and customs and practises, Christ did not conform to the standard of the world. What a lesson he gives to the churches that bear his name! They are not to exalt themselves above the Majesty of heaven, their Redeemer. What do men find in the example of Christ to justify them in their feelings of superiority, in keeping themselves apart from their fellow men, hiding themselves from their own flesh, because they have obtained more of this world's goods than their neighbors? Because the world honors the wealthy and despises the poor, shall those who claim to follow Jesus do the same? Whose example are such following?—Surely not the example of him who said, “He hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, “to preach the gospel to the poor.” RH July 12, 1898, par. 13

Very many teachers are content with a supposition in regard to the truth. They have crude ideas, and are content with a surface work in searching for truth, taking for granted that they have all that is essential. They take the sayings of others for truth, being too indolent to put themselves to diligent, earnest labor, represented in the Word as digging for hidden treasure. But man's inventions are not only unreliable, they are dangerous; for they place man where God should be. They place the sayings of men where a “Thus saith the Lord” should be. The world's Redeemer alone possesses the key to unlock the treasure-house of the Old Testament. He explores hidden things. He separates the precious truth from superstition and error and the devisings and imaginings of men. RH July 12, 1898, par. 14

Sharp, clear perceptions of truth will never be the reward of indolence. Investigation of every point that has been received as truth will richly repay the searcher; he will find precious gems. And in closely investigating every jot and tittle which we think is established truth, in comparing scripture with scripture, we may discover errors in our interpretation of Scripture. Christ would have the searcher of his word sink the shaft deeper into the mines of truth. If the search is properly conducted, jewels of inestimable value will be found. The word of God is the mine of the unsearchable riches of Christ. RH July 12, 1898, par. 15