May 27, 2012 – June 2, 2012
“The child [Jesus] grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon Him.” Luke 2:40.
Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 66–74; The Adventist Home, 181–194.
“In the life of Christ, we see the only safe pattern for all children and youth.” The Youth’s Instructor, September 1, 1873.
1 GOD SHELTERED HIS SON
- What experience in the early life of Jesus reveals God’s emphasis on the importance of a quiet, peaceful infancy? Matthew 2:1, 9–15.
Note: “The Lord provided a way for Joseph to preserve his own life, and the life of Jesus, and that of the mother, by their fleeing into Egypt. He provided for the necessities of their journey, and for their sojourn in Egypt, by moving upon the wise men of the East to go in search of the infant Saviour, and to bear Him valuable offerings as a token of honor. … The earthly parents of Jesus were poor. The gifts brought to them by the wise men sustained them while in the land of strangers.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 2, 26.
- Rather than remain in Egypt, to where were Jesus’ parents later directed, and why? Matthew 2:19–23.
Note: “His [Jesus’] childhood and youthful life is an example for parents as well as children, that the more quiet and unnoticed the period of childhood and youth is passed, and the more natural and free from artificial excitement, the more safe will it be for the children, and the more favorable for the formation of a character of purity, natural simplicity, and true moral worth.” Lift Him Up, 32.
2 TEACHING GENTLE MERCY
- In today’s world of artificial excitement, noise, and distractions, why must parents make firm efforts to ensure a quiet, peaceful environment for training their little ones? Proverbs 1:33; Isaiah 32:18.
Note: “His [Jesus’] quiet and simple life, and even the silence of the Scriptures concerning His early years, teach an important lesson. The more quiet and simple the life of the child—the more free from artificial excitement, and the more in harmony with nature—the more favorable is it to physical and mental vigor and to spiritual strength.” The Desire of Ages, 74.
- If moving to a more peaceful environment and sacrificing time for our child seems inconvenient, what should we as parents consider?
Note: “The church needs men of a meek and quiet spirit, who are long-suffering and patient. Let them learn these attributes in dealing with their families. Let parents think a great deal more of their children’s eternal interests than they do of their present comfort.” Child Guidance, 267, 268.
“The education and training of their children to be Christians is the highest service that parents can render to God.” The Adventist Home, 268.
- In the case of Jesus, what key lessons prevailed in His home school under the tutelage of Joseph and Mary? Psalm 116:5; Luke 2:40; James 5:11, last part.
Note: “Jesus was the fountain of healing mercy for the world; and through all those secluded years at Nazareth, His life flowed out in currents of sympathy and tenderness. The aged, the sorrowing, and the sin-burdened, the children at play in their innocent joy, the little creatures of the groves, the patient beasts of burden—all were happier for His presence. He whose word of power upheld the worlds would stoop to relieve a wounded bird. There was nothing beneath His notice, nothing to which He disdained to minister.” The Desire of Ages, 74.
3 A WONDERFUL EDUCATION
- What kinds of things did Jesus study as a boy, and how can we learn from His example? Psalm 119:16; Job 38:18, 22–27, 33; 39:1, 2.
Note: “Since He [Jesus] gained knowledge as we may do, His intimate acquaintance with the Scriptures shows how diligently His early years were given to the study of God’s word. And spread out before Him was the great library of God’s created works. He who had made all things studied the lessons which His own hand had written in earth and sea and sky. Apart from the unholy ways of the world, He gathered stores of scientific knowledge from nature. He studied the life of plants and animals, and the life of man. From His earliest years He was possessed of one purpose; He lived to bless others. For this He found resources in nature; new ideas of ways and means flashed into His mind as He studied plant life and animal life.” The Desire of Ages, 70.
- What motive did young Jesus have in learning things? Proverbs 9:9.
Note: “Continually He [Jesus] was seeking to draw from things seen illustrations by which to present the living oracles of God. The parables by which, during His ministry, He loved to teach His lessons of truth show how open His spirit was to the influences of nature, and how He had gathered the spiritual teaching from the surroundings of His daily life.
“Thus to Jesus the significance of the word and the works of God was unfolded, as He was trying to understand the reason of things. Heavenly beings were His attendants, and the culture of holy thoughts and communings was His. From the first dawning of intelligence He was constantly growing in spiritual grace and knowledge of truth.
“Every child may gain knowledge as Jesus did. As we try to become acquainted with our heavenly Father through His word, angels will draw near, our minds will be strengthened, our characters will be elevated and refined. We shall become more like our Saviour. And as we behold the beautiful and grand in nature, our affections go out after God.” The Desire of Ages, 70.
4 AN INTEREST SHARED
- How important is proper timing in education? Ecclesiastes 3:1, 2.
Note: “Small children should be left free as lambs to run out of doors, to be free and happy, and be allowed the most favorable opportunities to lay the foundation for sound constitutions. Parents should be their only teachers, until they have reached eight or ten years of age. They should open before their children God’s great book of nature as fast as their minds can comprehend it.” The Health Reformer, September 1, 1872.
“Do not send your little ones away to school too early. The mother should be careful how she trusts the molding of the infant mind to other hands. Parents ought to be the best teachers of their children until they have reached eight or ten years of age.” Christian Education, 170.
- Impressionable as children are, and prone to imitate their peers, why is schooling outside the home not to be urged too early? Exodus 23:2.
Note: “The school in the home should be a place where children are taught that the eye of God is upon them, observing all that they do. If this thought were deeply impressed upon the mind, the work of governing children would be made much easier. In the home-school our boys and girls are being prepared to attend a church school when they reach a proper age to associate more intimately with other children.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 8, 5.
- What is God’s plan when parents are not able to teach their children full time beyond the age of eight or ten, and why? Job 36:10.
Note: “Those mothers that want to keep their children at home, and are fully competent and would prefer to discipline them herself, why, no one has any objection to that. They can do that. But provision is to be made so that the children of all who have any connection with this food factory and sanitarium [at St. Helena, California] … should be educated. We must have it stand to reach the highest standards.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 219.
5 A NEED IN EVERY LOCALITY
- What should be the priority of parents when choosing where to educate their children? Psalm 101:3; II Corinthians 6:17, 18.
Note: “In planning for the education of their children outside the home, parents should realize that it is no longer safe to send them to the public school, and should endeavor to send them to schools where they will obtain an education based on a Scriptural foundation.” Child Guidance, 304.
“In some countries parents are compelled by law to send their children to school. In these countries, in localities where there is a church, schools should be established, if there are no more than six children to attend.” Ibid., 308, 309.
- Why should church schools be an important goal? Isaiah 54:13.
Note: “Work as if you were working for your life to save the children from being drowned in the polluting, corrupting influences of the world.
“We are far behind our duty in this important matter. In many places schools should have been in operation years ago. Many localities would thus have had representatives of the truth who would have given character to the work of the Lord. Instead of centering so many large buildings in a few places, schools should have been established in many localities.
“Let these schools now be started under wise direction, that the children and youth may be educated in their own churches.” Testimonies, vol. 6, 199, 200.
“Children of eight, ten, or twelve years are old enough to be addressed on the subject of personal religion. Do not teach your children with reference to some future period when they shall be old enough to repent and believe the truth.” Child Guidance, 490, 491.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 What characterized the early education of the boy Jesus?
2 What should today’s couples consider when having children?
3 Why did Jesus study the life of both plants and animals?
4 When can children healthfully be placed in a school environment?
5 What is essential about the school environment of our children?
© 2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.