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Mind, Character and Personality, volume 1

Chapter 21

Christ Deals With Minds

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Christ's Teaching to Be a Guide.-Christ's teaching, like His sympathies, embraced the world. Never can there be a circumstance of life, a crisis in human experience, which has not been anticipated in His teaching and for which its principles have not a lesson. The Prince of teachers, His words will be found a guide to His co-workers till the end of time.-Education, 81, 82 (1903).

He Identified Himself With the Interests of His Hearers.-He taught in a way that made them feel the completeness of His identification with their interests and happiness. His instruction was so direct, His illustrations were so appropriate, His words so sympathetic and cheerful, that His hearers were charmed.-The Ministry of Healing, 24 (1905).

He Understands the Hidden Working of the Human Mind.-He who has paid the infinite price to redeem men reads with unerring accuracy all the hidden workings of the human mind and knows just how to deal with every soul. And in dealing with men, He manifests the same principles that are manifest in the natural world.-SpT Series A, No. 3, p 17, 1895. (Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 189, 190.)

He Works Through Calm, Regular Operation of Laws.-God works through the calm, regular operation of His appointed laws. So it is in spiritual things. Satan is constantly seeking to produce effects by rude and violent thrusts, but Jesus found access to minds by the pathway of their most familiar associations. He disturbed as little as possible their accustomed train of thought, by abrupt actions or prescribed rules. He honored man with His confidence, and thus placed him on his honor. He introduced old truths in a new and precious light. Thus when only twelve years old He astonished the doctors of the law by His questions in the temple.-MS 44, 1894. (Evangelism, 139, 140.)

Always Surrounded With Peace.-His tender compassion fell with a touch of healing upon weary and troubled hearts. Even amid the turbulence of angry enemies He was surrounded with an atmosphere of peace. The beauty of His countenance, the loveliness of His character, above all, the love expressed in look and tone, drew to Him all who were not hardened in unbelief. Had it not been for the sweet, sympathetic spirit that shone out in every look and word, He would not have attracted the large congregations that He did. The afflicted ones who came to Him felt that He linked His interest with theirs as a faithful and tender friend, and they desired to know more of the truths He taught. Heaven was brought near. They longed to abide in His presence, that the comfort of His love might be with them continually.-The Desire of Ages, 254, 255 (1898).

His Life Was Harmonious.-In His life Jesus of Nazareth differed from all other men. His entire life was characterized by disinterested benevolence and the beauty of holiness. In His bosom existed the purest love, free from every taint of selfishness and sin. His life was perfectly harmonious. He is the only true model of goodness and perfection. From the beginning of His ministry men began more clearly to comprehend the character of God.

Up to the time of Christ's first advent, men worshiped cruel, despotic gods. Even the Jewish mind was reached through fear and not love. Christ's mission on the earth was to reveal to men that God was not a despot but a heavenly Father, full of love and mercy for His children.-MS 132, 1902.

He Was Not Devoid of Warmth and Sunniness.-There are many who have an erroneous idea of the life and character of Christ. They think He was devoid of warmth and sunniness, that He was stern, severe, and joyless. In many cases the whole religious experience is colored by these gloomy views.-Steps to Christ, 120 (1892).

Infinite Possibilities in Every Human Being.-In every human being He discerned infinite possibilities. He saw men as they might be, transfigured by His grace-in "the beauty of the Lord our God" (Psalm 90:17). Looking upon them with hope, He inspired hope, Meeting them with confidence, He inspired trust. Revealing in Himself man's true ideal, He awakened, for its attainment, both desire and faith. In His presence souls despised and fallen realized that they still were men, and they longed to prove themselves worthy of His regard. In many a heart that seemed dead to all things holy were awakened new impulses. To many a despairing one there opened the possibility of a new life.-Education, 80 (1903).

His Heart a Wellspring of Life.-It is often said that Jesus wept, but that He was never known to smile. Our Saviour was indeed a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, for He opened His heart to all the woes of men. But though His life was self-denying and shadowed with pain and care, His spirit was not crushed. His countenance did not wear an expression of grief and repining but ever one of peaceful serenity. His heart was a well-spring of life, and wherever He went He carried rest and peace, joy and gladness.-Steps to Christ, 120 (1892).

Christ Was Never Passionate.-Christ carried out in His life His own divine teachings. His zeal never led Him to become passionate. He manifested consistency without obstinacy, benevolence without weakness, tenderness and sympathy without sentimentalism. He was highly social; yet He possessed a reserved dignity that did not encourage undue familiarity. His temperance never led to bigotry or austerity. He was not conformed to this world; yet He was not indifferent to the wants of the least among men. He was awake to the needs of all.-MS 132, 1902. (Evangelism, 636.)

Tact to Meet Prejudiced Minds.-His messages of mercy were varied to suit His audience. He knew "how to speak a word in season to him that is weary" (Isaiah 50:4); for grace was poured upon His lips that He might convey to men in the most attractive way the treasures of truth. He had tact to meet the prejudiced minds and to surprise them with illustrations that won their attention.-The Desire of Ages, 254 (1898).

He Reached to Depths of Human Woe.-He traversed every path where souls were straying. He reached to the very depths of human woe and misery.-Lt 50, 1897.

Combats Satan's Power Over Mind.-He [Christ] saw the power-the deceptive power-of Satan upon human minds, and He engaged [bound Himself by a pledge] to come to this earth. He lays aside the robes of His royalty, He lays off His royal crown, He lays off His high command, He steps down from the throne of His glory as High Commander in all heaven, and clothes His divinity with humanity, that humanity might touch humanity. That is what He came here for. He came right down to our earth to take upon Himself the nature of man, to pass through all the trials, all the afflictions and temptations wherewith man should be beset, and here He wrestled with these temptations, passing over the ground where Adam fell, that He might redeem the disgraceful failure and fall of Adam.

In human nature, as our substitute, as our surety, He laid hold upon the very hope that it is our privilege to take hold of, and that is infinite power. Through this, our Saviour overcame the temptations of the enemy and obtained the victory. For whom? Why, in our behalf. Why? That not one of the members of the human family need to stumble in the road that leads to everlasting life. Because He has traveled it before us, He knows every obstruction, He knows every difficulty that every soul upon the face of the earth must meet. He knows this, and therefore at His baptism, when He offered up His petition to heaven, that prayer cleaved directly through the hellish shadow of Satan that is thrown on your path, that is thrown on my path, and faith entered "into that within the veil" (Hebrews 6:19).-MS 12, 1895.

Helps Seeker to Exercise Faith.-Christ knew every thought of her mind [the woman who touched His garment], and He was making His way to where she stood. He realized her great need, and He was helping her to exercise faith.-The Ministry of Healing, 60 (1905).

Divine Knowledge May Become Human Knowledge.-Divine knowledge may become human knowledge. Every minister should study closely the manner of Christ's teaching. They must take in His lessons. There is not one in twenty who knows the beauty, the real essence, of Christ's ministry. They are to find it out. Then they will become partakers of the rich fruit of His teachings. They will weave them so fully into their own life and practice that the ideas and principles that Christ brought into His lessons will be brought into their teaching. The truth will blossom and bear the noblest kind of fruit. And the worker's own heart will be warmed; yea it will burn with the vivifying spiritual life which they infuse into the minds of others.-MS 104, 1898.

To Meet Varied Minds.-All who profess to be children of God should bear in mind that as missionaries they will be brought into contact with all classes of minds. There are the refined and the coarse, the humble and the proud, the religious and the skeptical, the educated and the ignorant, the rich and the poor. These varied minds cannot be treated alike; yet all need kindness and sympathy. By mutual contact our minds should receive polish and refinement. We are dependent upon one another, closely bound together by the ties of human brotherhood.-The Ministry of Healing, 495, 496 (1905).

Mind to Become One With His Mind.-When we submit ourselves to Christ, the heart is united with His heart, the will is merged in His will, the mind becomes one with His mind, the thoughts are brought into captivity to Him; we live His life. This is what it means to be clothed with the garment of His righteousness. Then as the Lord looks upon us He sees, not the fig-leaf garment, not the nakedness and deformity of sin, but His own robe of righteousness, which is perfect obedience to the law of Jehovah.-Christ's Object Lessons, 312 (1900).