Commentary on "Let the Church Know"
Day 1: Sabbath Afternoon, June 9, 2012 - Introduction
Lesson memory text for this week:
"Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught." Mark 6:30
The author, in this opening day discussion of the book of Acts, manages to do the nearly impossible: take the powerful, awesome and earth-shaking events of the birth and growth of the early Christian church and make them sound dry and boring. Scripture is repeatedly used to emphasize the importance of filling out reports in the Adventist church.
"...this important activity of church life has a significant impact upon the success of witnessing and evangelism. Quite simply, we need to know what is going on, what works, and what doesn't."
Human works are emphasized while the role of the Holy Spirit is not. In this introduction, He is not mentioned.
The background to the memory text is found in Mark 3:14 & 15 and 6:7-12 ESV:
"And He appointed twelve (whom He also named apostles) so that they might be with Him and He might send them out to preach and have authority to cast out demons."
"And He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over unclean the spirits. He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff-no bread, no bag, no money in their belts--but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics. And He said to them, 'Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you depart from there. And if any place will not receive you and they will not listen to you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.' So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent. And they cast out many demons and anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them."
An interesting point from the ESV Study Bible: "These unique (travel) instructions serve as signs to Jewish people of peace, defenselessness, trust in God, and urgency. The scene echoes the first exodus (cf. Ex. 12:11).
The apostles were given authority by Jesus Himself and were sent out as special chosen emissaries to the "lost sheep of Israel " Matthew 10: 5 & 6. They echoed His words in the beginning of His ministry:
"The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel." Mark 1:15 ESV
Can't you imagine how excited the apostles were to come back and tell Jesus all about it !? Do you think they came back and filled out their "personal lay activities report forms"? Is that what the memory text is teaching us? See example:
Today's lesson statistics:
SOURCE OF POWER FOR SUCCESSFUL WITNESSING AND CHURCH GROWTH
REPORTING: MENTIONED FIVE TIMES
RELYING ON THE HOLY SPIRIT: NOT MENTIONED
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