Small Group Tools
Contemporary Comments 2016
The Spirit and the Word
The Spirit and the Word
2 Peter 1:19–21; 1 Corinthians 2:9–13; Psalm 119:160; John 17:17
January 7, 2017
The screaming and crying of babies, mothers, and children really gets to Richard Heard, even if he hears their voices on TV. Richard is a British lifeguard who has volunteered more than once to rescue migrants attempting to flee Turkey into Greece. Their short and risky passage in the northeastern Aegean Sea is by speedboat or on a flimsy dinghy. Their goal is the small Greek island of Lesbos. 
Smugglers try to avoid the authorities by bringing their passengers over at night. Instead of dropping them off on a nice sandy beach, they seek the less-patrolled rocky coves. Migrants are often thrown overboard and must swim the last few yards to freedom, but end up stuck in secluded points clinging to rough rocks.
The large rescue boats cannot get close, so Richard and his mates take small rubber rafts and pluck the fearful migrants—often mothers and children—off the rocks and sometimes out of the water. At times they have to enter the water and physically carry children, including one-month-old babies, back into the water and then over to waiting small boats.
There is precious cargo carried by the Holy Spirit that we look at in this week’s Sabbath school lesson titled, “The Spirit and the Word.” We learn that revelation is God’s unveiling of the divine to humanity. Revelation means “revealing” and it summarizes how the Lord makes known the truth about heaven to a world shrouded in darkness and fear.
Like migrants clinging to the rocky coves of Lesbos, we too may look out at the distant rescue boats, knowing we are hopelessly unable to reach the safety of truth about the heavenly Father. But God sent a divine Helper to connect us to a message of hope. Peter explains, “For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21 NIV, emphasis added).
The rescue workers in the Aegean Sea function like the Holy Spirit. They literally pick up and carry stranded and frightened people to ships that will bring them to a new home. So, the Holy Spirit, through a process we call “inspiration,” has carried God’s message of truth through people who wrote the books of the Bible—messages that are valuable cargo that bring us hope and safety.
Thank God for the work of the Holy Spirit. Without the Spirit we would all be stranded in coldness and darkness, crying for help.