Small Group Tools
Contemporary Comments 2018
Texts: 1 Peter 1:18, 19; Colossians 1:13, 14; Isaiah 53:1-12; John 11:25; Psalm 18:50; 2 Peter 1:1
The heart of the message of our lesson is focus. When one has a single purpose and is intent on reaching the goal, nothing is worth the risk of losing that focus. The significance of today’s lesson is captured in the story of a group of advanced students at Rogers Adventist School in College Place, Washington, who have been working for over a year and one half to raise money for a playground. The playground is not for their school, but for a local park.
As relayed in an evening news broadcast, students have planned and designed the playground, and are now in the final stages of seeking funding to make it happen. These students, an interesting combination of first and second graders paired with junior high students, have taken their job seriously and have plowed through the layers required in such a project.1 They have met with city leaders and have made presentations to grant foundations and service clubs in their attempts to bring their plan to fruition. Practicing and polishing approaches, they are learning at a young age the importance of perseverance in making their playground a reality.
In our Sabbath School lesson this week, we study Jesus. We see Jesus as a Savior, as a sacrificed Lamb, as the Messiah, and as our Salvation. In the writings of Peter we see the central focus on Jesus, and throughout the Bible we see Jesus as having one focal point—a focus leading us to salvation. Every act, every conversation, every encounter, every word has the express purpose of drawing us into salvation. We continually see Jesus’ love manifested in care, concern, love, and healing for those around Him.
This same focus exhibited in the actions of Jesus is also found in the lives of the believers as expressed in 2 Peter 1:16 NIV, “For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” When people see and experience the purpose, or focus, of Jesus, the outcome is to live it and to share it. Peter uses the same word in 1 Peter 1:19 and in 2 Peter 1:1 as he talks about Jesus. That word is “precious.” First, he uses it to describe Jesus’ blood, the sacrifice for us. Then he uses it to describe the faith that one can have in the righteousness of Christ, the One whose purpose and focus is our salvation. Jesus focus was our redemption. As we receive or accept that redemption, we become single-minded in our purpose of drawing others to Jesus whose focus continues to reach out.
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