Jesus and Those in Need

This is a tool for you to use if you lead a Sabbath School (SS) class or small group. It is keyed to the Bible texts used in the current week’s Adult SS Lesson and includes a brief story from current news you can use to introduce the discussion and then a series of discussion questions in a relational pattern designed to build fellowship and spiritual reflection.

For use: Aug 11 – 17

Texts: Luke 1:46-55; 4:16-21; 7:18-23; Matthew 12:15-21; 21:12-16; Mark 11:15-19; Isaiah 53:3-6

Ordinary people can become extraordinary leaders. A future commander, chairperson, or chief doesn’t always stand out in a crowd … unless your eye is trained to pick up exceptional skills. In a recent online article called, “The 4 simple behaviors that turn ordinary people into CEOs, according to researchers,” Leah Thomas highlights the work of Elena Botelho and Kim Powell, authors of The CEO Next Door, which studied the traits of 17,000 leaders (2,600 in more depth) and analyzed “the traits these leaders embody most frequently.” [1]

For instance, these women and men knew how to make decisions fast. “The researchers discovered that leaders who are able to make decisions quickly without procrastination or excessive questioning are 12 times more likely to be successful as CEOs.” Secondly, they’re able to sell their own idea. “Leaders must be able to not only inspire others with their idea and goal, but get them on board with it as well.” These leaders are not just “likable,” but can describe their ideas in a way in which “others can see and understand and build relationships with those who can help them make their ideas happen.” (Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, is a prime example.)

In addition to being able to adapt to any circumstance (think Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon who turned an online bookstore into a mammoth business), these leaders were “consistent with their actions and their results.” The author of the online article states, “Reliability means leaders can be counted on to deliver on their word and their plans, and can be trusted with being in charge of company responsibilities.”

In this week’s Sabbath school lesson, “Jesus and Those in Need,” we see similar leadership traits in the life of Christ.

For instance, Christ could make decisions fast. When asked by a leper who wanted to be touched and healed (you just didn’t randomly touch lepers in those days), Jesus did not hesitate and said, “I am willing; be cleansed” (Matthew 8:3). And the Savior certainly was able to “sell” (powerfully convince) ordinary people to get on board with heaven’s plan of salvation. Jesus called fishermen to “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” The Bible says, “They immediately left their nets and followed Him” (Matthew 4:19, 20).

But, perhaps, one of the most notable qualities in Jesus’ leadership was the consistency of His words and actions which led to earthshaking results. When Christ stood up in a Nazareth synagogue and quoted His mission (from Isaiah 61) to heal the oppressed, He could confidently state: “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:21). It was unquestionably fulfilled in the minds of hearers for they saw how Jesus lived to reach those in need.

Of course, comparing Jesus with the world’s greatest leaders is quite a stretch, but it does help us notice characteristics in the Leader of all leaders that deepen our appreciation of Jesus.

For Reflection

Connecting: Can you think of an extraordinary world leader who exhibited a quality akin to the life of Jesus?

Sharing: In light of our study on “Jesus and Those in Need,” find a divine quality in the life of Christ that more deeply reveals to you the image of God.

  1. In Mary’s Song: Luke 1:46-55
  2. In Jesus’ Mission Statement: Luke 4:16-21
  3. When Christ healed a leper: Mark 5:24-34
  4. When Jesus cleared the temple: Matthew 21:12-16
  5. In Paul’s description of Christ’s humility: Philippians 2:7, 8
  6. Other…

Applying: Think of four historical leaders that exhibit four heavenly leadership qualities. Write them down and share them with your group. For instance, Abraham Lincoln had a forgiving heart.

Valuing: What divine quality do you most admire in the life of Christ? Pray with one other person in your group, asking God to give you that heavenly characteristic this coming week.

~Curtis Rittenour


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