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Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide - 3rd Quarter 2015, Aug 3 2015

Monday Aug, 3

Esther in the Court of the Kind

Read Esther 2: 10, 20. What situations might arise where nationality or religious affiliation should be hidden, at least for a time?

Read John 4:1-26, the story of Jesus and the woman at the well. Why did Jesus tell her so openly that He was the Messiah, when among His own people He was not so forthcoming? How does this account, perhaps, help us to understand Mordecai’s words to Esther?

Twice Mordecai charged Esther not to reveal her nationality and family background. This has troubled some commentator, who have questioned the need for this attitude of concealment, especially during a time that the Jewish people were not threatened. Could she not have been a witness about her God to these pagans if she were open about who she was and the God she worshipped? Or could it be argued that to be a Jews lacked credibility at the Persian court and chat revealing her ethnicity would have hindered her in gaining access to the king when she pleaded for her people? However, it appears that even before the threat occurred Mordecai had warned Esther not to reveal her identity. The fact is that the Bible does not tell us the reason for his words to her; however, as we can see with the example of Jesus, one does not have to reveal everything at once in every circumstance. Prudence is a virtue.

Meanwhile, why did Jesus speak so openly at the woman at the well and not to His own people?

“Christ was far more reserved when He spoke to them. That which had been withheld form the Jews, and which the disciples were afterward enjoined to keep secret, was revealed to her. Jesus was that she would make use of her knowledge in bringing other to share His grace,” – Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 190.

Have you ever been in a situation in which you deemed it prudent not to say too much about your faith or your belief? What reason did you have? As you look back now, what might you have done differently, if anything?

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