Sabbath School Lesson for July 4-10, 2020


We will get a glimpse of some witnesses for Jesus this week…

  • the healed demoniac–Mark 5 (Sunday)
  • the women at the tomb of Jesus–Mark 16 (Monday)
  • Peter and John after Pentecost–Acts 4 (Tuesday)
  • Paul before King Agrippa–Acts 26 (Wednesday)
  • what makes our personal testimony effective (Thursday)


Storytellers have been loved by all, young and old. Good storytellers draw us into the scene, providing details that make us feel a part of the experience they are sharing.

The witnesses for God, who get our attention, are often those with winsome personalities and storytelling skills. With practice and determination, however, we can all achieve success in being a witness for Jesus.

This week, we will focus on some of the witnesses in the Bible and try to adopt their enthusiasm in reaching others for Christ. Both knowing Jesus on a personal level and then focusing on Him as we share our experience become key ingredients for a testimony that will change hearts and minds.

Key Text: ” ‘For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.’ “ Acts 4:20 NKJV

Peter and John, and all of the disciples who were close to Jesus, could not keep silent when it came to sharing what their Savior had done for them. But, even without actual, physical contact with Jesus, we can let others know how our lives are changed since we invited Jesus into our hearts.

The heartfelt peace, hope, love, and purpose that is added to our life should be reminders of our time with Jesus. The desire to share these things with others comes naturally to those who have been converted. Being able to share these blessings is the hope of every true follower of Christ.

Sunday: Unlikely Witnesses

No one could have thought such a drastic change was possible for the demoniac, who had terrorized so many people in cities around the Sea of Galilee. Even more unlikely would it have been that Jesus would send him out to be a missionary for those same ten cities of the region called Decapolis.

The transformed demoniac was seen by all as healed physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. The change could not have been more obvious. And although this converted man begged to join Jesus and His traveling companions, Jesus knew where he was needed most.

The Master received a greater welcome by the townspeople when He later came to minister in that area. The faithful witnessing of the demoniac, following his miraculous transformation, had prepared many hearts to receive Christ’s teachings.

Bible Verses to Consider:

Mark 5:15-20

  • Why do you think the healed demoniac wanted to go with Jesus in the boat, as they were leaving the area?
  • What exactly did Jesus tell the healed demoniac to share with his friends and neighbors?

Monday: Proclaiming the Risen Christ

Once again, unlikely candidates for being witnesses for Christ were the women who visited the tomb on the morning of His resurrection. Just like the demoniac, these women, including Mary Magdalene, experienced a radical change of heart when they discovered the empty tomb.

Their noticeably sad hearts, mourning over the recent loss of their Master, were transformed quickly when the angel directed them to go and tell the disciples the good news of His resurrection. Although the Gospel accounts differ in some details, we can imagine the feelings of amazement and joy that filled their hearts as they ran to share their experience with their fellow believers.

As we remember the story, we mustn’t forget that even the disciples were skeptical about the witness from these women. We, too, must not expect everyone to believe our testimony, no matter how eloquent it is given.

It is up to the Holy Spirit to change hearts and minds. We are only His instruments and must rely on His power to bring about any spiritual transformation that might result from our witness.

Bible Verses to Consider:

Mark 16:1-10 and Matthew 28:8

  • Why were the women directed to go tell the disciples?

Mark 16:11 and Luke 24:11, 25

  • Why did the disciples have a hard time believing the women?

Tuesday: Changed Lives Make a Difference

The disciples, who had formerly been fishermen, were at times loud, and anything but timid, during their time with the Master Teacher. The brothers, James and John, were even called “sons of thunder”. And their close friend, Peter, was known for his quick, fiery responses to situations as well.

After Pentecost, however, we see their bold personalities channeled in ways that helped get the Christian church on its feet. Their preaching, along with others, resulted in thousands being added to the church every day.

Acts 4 tells how Peter and John were arrested and brought before the high priest’s council for questioning. Their firm, assertive witness was enhanced by the Holy Spirit’s power that had come upon them at Pentecost.

When told to stop preaching in the name of Jesus, they were not hesitant to declare that they must speak the things which they had seen and heard (Acts 4:20).

When we come to know Jesus, we too will feel compelled to tell others of our experience. And that is what witnessing is all about.

Bible Verses to Consider:

Acts 3:2-9 and Acts 4:16

  • What notable miracle had occurred that led to the arrest of these two disciples?
  • Why are these kinds of miracles sometimes used by God, and why are they not always needed to convince us of God’s truth?

Acts 4:20

  • How could this verse be used as a good definition of witnessing?
  • Why is it important to first see and know of God before we tell others about Him?
  • How can we “see” God when He is no longer with us in the flesh?

Wednesday: Sharing Our Experience

In Acts 26, we find one of the most moving testimonies in the Bible. Paul stands before King Agrippa’s court and turns his own defense into an opportunity for all present to hear how Jesus saved him from his troublesome past as a persecutor of God’s people. The king even admits that he was almost persuaded to be a Christian after hearing Paul’s dramatic story of conversion.

We, too, can share our experience with Jesus, even without the thrilling details of a sudden change, such as Paul had. Three points can and should be brought out in our personal testimony:

  1. what Jesus has done for us in the past,
  2. what Jesus is doing for us now,
  3. what Jesus is going to do for us in the future.

Notice, the key word is Jesus. Make sure your emphasis remains on the Savior. The only way to point others to Christ is to hold Him up as the main character of the story, the final destination of our journey, the only one worthy of praise and honor.

Bible Verses to Consider:

Galatians 2:20 and Romans 6:4

  • Why is it important to include more than what Christ has done for us in the past, but also what He’s doing now, and in the future?

Acts 26:27, 28

  • What do you think it was about Paul’s testimony that appealed to Agrippa so much?

Thursday: The Power of a Personal Testimony

Examining the story of Paul before Agrippa is helpful in seeing how powerful our testimony can be. Although their backgrounds and characters couldn’t have been more different, Agrippa was intently considering Paul’s story of conversion and weighing it for how it might affect his life.

Standing before the king in chains, Paul was, nevertheless, kind and appealing in his words and demeanor. Paul’s moving testimony convinced the cynical, sin-hardened Agrippa of Paul’s innocence. If Paul hadn’t previously appealed to Caesar, it might have led to Paul’s release (Acts 26:32).

When we show the same commitment and faith of Paul and other witnesses in the New Testament, our witness for God can be just as successful as theirs. Hearts are opened by words of kindness and encouragement, and are just as quickly closed when we are condemning and inattentive to the needs of our listeners.

Bible Verses to Consider:

Acts 26:2, 3

  • Why do you think Paul was happy to appear before King Agrippa?
  • Why did Paul first mention Agrippa’s expertise in Jewish matters?

Acts 26:28

  • Was Paul’s witness before Agrippa wasted because the king was only “almost persuaded”?

Friday’s Conclusion

Knowing how God has used others increases our desire to share the gospel. When we’ve experienced a real transformation in our lives, we can express that experience with others in a loving, Christ-centered way, too.

The healed demoniac of Decapolis and Mary Magdalene and the women at the tomb were so thrilled and joyful, that they couldn’t keep quiet about what they had witnessed. They showed that it isn’t just those with great preaching ability, like Peter, John, and Paul, who can influence minds and hearts. Any of us can have results from our witnessing efforts, if we are motivated by the same love and joy as these faithful Christian followers.

This is certainly true, as we read in The Desire of Ages, p. 826, “The wonderful love of Christ will melt and subdue hearts, when the mere reiteration of doctrines would accomplish nothing.” ~Ellen G. White

And we also find in The Acts of the Apostles, p. 31, “…the gospel would be effective only as it is proclaimed by hearts made warm and lips made eloquent by a living knowledge of Him who is the way, the truth, and the life.”

Next Week’s Lesson: Seeing People Through Jesus’ Eyes

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