The Real Jesus
To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, February 19.
rta, a young student missionary, felt a little sad when he arrived on the Raja Ampat Islands in Indonesia. He was supposed to teach school for one year in a village where no Seventh-day Adventists lived. But he was all alone.
“Why am I alone?” he prayed.
But was Arta really alone? No! Almost immediately after he prayed, he realized that Jesus was with him. So, he prayed a new prayer, asking for help to tell the villagers that Jesus is coming soon.
Soon Arta learned that the villagers thought that Jesus had already come. A man who once lived on the island had claimed that he was Jesus. After he had died, the villagers began worshiping him.
Arta knew that the man couldn’t be Jesus. The Bible teaches that the real Jesus warned that some people would falsely claim to be Him. Jesus said, “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘Look, He is there!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. But take heed; see, I have told you all things beforehand” (Mark 13:21-23, NKJV).
On Sunday, two of Arta’s new friends took him to their church. When the pastor asked him to introduce himself, Arta said, “I am the new teacher at the school. I also can help you if you are sick.” It was true. In addition to being a teacher, Arta had learned how to help sick people.
But the pastor was not interested. He wanted to tell Arta about the man who had claimed to be Jesus. “He was a great man,” the pastor said. Arta prayed. He did not know what to do. When the pastor saw that Arta did not praise the man who had claimed to be Jesus, he became angry. Everyone in church became angry.
Arta sadly left the church. He didn’t know how he would be able to tell the villagers about the real Jesus.
Outside, an old woman came up to him. “You said that you can help the sick,” she said. “Can you help my husband?”
In her home, Arta checked her husband’s blood pressure. It was very high. Arta suggested that the man eat healthy foods that lower the blood pressure, and he prayed with the couple. As he left, he heard the old man yell at his wife, “What can that child teach me about health?”
Back at his house, Arta fell onto his knees and prayed. “Lord, I surrender all to You,” I said. “Please help me.”
A few days later, the old woman appeared at Arta’s door. Her husband had been eating healthy foods, and he wanted his blood pressure to be checked again.
Arta was so happy! Someone in the village wanted to talk. Someone in the village needed help.
“Thank you, God,” he prayed silently. “Thank you for answering my prayers.”
The old man’s health improved every day after that. He began to like Arta. Soon he and his wife loved Arta as if he were their own grandson. When the other villagers saw their love, they began to be kind to Arta, too. Arta soon had many friends in the village, and he was able to tell them about the real Jesus.
Arta’s favorite verse in the Bible says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). The real Jesus can help us do everything!