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Who Really is the Faithful and Discreet Slave? And why did Jesus mention "everyone" in the parable?


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Usually when we refer to the "faithful and discreet slave" parable, we refer to the parable of 'the faithful and the unfaithful slave' found in Matthew 24:45-51. But the parable of the "faithful and discreet slave" is also found in Luke, where the expression is changed a bit to "the faithful steward, the discreet one . . . that slave."

(Luke 12:42-48) 42 And the Lord said: “Who really is the faithful steward, the discreet one, whom his master will appoint over his body of attendants to keep giving them their measure of food supplies at the proper time? 43 Happy is that slave if his master on coming finds him doing so! 44 I tell you truthfully, he will appoint him over all his belongings. 45 But if ever that slave should say in his heart, ‘My master delays coming,’ and starts to beat the male and female servants and to eat and drink and get drunk, 46 the master of that slave will come on a day that he is not expecting him and at an hour that he does not know, and he will punish him with the greatest severity and assign him a part with the unfaithful ones. 47 Then that slave who understood the will of his master but did not get ready or do what he asked will be beaten with many strokes. 48 But the one who did not understand and yet did things deserving of strokes will be beaten with few. Indeed, everyone to whom much was given, much will be demanded of him, and the one who was put in charge of much will have more than usual demanded of him.

"That slave" is given an assignment to feed the master's "body of attendants." If he obeys, he gets a promotion, and if he disobeys he is punished. This is the exact same idea as in Matthew 24, except that there are only about 15 words referring what happens if this slave obeys and 150 words in the section about what happens if the slave disobeys. That's about 10 times as much space given to the idea of disobedience versus obedience. In Matthew it's only about 3 times as much space given to the idea of disobedience.

That might explain why the verses in Matthew are referenced so much more often in Watch Tower publications and speech. The Watchtower has, of course, minimized the idea of any potential disobedience:

*** w13 7/15 p. 24 “Who Really Is the Faithful and Discreet Slave?” ***
Was Jesus foretelling that there would be an evil slave class in the last days? No. Granted, some individuals have manifested a spirit similar to that of the evil slave described by Jesus. We would call them apostates, whether they were of the anointed or of the “great crowd.” (Rev. 7:9) But such ones do not make up an evil slave class. Jesus did not say that he would appoint an evil slave. His words here are actually a warning directed to the faithful and discreet slave.
  Notice that Jesus introduces the warning with the words “if ever.” One scholar says that in the Greek text, this passage “for all practical purposes is a hypothetical condition.”

This is an adjustment to the doctrine held just up until the change in 2013. Prior to the quote above (originally presented at the Annual Meeting in 2012) the idea about the evil slave was just the opposite: that the "evil slave" came directly from the ranks of the "faithful slave."

*** w04 3/1 p. 13 pars. 2-4 ‘The Faithful Slave’ Passes the Test! ***
The expression “that evil slave” draws our attention to Jesus’ preceding words about the faithful and discreet slave. Yes, the “evil slave” came from the ranks of the faithful slave. How?
3 Before 1914, many members of the faithful slave class had high hopes of meeting with the Bridegroom in heaven that year, but their hopes were not fulfilled. As a result of this and other developments, many were disappointed and a few became embittered. Some of these turned to ‘beating’ their former brothers verbally and consorting with “confirmed drunkards,” religious groups of Christendom.—Isaiah 28:1-3; 32:6.
4 These former Christians came to be identified as the “evil slave,” and Jesus punished them with “the greatest severity.” How? He rejected them, and they lost out on their heavenly hope. They were not, however, immediately destroyed. They first had to endure a period of weeping and gnashing of teeth in “the darkness outside” the Christian congregation. (Matthew 8:12) Since those early days, a few other anointed individuals have shown a similar bad spirit, identifying themselves with the “evil slave.” Some of the “other sheep” have imitated their unfaithfulness. (John 10:16)

Now, of course, the "faithful slave" is made to be the equivalent of the Governing Body since 1919. (The Governing Body has only existed in its current form since the early to mid-1970's.) For this reason, evidently, it would no longer be appropriate to consider or expect that the evil slave might come from the ranks of the Governing Body. Continuing this teaching would likely create a measure of suspicion and questioning of the Governing Body themselves.

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Usually when we refer to the "faithful and discreet slave" parable, we refer to the parable of 'the faithful and the unfaithful slave' found in Matthew 24:45-51. But the parable of the "faithful and discreet slave" is also found in Luke, where the expression is changed a bit to "the faithful steward, the discreet one . . . that slave." (Luke 12:42-48) 42 And the Lord said: “Who really is the faithful steward, the discreet one, whom his master will appoint over his body of attendants to keep

The small problem with this statement is easy to detect, and I'm sure you saw it, too. It appears to claim that if "some" direction was given that was not in harmony with God's word, then "all of Jehovah's Witnesses" would notice. This has never, ever been true! Every time "some" change is made to a doctrine (and there have been literally hundreds of such changes) then the GB made this change because it was important to be in more complete harmony with God's word. In other words, if the cha

I would say, those who you call an "evil Save" seem to be doing a pretty good job of providing spiritual food. The WT - Announcing Jehovah's Kingdom, is at no. 1 for the most widely distributed magazine in the world, the Awake is at no. 2, and JW.org is at no.1 for the most translated website in the world. All this achieved through volunteer work. And just in case you have some comments about Satan being in charge of that, then be aware that the Bible is at no.1 for the most widely distributed b

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3 minutes ago, JW Insider said:

Indeed, everyone to whom much was given, much will be demanded of him, and the one who was put in charge of much will have more than usual demanded of him.

Something very interesting about the parable is the reference to the term "everyone," here. It's obvious that Jesus often used illustrations (parables, allegories, and analogies) in which a single person or small group of persons actually represented a larger group, sometimes everyone, or at least all Christians. But what was usually important in the illustrations was not the actual specific activity that the person or persons engaged in, but their attitude and response toward a particular situation. Usually Jesus was pointing out an attitude that should be true of all Christians, such as patience, loyalty, humility, persistence in prayer, watchfulness, mercy, faithfulness,forgiveness, etc.

  1. For example, Jesus gave a parable of a tax collector and Pharisee in Luke 9:10-14. He wasn't making a prophecy that there would someday exist a "tax collector class" of Christians that would begin existing in 1919, for example. He wasn't saying that Christians should follow the example of tax collectors either. The importance of the illustration is that the tax collector was blessed for being humble and recognizing how unworthy he was, as opposed to the Pharisee who claimed to be different and more worthy than the tax collector.
  2. Another example was when Jesus gave a parable comparing the response of three different men to a robbery victim who was injured and left on the side of the road. Jesus was not prophesying that there would be a Samaritan class, and a Levite class, or an innkeeper class, or that the road had a certain meaning. (The WTS taught this for many years, but has changed that teaching.) The important thing was how a proper and generous response to someone in need showed who had really made himself "a neighbor" of the victim.
    • Obviously, even though Jesus gave this "moral of the story" to one particular person, the meaning is true for all, and especially for Christians: (Luke 10:36, 37) 36 Who of these three seems to you to have made himself neighbor to the man who fell victim to the robbers?” 37 He said: “The one who acted mercifully toward him.” Jesus then said to him: “Go and do the same yourself.
    • ”Note, too, that the illustration was given to answer the question: (Luke 10:29) “Who really is my neighbor?” which reminds us of "Who really is a faithful and discreet slave? and "Who is an unfaithful servant?" Other illustrations were used in order to answer similar questions, such as: “Who really is greatest in the Kingdom of the heavens?” and the answer was that it was "whoever" became like a small child in terms of their humility. "Therefore, whoever will humble himself like this young child is the one who is the greatest in the Kingdom of the heavens." (Matthew 18:1-6)
  3. Another example is the parable about a slave who defrauded his master when he knew he was about to be fired. (Luke 16:1-13) The illustration was given because it gave Jesus' followers an interesting insight into their own attitude toward money and "unrighteous riches," and Jesus therefore created an analogy about how Christians should put a different kind of value on riches than what the world does. Jesus was not prophesying that there should be a "defrauding" class of Christians that would appear sometime around 1919, and Jesus, again, was surely not promoting that Christians should defraud their work masters.
    • Note that this was another illustration about a "discreet slave:" (Luke 16:8) "And his master commended the steward, though unrighteous, because he acted discreetly." [New World Translation, footnote];
  4. Many more possible examples exist, but one of the most famous is the parable about the difference between the way two sons manage their father's inheritance. One son is loyal and continues to work in the father's fields. The other son wastes the money away in a life of debauchery and shame. (Luke 15:11-32) When the debauched and destitute son returns to the father, he is celebrated, much to the consternation of the loyal and stable son. Again, this is not a prophecy about two different classes of Christians that would make their first appearances between 1919 and 1935. (The Watchtower taught for many years that this was the case, but has recently changed that teaching.) Jesus is not teaching us that it is better to return from a life a debauchery than to remain loyal and stable in the master's service. These were merely situations appropriate, not because of the specific activities described, but because of the attitudes and responses to those situations.

So this could makes us think again about the parable of the faithful and unfaithful slaves in Matthew 24 and Luke 12. There is no specific Bible basis for saying that this was a prophecy about a person or a group or groups of people who would make their first appearance around 1919. Jesus was not saying that all Christians would serve food to his body of attendants. Nor is there anything in the parable that tells us that the food here refers to spiritual food. Just like the parable of the Samaritan, there is no Bible basis for saying that the money the Samaritan gave to the innkeeper had some spiritual meaning. The important point is the appropriate attitude. We are "stewards" of Christ and Christianity and the important thing in a steward is to be found faithful.

(1 Corinthians 4:2) 2 Besides, in this case, what is looked for in stewards is for a man to be found faithful.

(1 Peter 4:10) 10 To the extent that each one has received a gift, use it in ministering to one another as fine stewards of God’s undeserved kindness that is expressed in various ways.


In past discussions, the idea has been brought up that there is nothing wrong with identifying persons who will use their particular gifts or ministries to take the lead and to teach, and this is still appropriate in congregations of any size, including the "world-wide congregation" as long as that lead is not intended as a way of creating a kind of tribunal or to create governors of our faith. For practical reasons, to keep peace in a congregation, there is always a need for some to take the lead and some to serve as shepherds. In a teaching ministry such as we strive for among Jehovah's Witnesses, we would expect some to focus on making sure that we can speak in agreement by looking closely at our teaching. 

That doesn't change the fact that Jesus was giving illustrations in Matthew 24 for all Christians to be on the watch, and for all Christians to watch their attitude as servants who have been given a serious responsibility.

All of us should ask the same question that Peter asked:

(Luke 12:41-48) 41 Then Peter said: “Lord, are you telling this illustration just to us or also to everyone?” 42 And the Lord said: “Who really is the faithful steward, the discreet one, whom his master will appoint over his body of attendants to keep giving them their measure of food supplies at the proper time? . . .  Indeed, everyone to whom much was given, much will be demanded of him, and the one who was put in charge of much will have more than usual demanded of him.

 

 

 

 

 

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On 12/25/2016 at 0:32 PM, JW Insider said:

Now, of course, the "faithful slave" is made to be the equivalent of the Governing Body since 1919. (The Governing Body has only existed in its current form since the early to mid-1970's.) For this reason, evidently, it would no longer be appropriate to consider or expect that the evil slave might come from the ranks of the Governing Body. Continuing this teaching would likely create a measure of suspicion and questioning of the Governing Body themselves.

I can understand why we thought that the evil slave came from the ranks of the faithful slave. At first glance the scripture does suggest that this could happen, so then when the schism came after Russell’s  death, that became a logical conclusion. And then with the apostasy in the early 80’s at Bethel, the scripture could be applicable again.  

I can also get the new understanding as per WT 2013. In fact, in my mind, it places even more responsibility on the GB/Slave asHis words here are actually a warning directed to the faithful and discreet slave”. For that reason I do not feel this “new” teaching is trying to somehow avoid the potential for suspicion or questioning the GB. In fact it is saying that theoretically it is possible, albeit not realistic. I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but if the whole of the GB/slave became apostate, that would defeat the purpose of the role Jesus assigned the GB/slave in the first place. Although of course if that did happen, Jesus would find a way around that. But why complicate things, instead, going back to what I mentioned earlier, it is a grave warning to the GB/Slave. I think that makes more sense.

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5 hours ago, JW Insider said:

the idea has been brought up that there is nothing wrong with identifying persons who will use their particular gifts or ministries to take the lead and to teach, and this is still appropriate in congregations of any size, including the "world-wide congregation" as long as that lead is not intended as a way of creating a kind of tribunal or to create governors of our faith. For practical reasons, to keep peace in a congregation, there is always a need for some to take the lead and some to serve as shepherds. In a teaching ministry such as we strive for among Jehovah's Witnesses, we would expect some to focus on making sure that we can speak in agreement by looking closely at our teaching. 

So it would seem logical that there should be a "ruling" body at the center. Do you consider "guardians of the doctrine" (as you know, a quote from G. Jackson) the same as "governors of our faith"?

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15 hours ago, Anna said:

So it would seem logical that there should be a "ruling" body at the center. Do you consider "guardians of the doctrine" (as you know, a quote from G. Jackson) the same as "governors of our faith"?

Biblically, there can be no such thing as a "Governing Body" of the Christian congregation itself.The term "Governing Body" is a traditional, secular term that derives from legal corporations, just like the terms "board of directors," "proxy voting," "officers," "shareholders." The position corresponding to that kind of "head" of the congregation is already defined in the Bible as Jesus Christ himself, shared with no one else. Joseph Rutherford, a lawyer, was very fond of replacing religious terms with secular terms, and he called each congregation a "company" and called Jesus the "Chief Executive Officer." These are only two of at least a dozen such terms he used.

(Galatians 3:23-25) 23 However, before the faith arrived, we were being guarded under law, being handed over into custody, looking to the faith that was about to be revealed. 24 So the Law became our guardian leading to Christ, so that we might be declared righteous through faith. 25 But now that the faith has arrived, we are no longer under a guardian.

Paul used the first two chapters of Galatians to show the dangers of looking to a group of well-respected men as a "governing body" and he explains clearly why he rejected the concept. Paul was also consistent elsewhere, of course, on this topic. I think Paul's longest dissertation (outside Galatians) against a human "governing body" was in 1 Corinthians. I think it is also the perfect backdrop for how we should understand the verses in Hebrews that are often made use of to defend the idea of a governing body: (Hebrews 13:7) "Remember those who are taking the lead among you, who have spoken the word of God to you, and as you contemplate how their conduct turns out, imitate their faith."

The passage is long, so I'll just highlight a few of the verses here that seem relevant:

(1 Corinthians 2:15-4:17) 15 However, the spiritual man examines all things, but he himself is not examined by any man. 16 For “who has come to know the mind of Jehovah, so that he may instruct him?” But we do have the mind of Christ. . . . 3 for you are still fleshly. . . .  4 For when one says, “I belong to Paul,” but another says, “I to A·polʹlos,” are you not acting like mere men? 5 What, then, is A·polʹlos? Yes, what is Paul? Ministers through whom you became believers, just as the Lord granted each one. 6 I planted, A·polʹlos watered, but God kept making it grow, 7 so that neither is the one who plants anything nor is the one who waters, but God who makes it grow. . . .  You are God’s field under cultivation, God’s building. , , , But let each one keep watching how he is building on it. 11 For no one can lay any other foundation than what is laid, which is Jesus Christ. . . . 16 Do you not know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that the spirit of God dwells in you? . . . 20 And again: “Jehovah knows that the reasonings of the wise men are futile.” 21 So let no one boast in men; for all things belong to you, 22 whether Paul or A·polʹlos or Ceʹphas or the world or life or death or things now here or things to come, all things belong to you; 23 in turn you belong to Christ; Christ, in turn, belongs to God. 4 A man should regard us as attendants of Christ and stewards of God’s sacred secrets. 2 In this regard, what is expected of stewards is that they be found faithful. 3 Now to me it is of very little importance to be examined by you or by a human tribunal. In fact, I do not even examine myself. 4 For I am not conscious of anything against myself. But by this I am not proved righteous; the one who examines me is Jehovah. 5 Therefore, do not judge anything before the due time, until the Lord comes. He will bring the secret things of darkness to light and make known the intentions of the hearts, and then each one will receive his praise from God. 6 Now, brothers, these things I have applied to myself and A·polʹlos for your good, that through us you may learn the rule: “Do not go beyond the things that are written,” so that you may not be puffed up with pride, favoring one against the other. 7 For who makes you different from another? Indeed, what do you have that you did not receive? If, in fact, you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not receive it? 8 Are you already satisfied? Are you already rich? Have you begun ruling as kings without us? I really wish that you had begun ruling as kings, so that we also might rule with you as kings. 9 For it seems to me that God has put us the apostles last on exhibition as men condemned to death, because we have become a theatrical spectacle to the world, and to angels and to men. . . . 14 I am writing these things, not to put you to shame, but to admonish you as my beloved children. 15 For though you may have 10,000 guardians [tutors] in Christ, you certainly do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus, I have become your father through the good news. 16 I urge you, therefore, become imitators of me. 17 That is why I am sending Timothy to you, because he is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord. He will remind you of my methods [ways] in connection with Christ Jesus, just as I am teaching everywhere in every congregation.

There is always going to be a strong temptation to accept well-known leaders as if they held the position of apostles. The so-called "superfine apostles" that the Corinthians looked to as leaders may have included the Jerusalem apostles, but also men like Apollos who might have been better speakers in person, whereas Paul may have been a better writer, for example. (See 2 Corinthians.) But the foundation of apostles has also already been completed:

(1 Corinthians 12:28-31) 28 And God has assigned the respective ones in the congregation: first, apostles; second, prophets; third, teachers; then powerful works; then gifts of healings; helpful services; abilities to direct; different tongues. 29 Not all are apostles, are they? Not all are prophets, are they? Not all are teachers, are they? Not all perform powerful works, do they? 30 Not all have gifts of healings, do they? Not all speak in tongues, do they? Not all are interpreters, are they? 31 But keep striving for the greater gifts. And yet I will show you a surpassing way.

"Guardians of the doctrine" is most definitely intended as a reference to the work of the apostles, "The Twelve," based on the time that Jesus asked them to stay in Jerusalem so that they, all together, would receive the benefit of the outpouring of "holy spirit." Brother Jackson even referenced a portion of Acts that was part of this narrative:

(Acts 1:4) 4 While he was meeting with them, he ordered them: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but keep waiting for what the Father has promised,. . .

(Acts 6:2-4) 2 So the Twelve called the multitude of the disciples together and said: “It is not right for us to leave the word of God to distribute food to tables. 3 So, brothers, select for yourselves seven reputable men from among you, full of spirit and wisdom, that we may appoint them over this necessary matter; 4 but we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”

I do not consider the Governing Body to be governors of our faith. According to Paul, all of us need to take on the responsibility as guardians of doctrine (teachings). (The reference to 10,000 guardians in 1 Corinthinans is interesting)  I do respect our Governing Body as experienced leaders in practical matters related to running the needs of an organization. But following the leaders in our congregation(s) is not primarily about a set of doctrines, which are already set from the time of the apostles themselves. Their leadership is about activities in which they lead. Congregational leadership is more about shepherding. Although it must often include corrections to doctrinal deviation, and explaining basic teachings for those who are not mature enough to understand, shepherding is mostly about the love and care and personal help and guidance provided to all of us as needed.

But we are no longer under a separate human guardian or guardians with respect to rules, doctrines and teachings. The Jewish religious leaders held that "office" for many years:

(Romans 3:1-4)  What, then, is the advantage of the Jew, . . .  First of all, that they were entrusted with the sacred pronouncements of God. . . .  But let God be found true, even if every man be found a liar,. . .

For Christians, the "apostles" guarded those teachings. At this point we have no such guardian of our teaching except the words themselves approved from the era of the apostles. At this point, we do not go beyond the things written. This is summed up well in what 2 Peter says about Paul's writings:

(2 Peter 3:15-18) 15 Furthermore, consider the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote you according to the wisdom given him, 16 speaking about these things as he does in all his letters. However, some things in them are hard to understand, and these things the ignorant and unstable are twisting, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17 You, therefore, beloved ones, having this advance knowledge, be on your guard so that you may not be led astray with them by the error of the lawless people and fall from your own steadfastness. 18 No, but go on growing in the undeserved kindness and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.. . .

The portion of 1 Corinthians was already quoted that relates human leadership of this sort to "going beyond the things written."

(1 Corinthians 4:6) 6 Now, brothers, these things I have applied to myself and A·polʹlos for your good, that through us you may learn the rule: “Do not go beyond the things that are written,” so that you may not be puffed up with pride, favoring one against the other. . .

A good example to show the need for taking personal responsibility with respect to following and guarding the teaching of the apostles already given is what was said to a young man named Timothy.

(1 Timothy 4:16) 16 Pay constant attention to yourself and to your teaching. . . .

(2 Timothy 1:12-14) . . .. 13 Keep holding to the standard of wholesome words that you heard from me with the faith and love that result from union with Christ Jesus. 14 Guard this fine trust by means of the holy spirit, which is dwelling in us.

Also Paul warned that we even would have needed to be watchful about putting too much trust in humans, even if they are angels from heaven or even the living apostles themselves!  This is what Paul said to the Galatians who put too much trust in the apostles as guardians of doctrines, before the full results of their conduct had been proven:

(Galatians 6:4-6) 4 But let each one examine his own actions, and then he will have cause for rejoicing in regard to himself alone, and not in comparison with the other person. 5 For each one will carry his own load. 6 Moreover, let anyone who is being taught the word share in all good things with the one who gives such teaching.

(Galatians 1:8) 8 However, even if we or an angel out of heaven were to declare to you as good news something beyond the good news we declared to you, let him be accursed.

(Galatians 2:6-12) 6 But regarding those who seemed to be important—whatever they were makes no difference to me, for God does not go by a man’s outward appearance—those highly regarded men imparted nothing new to me. 7 On the contrary,. . .  when they recognized the undeserved kindness that was given me, James and Ceʹphas and John, the ones who seemed to be pillars, gave Barʹna·bas and me the right hand of fellowship, so that we should go to the nations but they to those who are circumcised. 10 They asked only that we keep the poor in mind, and this I have also earnestly endeavored to do. 11 However, when Ceʹphas came to Antioch, I resisted him face-to-face, because he was clearly in the wrong. 12 For before certain men from James arrived, he used to eat with people of the nations; but when they arrived, he stopped doing this and separated himself, fearing those of the circumcised class.

That is certainly a good reminder about the limitations in following those who take the lead. If we had lived at the time of the apostles we would have been personally responsible not to follow their lead in all things. We are responsible to make sure of all things, to make sure we have contemplated how their conduct turns out first:

(Hebrews 13:7) "Remember those who are taking the lead among you, who have spoken the word of God to you, and as you contemplate how their conduct turns out, imitate their faith."

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16 hours ago, Anna said:

For that reason I do not feel this “new” teaching is trying to somehow avoid the potential for suspicion or questioning the GB.

I can't see it any other way. Jesus said that a master would appoint a steward to keep his household running smoothly even when the master is away.

In context, we naturally assume that Jesus is referring to the fact that Christians are given a responsibility in an assignment and should remain obedient and watchful in their assignment. As JW's most of us also assume that the Christians who are given this responsibility are only a small group of people who fulfill this responsibility by serving spiritual food to the entire group of Christians earthwide.

That's a possibility. But we take it a bit further and say that it was a prophecy that begins in 1919.

That's where the problem of avoiding the potential for suspicion comes in. Jesus is supposed to be prophesying that the Governing Body of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society in 1919 would begin serving up "food at the proper time" to the entire household of faith. (In the past decade or two, this Governing Body is no longer directly associated, legally, with the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, but with the "Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses.")

But was Jesus predicting only that this slave would remain faithful? The Watchtower indicates that this is so by claiming in the Watchtower, as quoted in the original post: "Notice that Jesus introduces the warning with the words “if ever.” One scholar says that in the Greek text, this passage “for all practical purposes is a hypothetical condition.”

It's a footnote on page 71 of "New English Translation - Novum Testamentum Graece" which is the best source of the Nestle-Aland Greek text with interlinear text and notes edited by Michael H. Burer, W. Hall Harris III and Daniel B. Wallace. The note says:

"In the Greek text this is a third class condition that for all practical purposes is a hypothetical condition (note the translation of the following verb "should say"). Cf. CEV, NCV "But suppose."

In actuality, even though it is hypothetical, it has nothing to do with whether it will happen or not. The term "if" doesn't even need to be translated this way. The same word is used in the Greek Scriptures when it has nothing to do with whether the option or event will happen. In fact, on page 91 of the same translation, Mark 1:40,41 says: "Now a leper came to him and fell to his knees, asking for help. 'If you are willing, you can make me clean," he said. Moved with compassion Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him saying, "I am willing. Be clean!" The term if is also noted to be in the third class condition according to the similar footnote on this verse.

Then again, the same term "if" is not always considered important to translate in dozens of its appearances in the Greek Scriptures. And the idea of "if" can also be added even where it doesn't appear specifically in Greek. Note that the NWT adds it in Luke 12 to the positive case where it's the "faithful slave" being referred to.

(Luke 12:43) Happy is that slave if his master on coming finds him doing so!

In fact, the "if" idea is obvious in the conclusion of other illustrations that Jesus gave, where it is clear that Jesus expects more people to be without faith, than people with faith:

(Luke 18:8) . . .Nevertheless, when the Son of man arrives, will he really find this faith on the earth?”


So if there is a prophecy here about an appointed slave being faithful, and Jesus gives several outcomes in the event that the slave is not faithful, then why would we not consider it true that Jesus had just prophesied about several outcomes for this appointed steward? Why would Jesus have gone to the trouble of describing various ways in which the servant could prove unfaithful?

We would therefore be expecting that some of the people who either claimed to be a part of this group, or who we have determined to be a part of this group would prove unfaithful. And because of Jesus' words, we might even expect that more would be unfaithful than would be faithful. Therefore, we would want to be watching closely to make sure that we were not found guilty ourselves by our lack of watchfulness in this regard.

 

I think I probably already made clear that, for me, the illustration is not about a special group who identify themselves as different from all other Christians, and therefore set themselves up as "governors" or "lords" over other Christians, but it must refer to the humble, discreet, and faithful and watchful and patient attitude of all Christians as we each are in subjection to each other.

(Ephesians 5:21-25) 21 Be in subjection to one another in fear of Christ. . . .  just as the Christ is head of the congregation, he being a savior of this body. 24 In fact, as the congregation is in subjection to the Christ, . . .  just as the Christ also loved the congregation and gave himself up for it,

(Ephesians 6:5-7) 5 Slaves, be obedient to your human masters, with fear and trembling in the sincerity of your hearts, as to the Christ, 6 not only when being watched, just to please men, but as Christ’s slaves doing the will of God whole-souled. 7 Slave with a good attitude, as to Jehovah and not to men,

When Paul says that he has a "stewardship" in the "household" of God, he uses the term "diakonos"

(Colossians 1:25) 25 I became a minister of this congregation in accord with the stewardship from God that was given to me in your behalf to preach the word of God fully,

But this is the same term that refers to all of us. Note Matthew 20:26, similar to the verse already quoted by Witness, and John 12. Obviously there are dozens more verses, too, that use the same term for "minister" and "servant."

(Matthew 20:25-27) 25 But Jesus called them to him and said: “You know that the rulers of the nations lord it over them and the great men wield authority over them. 26 This must not be the way among you; but whoever wants to become great among you must be your minister [steward], diakonos], 27 and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave.

(John 12:26) 26 If anyone would minister to me, let him follow me, and where I am, there my minister [steward, diakonos] will be also. If anyone would minister to me, the Father will honor him.

So the pillar and support of the truth for the congregation is not found in a separate "slave class" or a body of teachings, but is the entire household serving each other.

(1 Timothy 3:14, 15) 14 I am writing you these things, though I am hoping to come to you shortly, 15 but in case I am delayed, so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in God’s household, which is the congregation of the living God, a pillar and support of the truth.

This must be why, in Paul's longer dissertation against the idea of a "Governing Body" in Jerusalem, found in the first two chapters of Galations, he could say that James, Peter and John "seemed to be pillars" (2:9):

(Galatians 1:10) 10 Is it, in fact, men I am now trying to persuade or God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still pleasing men, I would not be Christ’s slave.

 

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13 hours ago, JW Insider said:

We would therefore be expecting that some of the people who either claimed to be a part of this group, or who we have determined to be a part of this group would prove unfaithful. And because of Jesus' words, we might even expect that more would be unfaithful than would be faithful. Therefore, we would want to be watching closely to make sure that we were not found guilty ourselves by our lack of watchfulness in this regard.

 

I understand what you are saying. However, in practice what does that mean? What is it ultimately that will decide whether we will be granted entry into the paradise? Or conversely, what is it that would make us not qualify? When we really get down to the grass roots, answer those questions, isolate only what is really relevant, then we can get a clearer picture of what really matters with regard to what the GB/Slave is doing or not doing. My thoughts :)

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15 hours ago, JW Insider said:

(Hebrews 13:7) "Remember those who are taking the lead among you, who have spoken the word of God to you, and as you contemplate how their conduct turns out, imitate their faith.

Exactly. I don't know which Assembly or Convention this was at, but I am sure it was the one with the faith theme, the brother (may have been one of the GB) who gave one of the talks highlighted this scripture and applied it to the elders and the GB. Any mature Christian will know that the GB are just like any one of us.

The unfortunate problem is, that because of the nature of the situation that there is a handful of "them" and millions of "us" it becomes inevitable that some kind of "celebrity" status is awarded to them which is not really deliberate, but happens as a result of this difference in number. To illustrate. Br. Lett, as we know a very friendly amicable chap, loves to have his picture taken with the friends. (There are other members of the GB who don't like their pictures taken). At our last assembly Br. Lett was present as our visiting speaker. Funnily I think it was the imitate their faith one. In any case, after the program there was a long queue of brothers and sisters waiting to have their pictures taken with him and his wife. One of my friends was in the queue and I jokingly asserted she was being a creature worshiper. She laughed. We both knew I didn't mean it. And we both knew that in practice, how else could this be done? There is no other way. They ARE prominent whether they strive to be so or not. They are no longer anonymous to the majority like they used to be. The question is, is this necessarily wrong? Not if you keep in mind the scripture you quoted. If everyone keeps that scripture in mind then there should be no problem at all.

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“ Indeed, everyone to whom much was given, much will be demanded of him, and the one who was put in charge of much will have more than usual demanded of him.”

He is speaking of the Chosen ones.  “Everyone” concerns those who are part of his Body, God’s Temple – the anointed ones.   

“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord;  and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,  to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.  All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.” 1 Cor 12:4-11

(1 Corinthians 4:6) 6 Now, brothers, these things I have applied to myself and A·polʹlos for your good, that through us you may learn the rule: “Do not go beyond the things that are written,” so that you may not be puffed up with pride, favoring one against the other. . .

Certainly, the characteristic of an “evil slave” is one who reacts to “My Master is delaying” by going ahead of Christ and appointing a time of his arrival, which the leaders in the organization have.  Wouldn’t setting such a date be going beyond the things that are written, an act of prideful presumptuousness?

The progression that follows, is dominance over of all anointed ones, the obligation to accept this time table derived from men and not scripture. 

(Galatians 2:6-12) However, when Ceʹphas came to Antioch, I resisted him face-to-face, because he was clearly in the wrong.  

If any anointed one stands “face-to-face” with theGoverning Body through the Body of Elders (a conterfeit of the Body of Christ),  over doctrine –  “things that go beyond what is written”, they are ousted by disfellowshipping.  This power play is nothing new.

I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church.  3 John 9,10

The Governing Body does not acknowledge the spiritual authority of the anointed ones; instead they ‘favor’ themselves over all of their spiritual brothers.  How can this be excused? 

For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.  Eph 5:29,30

You have many good points, JW Insider, I just wish you could see the whole picture.

The evil slave who “beats his fellow slaves” – brothers in Christ – does so by playing the dominant role, not loving their own “members” in Christ, (1 Cor 12:26) and through arrogance, act as a “Diotrephes”.   Paul was the epitome of a loving “steward” over God’s household, his anointed brothers. The Governing Body is the epitome of dominance and pride, without love for those within God’s household, and all done by wearing a smile.

Again, this household is the Body of Christ; which are the anointed ones.

 He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God's fellow workers. You are God's field, God's building. 1 Cor 3:8,9

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them”. Eph 2:10

“According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 1 Cor 3:10

“built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,  in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.”

“Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of GodGod will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.”  1 Cor 3:16,17

The Temple (priests, 1 Pet 2:5,9) is defiled through blasphemous teachings of a wicked slave, and through obedience to those NOT part of this Temple, the Body of Elders.

“I know your works, your labor, and your endurance, and that you cannot tolerate evil. You have tested those who call themselves apostles (the elders) and are not, and you have found them to be liars.” Rev 2:2

The appearance of the wicked slave during the time of the end is the tribulating resistance that each member of the Body of Christ faces before being sealed. 

Someone put it so succinctly:

They hid their evil so well, the rank and file for the most part were unaware. WT indoctrinated everyone so completely that they are vehemently defended by WT apologist, even concerning the pedophile cases. Everyone hates that behavior but they make excuses for the GB. What's so amazingly sad is the treatment of the other anointed, instigated by the GB, is not known or ignored by the rank and file. They believe lies told by GB that other anointed are not important, when sealing of the full number of anointed means salvation for mankind.

 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope  that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.  For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.

This situation under an evil slave is part of the labor pains Jesus predicted. Matt 24:8

Notice Matt 24:9 on:

 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, (face-to-face confrontation over doctrine leading to “putting out of the church”) John 16:2

Remembering the symbolism of Revelation (Rev 1:1 in Greek)– Rev 13:15,10;12:11

 “and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake.”

Who’s name?  Jesus Christ.  This is exactly why I was personally disfellowshipped; that, and rejecting an organization as salvation when this comes from God through Christ and the sealed Body of Christ.     

“And then many will fall away (leaving their covenant in Christ)and betray one another and hate one another.”

Luke 12:49-53; Matt 10;21-23

“And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. “

Along with the “many” over time are the last ones, Satan’s most deceitful ploy before the Kingdom arrives.  Rev 19:20

“And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.” 

Can you see that the GB and elder body shepherd without love through necessary obedience to men?  I believe you do.  The evil slave dominates his brothers in Christ; lawlessness is against Christ’s law of love toward his brothers, and he rejects God’s own laws necessary to guide God’s Chosen priesthood, through the formation of an elder body, a false priesthood, – the “man of lawlessness” that “sits in the Temple of God”.   2 Thess 2:4; Jer 23:11 (Mal 2:7)

 “But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” (Rom 6:11; Eph 2:1,5; Col 3:1; Rev 11:11)

The path of losing all to follow Christ, including family and friends, and being marked as “dead” by the congregation, proves their faithfulness solely to Christ and the Father, and can lead to their sealing in Christ, but only outside of the organization, removing its ‘mark’.  Rev 13:16-18; Heb 13:12,13

Christ said, “All these are the beginning of birth pains.” Leading to what? The Kingdom of God, which only arrives when the last of the Bride is sealed.   Revelation identifies the “woman”/New Covenant promise ready to be “devoured” by Satan (Rev 12:4; Jer 4:31)  When an anointed one loyally obeys someone (GB) other than their Master, who’s impressing them to do so? The Governing Body.  By giving into this fear, allowing this to happen, the individual is “devoured” through their obedience to the wrong Master.  Ask yourself then, who is Satan’s puppet?  

 It is a self assigned “faithful and discreet slave”.  Rev 13:15 

“Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.”  Isa 5:21

I have heard of no other anointed one who will profess to this title, no other anointed one dares call himself such until Christ arrives. (Matt 25:19-30) Yet, the question is asked,

 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season?

This gives the indication that there could very well be two outcomes. An evil slave (another counterfeit of Satan acting as a “faithful slave”) and a true faithful and wise servant providing such food in due season, the season that signifies the Marriage Feast, prompted by the “wise virgins” who trim their lamps, and the invitation given to all who leave the “city”. Matt 25:1-13; Luke 14:15-23

If you peruse the forums, you will notice the large outflow of those leaving the organization. This alone is a sign of the Marriage Feast, but what each heart chooses upon leaving will further determine his choice of “roads” – the narrow one leading to Christ, or the broad and spacious one.

God’s Kingdom will arrive only when each anointed heart is sealed to the promise they have chosen, and those hearts who declare which teacher they choose also to follow; those teaching life in Christ, or death in deception and its originator.  By that time, all “144,000”, (symbolic or literal) will be sealed.

Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers  not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us , to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.

The Watchtower has made this declaration. (“My Master is delaying”)

Dan 7:25 - He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, (1 Cor 4:6)
Shall persecute the saints of the Most High, (Matt 24:
And shall intend to change times and law. (2 Thess 2:2)
Then the saints shall be given into his hand For a time and times and half a time.

The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders,  and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.  Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 2 Thess 2:9,10

“…so that they may believe what is false.”  Already we see the warnings verified of men setting their own time period prompted by believing the Master is delayed, which the apostles warned not to be “shaken in mind or alarmed” by.   This is only part of the delusion, the entirety is an organizational “image”, an icon known as earthly Zion, and known as the truth. 

“And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness”.  2 Thess 2:11

This is what the last “living stones” of the Temple of God face!  It has nothing to do with the United Nations, or earthly governments or other religious organizations. There is no delusion there for God’s Chosen ones.  Everyone in the organization sees Satan’s activities elsewhere, but not right among them.  Always in scriptures God’s own priests and prophets are at fault, leading themselves and others to their death through sin and idolatry.  Jer 14:14; Jer 23:32

 

JW Insider, do you realize if your own thoughts were relayed to the elder body concerning the Governing Body that you also would be disfellowshipped?  If you keep your comments anonymous, you are “safe”, but if you truly voiced them among those you love, you could “lose your life” as you know it.  The symbolic meaning of this can be seen in Matt 10:38,39

 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.  Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.  Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” 

Satan’s Short Period of Time -

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4 hours ago, Witness said:

This gives the indication that there could very well be two outcomes. An evil slave (another counterfeit of Satan acting as a “faithful slave”) and a true faithful and wise servant providing such food in due season, the season that signifies the Marriage Feast, prompted by the “wise virgins” who trim their lamps, and the invitation given to all who leave the “city”. Matt 25:1-13; Luke 14:15-23

If you peruse the forums, you will notice the large outflow of those leaving the organization. This alone is a sign of the Marriage Feast, but what each heart chooses upon leaving will further determine his choice of “roads” – the narrow one leading to Christ, or the broad and spacious one.

I would say, those who you call an "evil Save" seem to be doing a pretty good job of providing spiritual food. The WT - Announcing Jehovah's Kingdom, is at no. 1 for the most widely distributed magazine in the world, the Awake is at no. 2, and JW.org is at no.1 for the most translated website in the world. All this achieved through volunteer work. And just in case you have some comments about Satan being in charge of that, then be aware that the Bible is at no.1 for the most widely distributed book in the world. Kind of cool, the Bible at no.1, a magazine announcing God's Kingdom at no. 1, and a website announcing God's Kingdom in most languages at no.1.

As for people leaving the organization and then choosing the right road is kind of complicated don't you think? I would have though that people leaving Babylon the Great would be sufficient. Or are there multiple evil slaves?

 

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    • folens  »  Eric Ouellet

      Hello Eric merci pour ce document. Bonne soirée Michel
      Louis.mp4
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    • Eric Ouellet

      Efforçons nous d’être humble pour plaire à Jéhovah le Dieu unique.
       
      « Recherchez Jéhovah, vous tous, humbles de la terre [...]. Recherchez l’humilité » (SOPH. 2:3).

      LA Bible dit que Moïse « était de beaucoup le plus humble de tous les hommes vivant sur terre » (Nomb. 12:3). Cela signifie-t-il qu’il était faible, hésitant et craintif face à l’opposition ? C’est ainsi que certains décriraient une personne humble. Mais c’est loin d’être exact. Moïse était fort, résolu et courageux. Avec l’aide de Jéhovah, il a affronté le puissant dirigeant de l’Égypte, a mené peut-être des milliers de personnes à travers un désert et a aidé la nation d’Israël à vaincre ses ennemis.
      Même si nous n’avons pas à surmonter les mêmes défis que Moïse, s'est peut être difficile de rester humbles face à certaines personnes ou dans des situations du quotidien. Cependant, nous avons une excellente raison de développer cette qualité : Jéhovah promet que « les humbles posséderont la terre » (Ps. 37:11). Dirais-tu que tu es une personne humble ? Et les autres, diraient-ils cela de nous même  ? Avant de pouvoir répondre à ces questions importantes, il nous faut savoir ce que signifie être humble.
      QU’EST-CE QUE L’HUMILITÉ ?
      On peut comparer l’humilité à un beau tableau. En quel sens ? Pour peindre un tableau, un artiste associe plusieurs belles couleurs. Pareillement, pour être humbles, nous devons associer plusieurs belles qualités. Citons en particulier l’obéissance, la douceur et le courage. Pourquoi avons-nous besoin de ces qualités pour plaire à Jéhovah ?
       Seuls ceux qui sont humbles acceptent d’obéir à Dieu. Et Dieu veut entre autres que nous soyons doux (Mat. 5:5 ; Gal. 5:23). Quand nous lui obéissons, nous rendons Satan furieux. C’est pourquoi même si nous sommes humbles et doux, beaucoup de gens appartenant au monde de Satan nous haïssent (Jean 15:18, 19). Nous avons donc besoin de courage pour résister à Satan.
      À l’opposé d’un individu humble, il y a celui qui est hautain, qui ne maîtrise pas sa colère et qui n’obéit pas à Jéhovah. Voilà qui décrit parfaitement Satan ! Pas étonnant qu’il déteste les humbles... En effet, par leur belle personnalité, ceux-ci montrent à quel point il est méchant. Et, pire encore pour lui, ils prouvent que c’est un menteur. Pourquoi ? Parce que peu importe ce qu’il fait ou dit, il ne peut pas les décourager de servir Jéhovah ! (Job 2:3-5).
      Quand peut-il être particulièrement difficile de rester humble ? Et pourquoi continuer à développer l’humilité ? Pour répondre à ces questions, nous examinerons les exemples de Moïse, des trois Hébreux captifs à Babylone et de Jésus.
      COMMENT RESTER HUMBLE...
      Quand on a une certaine autorité sur les autres. Quelqu’un qui a une certaine autorité peut avoir du mal à rester humble, surtout si on lui manque de respect ou que l’on conteste ses décisions. Cela t’est-il déjà arrivé ? Comment réagirais-tu si un membre de ta famille te manquait de respect ? Voyons comment Moïse a géré une situation de ce genre.
      Jéhovah avait choisi Moïse pour guider Israël et lui avait accordé l’honneur de mettre par écrit les lois de la nation. Cela ne faisait aucun doute que Jéhovah le soutenait. Pourtant, la sœur et le frère de Moïse, Miriam et Aaron, se sont mis à parler en mal de lui à cause de la femme qu’il avait épousée. À la place de Moïse, certains se seraient mis en colère et auraient cherché à se venger. Moïse, lui, ne s’est pas vexé. Il a même supplié Jéhovah de guérir Miriam quand celle-ci a été frappée de la lèpre (Nomb. 12:1-13). Pourquoi a-t-il réagi ainsi ?
      Moïse supplia Jéhovah de guérir Miriam, qui était atteinte de la lèpre ; Aaron observa la scène au moment où Moïse supplia Jéhovah de guérir Miriam, car il voulait que Miriam soit pardonné des paroles qui fut adressé contre lui même.
      Moïse s’était laissé former par Jéhovah. Une quarantaine d’années plus tôt, quand il était membre de la famille royale égyptienne, il n’était pas humble. Il manquait tellement de maîtrise qu’il a même tué un homme qui, d’après lui, agissait injustement. Il s’était dit que Jéhovah serait d’accord avec cette initiative. Jéhovah a alors passé 40 ans à l’aider à comprendre qu’il ne devait pas seulement être courageux pour guider les Israélites ; il devait aussi être humble. Et pour être humble, il devait également être obéissant et doux. Il a su accepter cette discipline et il est devenu un excellent guide (Ex. 2:11, 12 ; Actes 7:21-30, 36).
      Chefs de famille et anciens, imitez Moïse. Quand on vous manque de respect, ne vous vexez pas trop facilement. Reconnaissez humblement vos erreurs (Eccl. 7:9, 20). Avec obéissance, suivez les instructions de Jéhovah sur la façon de régler les problèmes. Et parlez toujours avec douceur (Prov. 15:1). Ainsi, vous plairez à Jéhovah, vous favoriserez la paix et vous donnerez un bel exemple d’humilité.
      Quand on est persécuté. De tout temps, des dirigeants humains ont persécuté les serviteurs de Jéhovah. Ils peuvent nous accuser de différentes choses, mais la vraie raison de leur colère, c’est que nous choisissons d’« obéir à Dieu plutôt qu’aux hommes » (Actes 5:29). Il arrivera peut-être qu’on se moque de nous, qu’on nous envoie en prison ou même qu’on nous maltraite physiquement. Mais avec l’aide de Jéhovah, plutôt que de nous venger, nous garderons notre douceur.
      Considérons l’exemple des trois Hébreux exilés à Babylone, Hanania, Mishael et Azarias. Le roi de Babylone leur a ordonné de se prosterner devant une immense statue en or. Avec douceur, ils lui ont expliqué qu’ils n’adoreraient pas la statue. Ils sont restés obéissants à Dieu même quand le roi les a menacés de les jeter dans un four de feu ardent. Jéhovah a choisi de les sauver. Cela dit, les trois Hébreux ne s’attendaient pas à ce qu’il le fasse à coup sûr ; ils étaient prêts à accepter tout ce que Jéhovah permettrait (Dan. 3:1, 8-28). Ils ont ainsi démontré que les personnes humbles sont vraiment courageuses. Aucun roi, aucune menace ni aucune punition ne peut les décourager d’offrir à Jéhovah « un attachement sans partage » (Ex. 20:4, 5).
      Lorsque notre fidélité à Dieu est mise à l’épreuve, comment imiter les trois Hébreux ? En faisant humblement confiance à Jéhovah, certains qu’il prendra soin de nous (Ps. 118:6, 7) ; en répondant à nos accusateurs de façon douce et respectueuse (1 Pierre 3:15) ; et en refusant de faire quoi que ce soit qui mettrait en danger notre amitié avec notre Père aimant.
      Quand on est stressé. Il nous arrive à tous de ressentir du stress. Ce peut être avant de passer un examen scolaire ou d’accomplir une certaine tâche au travail. Ou alors avant de subir une intervention médicale. Quand on est stressé, c’est difficile d’être humble. De petites choses qui d’habitude ne nous dérangent pas peuvent soudain nous irriter. Nos paroles peuvent alors devenir dures, et notre ton aussi. Si cela t’est déjà arrivé, considère l’exemple de Jésus.
      Pendant les derniers mois de sa vie sur terre, Jésus a subi un stress énorme. Il savait qu’il serait exécuté et qu’il souffrirait terriblement (Jean 3:14, 15 ; Gal. 3:13). Quelques mois avant sa mort, il a confié à ses disciples qu’il était très angoissé (Luc 12:50). Et quelques jours seulement avant de mourir, il a dit : « Je suis troublé. » Il a alors exprimé des sentiments qui prouvent son humilité et son obéissance à Dieu. Il a dit : « Père, sauve-moi de cette heure. Toutefois, c’est pour cela que je suis venu jusqu’à cette heure. Père, glorifie ton nom » (Jean 12:27, 28). Le moment venu, Jésus s’est courageusement livré lui-même à ses ennemis, qui lui ont fait subir une exécution extrêmement douloureuse et humiliante. Malgré le stress et la souffrance, Jésus a humblement fait la volonté de Dieu. C’est certain, pour ce qui est de rester humble en situation de stress, il est le plus bel exemple qui soit ! (lire Isaïe 53:7, 10).
      Alors que ses disciples viennent de se disputer pour savoir lequel d’entre eux était le plus grand, Jésus reste doux et corrige calmement leur point de vue
      Jésus est le plus bel exemple d’humilité qui soit.
        Le dernier soir de sa vie sur terre, les plus proches amis de Jésus, les apôtres, ont mis à l’épreuve son humilité. Imagine le stress que Jésus ressentait ce soir-là. Il se demandait sans doute s’il resterait parfaitement fidèle jusqu’à la mort. La vie de millions de personnes en dépendait (Rom. 5:18, 19). Plus important encore, la réputation de son Père était impliquée (Job 2:4). Et là, au cours du dernier repas qu’il passait avec ses amis, ces derniers se sont mis à « se disputer vivement pour savoir lequel d’entre eux était considéré comme le plus grand ». Jésus avait déjà corrigé leur point de vue sur ce sujet de nombreuses fois, y compris un peu plus tôt dans la soirée ! Malgré cela, il ne s’est pas irrité. Il a plutôt réagi avec douceur. Gentiment mais fermement, il leur a de nouveau expliqué quelle attitude ils devaient avoir. Puis il les a félicités pour leur soutien fidèle (Luc 22:24-28 ; Jean 13:1-5, 12-15).
      Comment aurais-tu réagi dans une situation de ce genre ? Nous pouvons imiter Jésus et rester doux même quand nous sommes stressés. Pour cela, obéissons de bon cœur à ce commandement de Jéhovah : « Continuez à vous supporter les uns les autres » (Col. 3:13). Nous y arriverons si nous nous rappelons que nous disons et faisons tous des choses qui irritent les autres (Prov. 12:18 ; Jacq. 3:2, 5). De plus, félicitons toujours nos compagnons pour leurs belles qualités (Éph. 4:29).
        Nous prendrons de meilleures décisions. Quand nous avons des choix difficiles à faire, Jéhovah peut nous aider à prendre de bonnes décisions, à condition que nous soyons humbles. Il promet qu’il écoute « la requête des humbles » (Ps. 10:17). Il fait même plus qu’écouter nos requêtes. La Bible affirme : « Il guidera les humbles dans ce qui est juste et il enseignera son chemin aux humbles » (Ps. 25:9). Jéhovah nous guide au moyen de la Bible, de nos réunions, ainsi que des publications et des vidéos produites par « l’esclave fidèle et avisé » (Mat. 24:45-47). Mais pour en tirer profit, nous devons reconnaître humblement que nous avons besoin d’aide, étudier les matières que Jéhovah nous fournit et appliquer de tout cœur ce que nous apprenons.
      Nous éviterons de faire des erreurs. Repense à Moïse. Pendant des dizaines d’années, il est resté humble et a plu à Jéhovah. Puis, vers la fin des 40 années difficiles que les Israélites ont passées dans le désert, il ne s’est pas montré humble. Sa sœur, probablement celle qui avait contribué à lui sauver la vie en Égypte, venait de mourir et d’être enterrée à Kadèsh. C’est alors que les Israélites ont de nouveau critiqué la façon dont ils étaient dirigés. Cette fois, ils « s’en prirent à Moïse » au sujet d’un manque d’eau. Malgré tous les miracles que Jéhovah avait accomplis par le moyen de Moïse et malgré toutes les années où celui-ci avait guidé le peuple de façon désintéressée, les Israélites se sont plaints. Ils se sont plaints non seulement du manque d’eau, mais aussi de Moïse, comme si c’était à cause de lui qu’ils avaient soif (Nomb. 20:1-5, 9-11).
      Très en colère, Moïse a manqué de douceur et de foi. Plutôt que de parler au rocher, comme Jéhovah l’avait demandé, il s’est adressé au peuple avec colère et a laissé entendre qu’il allait lui-même faire un miracle. Puis il a frappé le rocher deux fois et de l’eau en a jailli en abondance. Poussé par l’orgueil et la colère, il a commis une grave erreur (Ps. 106:32, 33). À cause de son manque de douceur temporaire, il n’a pas été autorisé à entrer en Terre promise (Nomb. 20:12).
      Nous pouvons tirer de précieuses leçons de ce récit. Premièrement, nous devons lutter en permanence pour rester humbles. Sinon, l’orgueil pourrait vite réapparaître en nous, et nous faire parler et agir sans réfléchir. Deuxièmement, comme le stress peut nous rendre plus vulnérables, nous devons particulièrement nous efforcer de rester humbles quand on fait pression sur nous.
       Nous serons protégés. Bientôt, Jéhovah supprimera tous les méchants de la terre, et seuls les humbles continueront d’y vivre. Les conditions de vie seront alors vraiment paisibles (Ps. 37:10, 11). Feras-tu partie de ces personnes humbles ? Tu le peux si tu acceptes l’invitation chaleureuse de Jéhovah transmise par le prophète Sophonie (lire Sophonie 2:3).
      Pourquoi lit-on en Sophonie 2:3 que nous serons « probablement » cachés ? Cela signifie-t-il que Jéhovah n’est pas forcément capable de protéger ceux qu’il aime et qui cherchent à lui plaire ? Non, cela indique plutôt que nous avons quelque chose à faire pour être protégés. Si nous nous efforçons dès maintenant d’être humbles pour plaire à Jéhovah, nous pourrons survivre "au jour de sa colère" et vivre pour toujours !

      · 2 replies
    • folens  »  misette

      Hello Misette, merci.

      Le travail en équipe.BMP
      · 0 replies
    • folens  »  misette

      Hello Misette merci à toi  pour ce bon travail de recherches. Bonne journée et bonne semaine.
      1 Isaïe 30 v 15c.mp4
      · 0 replies
    • Janice Lewis  »  T.B. (Twyla)

      Twyla, why  is the weekly study material for December 6-12 & December 13-19, 2021 are marked Unavailable?
      · 1 reply
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