Treasures from God’s Word and Digging for Spiritual Gems – Jesus Loved People (Matthew 8-9)
Matthew 8:1-3 (I want to) (nwtsty)
The Greek word translated “I want to” in the NWT carries a meaning of desire, wanting what is best, because someone is ready and willing to act. “I want to” therefore does not convey fully the loving intent behind Jesus words. “I want to” can be motivated by selfish motives, whereas Jesus was always motivated by love for others. A better phrasing would be “I really want to” or “I desire to”, or “I am willing” as many Bible translations do.
Matthew 8:4 (tell no one) (nwtsty)
“Jesus‘ humble attitude provides a refreshing contrast to that of the hypocrites whom he condemns for praying ‘on the corners of the main streets to be seen by men’ (Matthew 6:5) Jesus apparently wanted solid evidence, not sensational reports of his miracles to convince people that he was the Christ”. How true.
So how do those claiming to be Christ’s brothers, and in particular those claiming to be his ‘faithful and discreet slave’, measure up to Jesus’ example? Do they likewise also avoid drawing attention to themselves?
No. Instead they put themselves prominently on Web broadcasts, always having their position mentioned – ‘Bro xxxxx of the Governing Body’.
Did Jesus request songs about himself to be written? No!
So have the Governing Body followed their Leader’s example? No!
Did they not authorize the creation and publication of the following songs from the “Sing out Joyfully to Jehovah” songbook: 95 (The Light gets Brighter), 123 (Loyally submitting to Theocratic Order), 126 (Stay Awake, stand firm, grow Mighty) which all give praise to the ‘faithful slave’, which they claim to be?
Matthew 9:9-13 – Jesus loved those who were despised by others (tax collectors, dining) (nwtsty)
The reference states that the “Jewish religious leaders also applied this term (sinners) to Jewish or non-Jewish people who were ignorant of the Law or who failed to observe the rabbinic traditions.”
Name calling has long been a way of trying to justify treatment of people one may not like. “Untermenschen”, “heretics”, “apostates”, and “mentally diseased” are such terms, used to justify the inhumane treatment of those so labelled.
In the first century, the Jewish religious leaders were responsible for teaching the Law, so if Jews or non-Jews were ignorant of the Law then it was their fault, yet they tried to blame it on the people. They also endeavored to get the people to observe their rabbinic traditions which weighed them down. Mark 7:1-13 makes for interesting reading on how this affected day-to-day life for the first century Jew. As Jesus said they made “the word of God invalid by your tradition.”
It is similar today with the organization. They claim responsibility for teaching the Law of Christ (as “guardians of doctrine”) yet they label as ‘apostate’ (sinners) those brothers who can no longer agree scripturally with their interpretations of God’s word, and especially the traditions which they have added to it. To question a teaching (tradition) of the Governing Body is to invite accusations of pride, running ahead of the Holy Spirit and many others. However, the Governing Body claims that in 1919, Jesus appointed them to be the “faithful and discrete slave”, but apparently failed to notify them of the appointment until just five years ago. They claim they are acting by Holy Spirit, so we must assume that Jesus corrected the oversight in 2012 when they proclaimed themselves to be the “faithful slave”. This self-declaration is not the product of pride, nor is it running ahead of the spirit, they would have us believe. Is not having a double standard, one for oneself, and another for the rest, a feature of hypocrisy?
Matthew 9:16,17 – What point was Jesus making with these two illustrations?(jy 70 para 6)
Jesus was making the point that “he did not come to patch up and prolong an old, worn out way of worship”. “He is not trying to put a new patch on an old garment, or new wine into a stiff, old wineskin.”
So bearing this principle in mind, is it possible that the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses can be reformed and renewed, by dispensing with its man-made traditions and returning to its roots of Bible study? Will the efforts of us here on this site as whistle blowers be successful?
Maybe on an individual level in some circumstances we may be successful in awakening some, but as a whole on an organizational level the biblical answer is No. The organization is like an old stiff wineskin, trying to adjust to anything radically new will result in it splitting apart, rather than gradually accommodating to the new requirements.
The workbook comments, “Love for people moved Jesus to preach the good news even when he was tired and to pray for God to send more workers.” Yes, Jesus did preach, and Jesus did pray to God for more workers, but why does the organisation miss out “curing every sort of disease and every sort of infirmity” when this was a vital component of his ministry.
All the people who were struck down with disease and infirmities would not be in a fit state to listen to Jesus’ preaching of the good news until he had cured them. It was not because they were necessarily selfish, but rather their very survival often depended on getting a cure. Hence, their situation might have been consuming all their time and attention. The manner in which Jesus healed many showed his love and pity for them, such as touching the leper and putting his hands over the ears of the deaf ones and covering the eyes of the blind. Yes, the miracles Jesus performed were not only powerful in themselves, but also enabled those afflicted to take in the meaning and benefit from the good news he brought.
For a Certainty God made him Lord and Christ – Part 1 excerpt (video)
It is sad that even in such a short dramatization, the organization fails to stick to the Scriptures in its portrayal of events. The scene does not show the crowd hemming in on Jesus on every side, only behind him in an orderly fashion.
Also with the resurrection of Jairus’ daughter, there is no indication the mother took the girl outside to the crowd. That actually runs contrary to Jesus instructions in Luke 8:56 “to tell no one what had happened”, and yet in the November 2017 monthly broadcast we were assured that no effort was spared in ensuring any quotes and writings and videos were factually correct. In just seven minutes, we see two glaring errors.
Jesus, The Way (jy Chapter 5) – Jesus’ Birth – Where and When?
Another summary that is basically accurate.
A point to be aware of: Previous publications (such as the Greatest Man and Bible Book of Stories para 2) indicated that Jesus was born on arrival in Bethlehem. However, note Luke 2:5-7. It states “He (Joseph) went to get registered with Mary….While they were there the time came for her to give birth”. So there was an unstated period of time between Joseph and Mary’s arrival at Bethlehem and Jesus’ birth, as is supported by the literal translation of the original Greek ‘in [or during] the time they were there’. If the birth happened on arrival, it would be described differently.