Par. 2 – Question: Can anyone out there prove that there were only 11 disciples present when Jesus instituted the Lord’s Evening Meal? I would really like to know one way or the other.
Par. 14 – Introduces the idea that Jesus released his anointed followers from captivity to false religion in 1919. I’m sure if the thousands of anointed followers who lived through that year could be brought back to life, they’d be scratching their heads in wonder at this statement. They all believed they had left false religion upon their baptism. They certainly didn’t see themselves as “in false religion” in 1919 or any year before that, for that matter. Rather than being in captivity, they had for years engaged in vigorous preaching campaigns to unmask the falsehood of the churches. I’m confident they would be offended by the thought they were still in captivity to false religion. As for the significance of 1919, no scripture is provided to support its significance. We’ll just have to accept it as an article of faith in the teachings of men.
Paragraph 14 also speaks about the unity Jesus called for in his prayer, being manifest in the two flocks becoming one. If a shepherd has a flock, he takes it to a pen. One flock; one pen. We speak about the two flocks becoming one, but they don’t end up in the same pen. They have two very distinct destinations.
Is that the type of unity Jesus was referring to? Let’s see:
(John 17:22) “Also, I have given them the glory that you have given me, in order that they may be one just as we are one.”
Is the glory Jesus was given and the glory he imparted to his anointed followers the same glory the other sheep have? (I’m using “other sheep” here and below in the official JW context.)
(John 17:23) “I in union with them and you in union with me, in order that they may be perfected into one…”
Jesus was made perfect by the things he suffered. (Heb. 5:8,9) His followers are made perfect (complete) by undergoing suffering. Paul clarifies this by saying that we are united with him in the likeness of this death and his resurrection. Yet this is not the case for the other sheep who are not made perfect at the same time nor in the same way that the anointed and Jesus are. Believing as we do about the other sheep not achieving perfection until the end of the thousand years along with the many unrighteous who are resurrected, how can we apply Jesus’ words about being “in union with him and perfected into one”?
(John 17:24) Father, as to what you have given me, I wish that, where I am, they also may be with me, in order to behold my glory that you have given me, because you loved me before the founding of the world.
It is very difficult to see how our teaching of the other sheep can be made to fit with Jesus’ desire for them to be with him and see the glory he has had since the founding of the world. The fact is, it can’t and paragraph 15 makes no attempt to do so, but applies it only to the anointed. Now, you would think that this is a contradiction to what we’ve just been taught in paragraph 14, that the union Jesus speaks of applies to both his “little flock” and the “other sheep”. It is clear that vs. 24 is all part of the “united as one” equation. So how can we say it applies to the other sheep while simultaneously stating that it doesn’t apply to the other sheep. There’s a nifty little bit of double-speak in the closing sentence of paragraph 15: “This causes rejoicing, not envy, on the part of Jesus’ other sheep and is further proof of the unity that exists among all true Christians on earth today.”
Overlooked is the fact that Jesus wasn’t talking about unity with each other, but of unity with him and his Father; a unity whose definition is nicely laid out (and by us, ignored) in vs. 22 to 24.
Again the GB feel the need to impress upon us that our salvation “was not the primary concern” of Jesus or his Father (paragraph 8). Does this help us to draw closer to our heavenly Father? Does the Bible explicitly say such a thing, or is it an inference based upon our need to elevate our framework of belief? I am not disputing that in the big picture God’s sovereignty is the most essential universal element in order for anything else good to happen. I get that. But is the Bible itself, which is a letter to help us draw… Read more »
Very well put. Thank you.
Although quoted, no explanation is made of “… on account of your own name which you have given me …” (v11). I have not seen any direct explanation for the meaning of this in any of the publications. Much is made of “the Name” in this study, and again we have to ask what that really meant to first century Christians and what it should mean to us today. From this one statement it seems clear that when Jesus spoke of “the name” that he “made manifest” he was not referring to the Hebrew name of God. At least not… Read more »
Meleti, When you say “There’s a nifty little bit of double-speak in the closing sentence of paragraph 15,” I would add that for them to say “This causes rejoicing, not envy” implies that envy is the prime motive for any “other sheep” not being content. Then, to make sure there IS no discontent they have the audacity to suggest that since their can be no envy, this “is further proof of the unity that exists among all true Christians on earth today.” Unity might exist, but so does the subliminal threat that we are united by the fear of envy… Read more »
Today our Public Talk speaker mentioned that meditation is not speculation. He defined speculation to be forming conclusions or asserting to be true things that are based on ambiguity. So I see that we are warned against speculation yet the GB can freely engage in it and even base our key doctrines off it. How many texts support 1914, two hopes and the identity of the FDS? None of these doctrines are based on clear teachings of our Lord. I was also dismayed that having a personal relationship with Christ was glossed over in our discussion. I believe many of… Read more »
The evening meal accounts in Matthew and Mark indicate that the discussion of who was to betray Jesus took place before he instituted the bread and wine memorial meal. In Luke’s account the betrayal discussions are recorded taking place after the memorial meal. There is no indication the Judas did not participate leaving before the memorial meal began. Judas could well have left Jesus and the other 11 disciples after they made their way to the mount of olives and then the garden of Gethsemane. Is the WT statement speculation going beyond what is written.
Yes because they make a very weak argument that Luke wasn’t recording events in chronological order despite there being no gospel writer to contradict him. The WT’s explanation has always been that “Jesus dismissed Judas and then instituted the Lord’s evening meal.” I find this incredibly disdainful of Luke considering that his account was written to clarify things not found in Matthew and Mark. Why would Luke within such a short moment of record reverse the order of Jesus grieving words as though Judas had not yet partaken of the memorial of his death? Especially do I find this implausible… Read more »
Doesn’t John’s account make clear the departure of Judas Iscariot at a point in the passover meal while unleavened bread was still being dipped (in what, Lamb gravy?) (John 13:1-4) 13 Now, because he knew before the festival of the passover that his hour had come for him to move out of this world to the Father, Jesus, having loved his own that were in the world, loved them to the end. 2 So, while the evening meal was going on, the Devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Is‧car′i‧ot, the son of Simon, to betray him, 3 he, knowing… Read more »
“Doesn’t John’s account make clear the departure of Judas Iscariot at a point in the passover meal while unleavened bread was still being dipped (in what, Lamb gravy?)” As John does not record the full sequence of events including the memorial meal itself it is unclear exactly when Judas left Jesus and the other disciples. In Matt 26:23 Jesus states that “He that dips his hand with me in the bowl is the one that will betray me”. In Mark 14:20 Jesus states the betrayer “is one of the twelve, who is dipping with me into the common bowl”. Therefore… Read more »
It’s depressing to see how badly the scriptures are being twisted to support the teachings of Rutherford. The pages of the WT have more authority than the Bible. If you were to point out the inconsistencies between the WT and Jesus’ teachings you would be disfellowshipped! We use two scriptures to support our beliefs in two classes and twist the ones that refute our beliefs. I just encouraged one of my loved ones to read the Gospel of John and prayed that she be allowed to see the real truth based on Jesus’ teachings. Btw I see we have quietly… Read more »