Comments You Will Not Hear at the 01-06-2013 WT Study (NOVEMBER 15, 2012, pages 10-14) (JESUS/HUMILITY)
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JESUS SET THE PATTERN OF HUMILITY
“I set the pattern for you, that, just as I did
to you, you should do also.”—JOHN 13:15.
Finally a study article that seems to highlight Jesus. Why not God? What does the WTS teach about humility and God? Since the next article applies humility to imperfect humans, the WTS cannot use God as an example, humans cannot imitate God in this.
*** it-1 p. 1159 Humility ***
Jehovah God himself includes humility among his qualities. This is not because there is any inferiority on his part or any submission to others. Rather, he shows humility in exercising mercy and great compassion upon lowly sinners. That he deals with sinners at all and has provided his Son as a sacrifice for mankind’s sins is an expression of his humility.
HOW WOULD YOU ANSWER?
How did the Son of God manifest humility during his
As a human, how did Jesus display humility?
What benefits have resulted from Jesus’ course of humility?
START OF ARTICLE
1, 2. During the last night of his life on earth, what object
lesson did Jesus teach his apostles?
IT IS the final night of Jesus’ life on earth, and he
spends it with his apostles in the upper room of
a house in Jerusalem. During the course of the
evening meal, Jesus gets up and puts aside his outer
garments. He girds himself with a towel. Then he
puts water into a basin and begins to wash the feet
of the disciples and to dry them off with the towel.
He then puts on his outer garments. Why did Jesus
perform this humble act?—John 13:3-5.
So can you imagine elders doing anything like washing the feet of anyone other than the CO, DO, or GB member? If that?
*** w50 8/15 p. 271 Questions From Readers ***
Hence Christians today should copy his example by being humble and ready to serve their brethren in practical ways, just as in Jesus’ day foot-washing was practical. Changed conditions have removed the practical benefits from foot-washing under those same circumstances, and it should not be done merely ceremonially.
Could it be “practical” things like taking an older jw to the doctor, picking up their meds, helping clean their home, getting groceries and cooking a meal, helping with the laundry, having them over for a meal, giving rides to the assemblies/conventions. I never saw elders do this, they would always delegate to a “lesser one” like a sister or a brother trying to prove himself worthy for “special privileges.” The elders were too busy doing the more important things. It didn’t matter if the older jw was a brother either.
2 Jesus himself explained: “Do you know what I
have done to you? . . . If I, although Lord and Teacher,
washed your feet, you also ought to wash the feet
of one another. For I set the pattern for you, that, just
as I did to you, you should do also.” (John 13:12-15)
By displaying a willingness to perform such a lowly
task, Jesus gave his apostles an object lesson that
would be deeply engraved on their minds and would
encourage them to be humble in the days ahead.
So many jws say they would be willing to “die” for their brothers and sisters but not “live” for them. Does the WTS practice what they preach?
*** Come Be My Follower (2007) cf chap. 17 p. 178 par. 13 “No One Has Love Greater Than This” ***
Being willing to lay down our life for our brothers is not the only way to show self-sacrificing love. After all, few of us are ever called upon to make such a great sacrifice. However, if we love our brothers enough to die for them, should we not be willing to make smaller sacrifices , going out of our way to help them now? To be self-sacrificing means to give up our own advantage or comfort for the benefit of others. We put their needs and welfare ahead of our own even if it is not convenient. (1 Corinthians 10:24) In what practical ways can we show self-sacrificing love?
What does the WTS consider a “sacrifice”? Not any of the above are mentioned.
*** cf chap. 17 pp. 178-179 par. 14 “No One Has Love Greater Than This” ***
Congregation elders make many sacrifices to “shepherd the flock.” (1 Peter 5:2, 3) In addition to looking after their own families, they may need to take time during evenings or on weekends to care for congregation matters, including preparing meeting parts, making shepherding calls, and handling judicial cases. Many elders make additional sacrifices, working hard at assemblies and conventions and serving as members of Hospital Liaison Committees, Patient Visitation Groups, and Regional Building Committees.
What, though, about the wives of elders—do not these supportive women also make sacrifices so that their husbands can take care of the flock? Surely it is a sacrifice for a wife when her husband needs to devote to congregation matters time that he might otherwise spend with his family. Think, too, of the wives of traveling overseers and the sacrifices they make to accompany their husbands from congregation to congregation and from circuit to circuit. They forgo having a home of their own and perhaps have to sleep in a different bed each week.
3. (a) On two occasions, how did Jesus stress the importance
of humility? (b) What will be discussed in this article?
3 When Jesus washed the feet of the apostles, it
was not the first time he highlighted the value of
humility. On an earlier occasion when some of the
apostles showed a competitive spirit, Jesus set a
young child beside him, and He told them: “Whoever
receives this young child on the basis of my
name receives me too, and whoever receives me receives
him also that sent me forth. For he that conducts
himself as a lesser one among all of you is
the one that is great.” (Luke 9:46-48) Aware that the
Pharisees sought prominence, Jesus said later in his
ministry: “Everyone that exalts himself will be humbled
and he that humbles himself will
be exalted.” (Luke 14:11) Clearly, Jesus
wants his followers to be humble, that
is, lowly in mind and free of pride and
arrogance. With a view to imitating him,
let us carefully examine his example of
humility. We will also see how this quality
benefits not only the one displaying
it but others as well.
Remember these apostles frequently argued with each other even in front of Jesus. I knew one elder that started his “reign” at his first elder’s meeting as PO with the words, “it’s my way or the highway.”
Or the new elder that came prepared to discuss an issue and had several scriptures being told by an older elder that they based their discussions on the elder’s manual. That new elder didn’t last long.
“I DID NOT TURN IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION”
4. How did God’s only-begotten Son exhibit
humility in his prehuman existence?
4 God’s only-begotten Son showed
humility even before he came to earth.
In his prehuman existence, Jesus spent
an untold number of years with his
heavenly Father. The Bible book of Isaiah
comments on the close relationship
the Son had with his Father, saying:
“The Sovereign Lord Jehovah himself
has given me the tongue of the taught
ones, that I may know how to answer
the tired one with a word. He awakens
morning by morning; he awakens my
ear to hear like the taught ones. The Sovereign
Lord Jehovah himself has opened
my ear, and I, for my part, was not rebellious.
I did not turn in the opposite direction.”
(Isa. 50:4, 5) The Son of God
displayed a humble attitude and paid
close attention to what Jehovah taught
him. He was eager and willing to learn
from the true God. How closely Jesus
must have observed the example of Jehovah’s
humility in exercising mercy toward
How would you prove or disprove that Jesus had a prehuman existence? How does the WTS?
*** it-2 p. 52 Jesus Christ ***
Prehuman Existence. The person who became known as Jesus Christ did not begin life here on earth. He himself spoke of his prehuman heavenly life. (Joh 3:13; 6:38, 62; 8:23, 42, 58)
But does this prove Jesus was Michael the archangel? Does the WTS prove it?
*** w10 4/1 p. 19 Is Jesus the Archangel Michael? ***
Jude verse 9 calls Michael “the archangel.” The prefix “arch” means “principal” or “chief,” and the word “archangel” is never used in the plural form in the Bible.
*** w91 2/1 p. 17 par. 9 Honor the Son, Jehovah’s Chief Agent ***
9 Jesus Christ further deserves honor because he is Jehovah’s chief angel, or archangel. On what basis do we reach that conclusion? Well, the prefix “arch,” meaning “chief” or “principal,” implies that there is only one archangel.
From “implies” to “never used”
5. In the role of Michael the archangel, how did
Jesus set an example of humility and modesty
in dealing with the Devil?
5 Not every creature in heaven had
the same attitude as the only-begotten
Son of God. Instead of desiring to learn
from Jehovah, the angel who became Satan
the Devil allowed himself to be influenced
by traits opposite to humility
—self-importance and pride—and actually
rebelled against Jehovah. On the other
hand, Jesus was neither dissatisfied
with his own position in heaven nor inclined
to misuse his authority. As Michael
the archangel, Jesus did not go
beyond his authority when he had ‘a
difference with the Devil about Moses’
body.’ Instead, God’s Son showed
humility and modesty. He was pleased
to have Jehovah, the Supreme Judge of
the universe, handle matters in His own
way and time.—Read Jude 9.
Of course Jesus wouldn’t be dissatisfied, he was the only-begotten Son, the only one to create alongside God (WTS doctrine). So if jws challenge imperfect men on earth who are challenging God’s authority in the congregation, it is the same as challenging God, I think not.
6. How did Jesus manifest humility in accepting
the assignment to serve as the Messiah?
6 The things Jesus learned during his
prehuman existence undoubtedly included
the prophecies foretelling details
of his life on earth as the Messiah.
Hence, he likely knew in advance
that unpleasant experiences awaited
him. Yet, Jesus accepted the assignment
to live on earth and die as the promised
Messiah. Why? Highlighting the
humility of God’s only-begotten Son,
the apostle Paul wrote: “Although he
was existing in God’s form, [he] gave no
consideration to a seizure, namely, that
he should be equal to God. No, but he
emptied himself and took a slave’s form
and came to be in the likeness of men.”
—Phil. 2:6, 7.
Did Jesus know in advance? “likely knew” in advance…so did he know or did he “likely” know?
Has the WTS made themselves “equal to God”?
*** w11 9/15 pp. 28-29 par. 15 Are You Known by Jehovah? ***
How we react to adjustments in the worldwide Christian congregation and decisions made by those taking the lead in it has a bearing on our being known by Jehovah.
*** w11 7/15 p. 28 par. 16 God’s Rest—What Is It? ***
We can enter into Jehovah’s rest—or join him in his rest—by obediently working in harmony with his advancing purpose as it is revealed to us through his organization.
*** w07 2/1 p. 24 par. 12 Never Cease Growing in Your Appreciation ***
And as was true of Noah, our success depends on obedience. We must obediently follow the direction Jehovah provides through his Word and his organization.
AS A HUMAN, “HE HUMBLED HIMSELF”
7, 8. In what ways did Jesus show humility
during his childhood and his earthly ministry?
7 “When [Jesus] found himself in fashion
as a man,” wrote Paul, “he humbled
himself and became obedient as far as
death, yes, death on a torture stake.”
(Phil. 2:8) From his childhood on, Jesus
left us a pattern of humility. Although he was
raised by imperfect parents—Joseph and Mary
—Jesus humbly “continued subject to them.”
(Luke 2:51) What a fine example that is for young
ones, who will be blessed by God for their willing
subjection to their parents!
So Mary and Joseph had told Jesus to stay in Jerusalem and scare the living daylights out of his parents? (verses 48,49) As a parent would you have expected this would Jesus response have been of one in subjection to his parents, his “imperfect” parents who somehow would not have guessed that a 12-year-old boy would have gone to the temple without checking with some adult in the family? Was this a humble response from Jesus? I knew that my parents would have disciplined me for pulling a stunt like that.
8 As an adult, Jesus showed humility by giving
priority to the doing of Jehovah’s will, not
his own. (John 4:34) During his ministry, Jesus
Christ used God’s personal name and helped sincere
people to gain an accurate knowledge of Jehovah’s
attributes and His purpose for mankind.
Jesus also lived in harmony with what he taught
about Jehovah. In the model prayer, for example,
the first point Jesus mentioned was: “Our
Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified.”
(Matt. 6:9) Jesus thus instructed his followers
to make the sanctification of Jehovah’s name
a matter of prime concern. He himself lived that
way. Toward the end of his earthly ministry, Jesus
could say in prayer to Jehovah: “I have made
your name known to them [the apostles] and will
make it known.” (John 17:26) Moreover, throughout
his ministry Jesus gave Jehovah the credit for
what he accomplished on earth.—John 5:19.
Notice that Jesus gave priority to God’s will not the will of the religious leaders of his time. Should jws put the will of the WTS ahead of that of God’s, an organization of imperfect people?
Where though does Jesus address God as anything but Father when he is not quoting from scripture? Even in the “model” prayer Jesus says :
(Matthew 6:9) 9 “YOU must pray, then, this way: “‘Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified.
( Matthew 28: 19) . . .. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit,
(John 5:43-45) 43 I have come in the name of my Father, but YOU do not receive me; if someone else arrived in his own name, YOU would receive that one. 44 How can YOU believe, when YOU are accepting glory from one another and YOU are not seeking the glory that is from the only God? 45 Do not think that I will accuse YOU to the Father; there is one that accuses YOU, Moses, in whom YOU have put YOUR hope.
(John 10:25) . . .Jesus answered them: “I told YOU, and yet YOU do not believe. The works that I am doing in the name of my Father, these bear witness about me.
(John 17:24-26) 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. 25 Righteous Father, the world has, indeed, not come to know you; but I have come to know you, and these have come to know that you sent me forth. 26 And I have made your name known to them and will make it known, in order that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in union with them.”
9. What did Zechariah prophesy regarding the Messiah,
and how was this fulfilled by Jesus?
9 Regarding the Messiah, Zechariah prophetically
wrote: “Be very joyful, O daughter of Zion.
Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem.
Look! Your king himself comes to you. He is righteous,
yes, saved; humble, and riding upon an
ass, even upon a full-grown animal the son of a
she-ass.” (Zech. 9:9) This was fulfilled when Jesus
entered Jerusalem before the Passover in the
year 33 C.E. The crowd spread their outer garments
as well as tree branches on the road. Indeed,
the whole city was set in commotion at his
entry. Even when he received public acclaim as
King, Jesus was humble.—Matt. 21:4-11.
When though did the WTS say Zech. 9:9 was fulfilled?
***Proclaimers book (1993) jv chap. 28 p. 632 Testing and Sifting From Within ***
Based on the premise that events of the first century might find parallels in related events later, they also concluded that if Jesus’ baptism and anointing in the autumn of 29 C.E. paralleled the beginning of an invisible presence in 1874, then his riding into Jerusalem as King in the spring of 33 C.E. would point to the spring of 1878 as the time when he would assume his power as heavenly King.
PICTURES: How can Jesus’ example of humility benefit us?
10. What was proved by Jesus’ willing obedience
as far as death?
10 Jesus Christ’s course of humility
and obedience on earth culminated in
his death on a torture stake. He thus
proved beyond a doubt that humans can
remain loyal to Jehovah even when tested
to the extreme. Jesus also showed
that Satan was wrong in claiming that
humans serve Jehovah for selfish reasons.
(Job 1:9-11; 2:4) Christ’s record of
perfect integrity also upheld the rightfulness
and righteousness of Jehovah’s
universal sovereignty. Jehovah certainly
rejoiced when observing the unswerving
loyalty of his humble Son.—Read
Notice no proof presented that it was a stake rather than a cross. Not even a reference in a footnote. How many jws could even present proof except “the Society says”?
*** w98 3/15 p. 19 par. 4 Living Up to Christian Dedication in Freedom ***
In order to avoid misunderstandings, Jehovah’s Witnesses try to be careful about how they express themselves. Instead of saying, “the Society teaches,” many Witnesses prefer to use such expressions as, “the Bible says” or, “I understand the Bible to teach.” In this way they emphasize the personal decision that each Witness has made in accepting Bible teachings and also avoid giving the false impression that Witnesses are somehow bound to the dictates of some religious sect.
Through God or an organization
*** km 9/02 p. 8 par. 5 Avoid the Pursuit of “Valueless Things” ***
God’s Appointed Channel: Bear in mind that our heavenly Father has an appointed channel of communication, “the faithful and discreet slave.” That “slave” has the responsibility to determine what information is made available to the household of faith, as well as “the proper time” for it to be dispensed. This spiritual food is available only through the theocratic organization. We should always look to God’s appointed channel for reliable information, not to a network of Internet users.—Matt. 24:45.
11. The ransom sacrifice of Jesus Christ
opened up what prospects for believing mankind?
11 By his death on a torture stake, Jesus
also paid the ransom price for mankind.
(Matt. 20:28) This provided an
opportunity for sinful humans to live
forever, and it satisfied the demands of
righteousness. “Through one act of justification
the result to men of all sorts is
a declaring of them righteous for life,”
wrote Paul. (Rom. 5:18) Jesus’ death
opened up the prospect of immortal life
in heaven for spirit-anointed Christians
and everlasting life on earth for the “other
sheep.”—John 10:16; Rom. 8:16, 17.
So if Jesus paid the price, why do people have to go through a human organization? Is prayer to God through Christ or the WTS?
Does John 10:16 enough proof that Jesus was speaking about future Christians or did all Christians hope to go to heaven? Could it be he was talking about future Gentile Christians?
I AM “LOWLY IN HEART”
12. In dealing with imperfect humans, how did
Jesus show mildness and humility?
12 Jesus invited all those “toiling and
loaded down” to come to him. He said:
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from
me, for I am mild-tempered and lowly in
heart, and you will find refreshment for
your souls.” (Matt. 11:28, 29) The qualities
of humility and mildness moved Jesus
to be kind and impartial in dealing
with imperfect humans. He was reasonable
in what he expected of his disciples.
Jesus commended and encouraged
them. He did not make them feel incompetent
or unworthy. Jesus certainly
was not harsh or oppressive. On the
contrary, he assured his followers that
by drawing close to him and practicing
his teachings, they would be refreshed,
for his yoke was kindly and his load was
light. People of both sexes and of all ages
felt at ease in his presence.—Matt. 11:30.
When was the last time an elder talked to you in your current or past congregation that was a matter of fact hi, the “how are you” approach as they keep walking, or to “counsel” you?
Do you find the talks refreshing or being told you aren’t good enough, you don’t do enough?
Is the only commendation prior to being told you did something wrong?
Are they like the elder I mentioned earlier who said “it’s my way or the highway”?
13. How did Jesus show compassion for the
13 In his association with the common
people of Israel, Jesus had compassion
for them because they were disadvantaged,
and he gave loving attention to
their needs. Near Jericho, he encountered
a blind beggar named Bartimaeus
and his unnamed blind companion.
They persistently asked for Jesus’ help,
but the crowd sternly urged the men
to be quiet. How easy it would have been
to ignore the pleas of the blind men! Instead,
Jesus asked that they be brought
to him, and moved with pity, he restored
their sight. Yes, Jesus imitated his
Father, Jehovah, by displaying humility
and showing mercy to lowly sinners.
—Matt. 20:29-34; Mark 10:46-52.
So who are the “common” people at WTS congregations? Do the elders give “loving” attention to their needs, do they even know what their needs are?
So who are the “lowly” sinners in the congregation? Aren’t all lowly sinners?
PICTURE: Jesus’ compassion was exemplary
“WHOEVER HUMBLES HIMSELF WILL BE EXALTED”
14. What benefits have resulted from Jesus’
course of humility?
14 Jesus Christ’s life course of humility
is a cause of joy and is highly beneficial.
Jehovah rejoiced at seeing his beloved
Son humbly subject himself to the
divine will. The apostles and disciples
were refreshed by Jesus’ mild temper
and lowliness of heart. His example, his
teachings, and his warm commendation
stimulated them to progress spiritually.
Common people benefited from Jesus’
humility because they became recipients
of his help, his teachings, and his
encouragement. Actually, all redeemable
mankind will reap long-term benefits
from Jesus’ ransom sacrifice.
Did Jesus subject himself to the will of the religious leaders or God’s?
Who are the “common people” in jw congregations?
Once the elders were known as servants….then they became overseers…serve or “over” which sounds like humility?
*** dx30-85 Servants ***
assistant congregation servant : qm 103, 235-236; yl 127-130; yb66 50-51; w62 630; qm55 103, 235-236; w52 139; w43 166
Bible study servant : qm 103, 236; yl 130-133; w62 630-631; w61 304; qm55 103, 236
congregation servant : w69 561-563; qm 93-96, 103, 230-234; yl 124-127; w66 266-273; w64 208, 613-614; w63 429-430, 434-435, 660-662; yb63 314-315; w62 630; w61 302-306; w60 75-76, 179, 344-345; w59 128, 166-167, 172-173, 361-373, 659-660; w58 52-61, 181-189, 442, 750; w57 152-153, 216-217, 369-381; qm55 93-96, 103, 230-234
15. How did Jesus benefit from being humble?
15 What about Jesus? Did his humility
benefit him? Yes, for Jesus told his disciples:
“Whoever humbles himself will
be exalted.” (Matt. 23:12) Those words
proved to be true in his own case. Paul
explains: “God exalted [Jesus] to a superior
position and kindly gave him the
name that is above every other name,
so that in the name of Jesus every knee
should bend of those in heaven and
those on earth and those under the
ground, and every tongue should openly
acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord
to the glory of God the Father.” Because
of Jesus’ course of humility and faithfulness
on earth, Jehovah God exalted his
Son, giving him authority over creatures
in heaven and on earth.—Phil. 2:9-11.
So are elders “humble” while baptized men and ministerial servants until they are perceived by the BOE as humble? What happens after their appointment?
Do they think that the knees in the congregation will be bent to them? I remember in the 70’s one elder said from the platform that the elders were servants of servants. He was adjusted right the after the meeting that elders were not servants of the common jws.
JESUS WILL “RIDE IN THE
CAUSE OF TRUTH AND HUMILITY”
16. What shows that humility will continue to
characterize the activities of God’s Son?
16 Humility will continue to characterize
the activities of the Son of God.
Foretelling how Jesus will act against His
enemies from an exalted heavenly position,
the psalmist sang: “In your splendor
go on to success; ride in the cause
of truth and humility and righteousness.”
(Ps. 45:4) Along with truth and
righteousness, Jesus Christ will ride in
the cause of humility at Armageddon.
And what will happen at the end of his
Thousand Year Reign when the Messianic
King “has brought to nothing all government
and all authority and power”?
Will he display humility? Yes, for he will
‘hand over the kingdom to his God and
Father.’—Read 1 Corinthians 15:24-28.
So when Jesus rides in the cause of humility at Armageddon, what about the people who never received a witness, their children? According to the WTS all 7 billion plus men, women, and children will be executed without any hope of a resurrection.
17, 18. (a) Why is it important for Jehovah’s
servants to follow Jesus’ pattern of humility?
(b) What will be discussed in the next article?
17 What about us? Will we follow the
pattern set by our Exemplar and manifest
humility? How will we fare when
the King Jesus Christ comes to execute
judgment at Armageddon? The cause in
which he rides dictates that he will save
only those who are humble and righteous.
Our developing humility, then, is
essential to our survival. Moreover, just
as Jesus Christ’s life course of humility
brought benefits to him and others, our
displaying humility will be beneficial in
So will jws follow Jesus or the WTS understanding of him? Will the Bible be the source or WTS publications that use snippets of scriptures and citations? Will jws this Sunday have looked up the scriptures in this article?
Humility to God and Jesus or a human organization will lead to survival?
18 What can help us to follow Jesus’
pattern of humility? How may we strive
to be humble despite the challenges we
may encounter? These questions will be
considered in the next article.
Yes, there are many challenges to being like Jesus in a jw congregation? The WTS rarely talks about being like Jesus but being like God and using OT references.
Next week, CULTIVATE THE SPIRIT OF A LESSER ONE. Who show themselves to be truly lesser ones at jw congregations?