You Are “a Theatrical Spectacle”!
1 The apostle Paul wrote: “We have become a theatrical spectacle to the world, and to angels, and to men.” (1 Cor. 4:9) What does this mean, and how should it affect us in our ministry today?
2 To a Corinthian, the expression “a theatrical spectacle” likely brought to mind the closing event of a Roman gladiatorial contest, in which condemned people were paraded in front of thousands of spectators before being brutally slaughtered. Similarly, a vast audience—both men and angels—observed the sufferings to which first-century Christians were subjected for bearing witness to the Kingdom. (Heb. 10:32, 33) Their integrity-keeping course affected more than a few onlookers, just as our endurance does in the modern-day arena. To whom are we a spectacle?
3 To the World and to Men: Sometimes the media publish reports about the activities of Jehovah’s people. While we appreciate good reports that are factual and fair in dealing with our work, we also expect bad reports to be spread by our detractors from time to time. Nevertheless, we must continue recommending ourselves as God’s ministers “through bad report and good report.” (2 Cor. 6:4, 8) To honesthearted observers it becomes clear that we are the true disciples of Jesus Christ.
4 To Angels: Spirit creatures also observe us. The Devil and his demons watch—but with “great anger,” seeking to halt “the work of bearing witness to Jesus.” (Rev. 12:9, 12, 17) Faithful angels of God watch and rejoice when even one sinner repents. (Luke 15:10) It should strengthen us to know that the angels view our ministry as the most urgent, beneficial work being done on earth today!—Rev. 14:6, 7.
5 When you encounter opposition or think that your ministry is not getting results, remember that you are the center of universal attention. Your faithful endurance speaks volumes. Eventually, your ‘fine fight of faith’ will enable you to ‘get a firm hold on everlasting life.’—1 Tim. 6:12.