“All authority has been given me in heaven and on the earth.”—MATT. 28:18.
SONG 13 Christ, Our Model
1. What is Jehovah’s will today?
TODAY it is God’s will that the good news of the Kingdom be preached in all the earth. (Mark 13:10; 1 Tim. 2:3, 4) This is Jehovah’s work, and it is so important that he has placed it under the direction of his beloved Son. We can be sure that under Jesus’ capable oversight, the preaching work will be completed to Jehovah’s satisfaction before the end comes.—Matt. 24:14.
2. What will we discuss in this article?
2 In this article, we will see how Jesus is using his “faithful and discreet slave” to provide spiritual food and to organize his followers for the greatest preaching campaign in history. (Matt. 24:45) We will also see what each one of us can do to support Jesus and the faithful slave.
JESUS OVERSEES THE PREACHING WORK
3. What authority has Jesus been given?
3 Jesus is overseeing the preaching work. How can we be sure of that? Shortly before he ascended to heaven, Jesus met with a number of his faithful followers on a mountain in Galilee. He told them: “All authority has been given me in heaven and on the earth.” Note his very next statement: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of people of all the nations.” (Matt. 28:18, 19) So, among other things, Jesus has been given the authority to direct the preaching work.
4. Why can we be sure that Jesus is still supervising the preaching work?
4 Jesus stated that the preaching and disciple-making work would be accomplished in “all the nations” and that he would be with his followers “all the days until the conclusion of the system of things.” (Matt. 28:20) Those statements clearly indicate that the preaching work would continue under Jesus’ supervision right down to our day.
5. What part are we having in the fulfillment of Psalm 110:3?
5 Jesus was not worried that there would be a shortage of workers during the conclusion of the system of things. He knew that the prophetic words of the psalmist would be fulfilled: “Your people will offer themselves willingly on the day of your military force.” (Ps. 110:3) If you are sharing in the preaching work, you are supporting Jesus and the faithful slave and are helping to fulfill that prophecy. The work is going ahead, but there are challenges.
6. What is one challenge that Kingdom preachers face today?
6 One challenge that Kingdom preachers face is opposition. Apostates, religious leaders, and politicians have given many the wrong impression about our work. If our relatives, acquaintances, and workmates are misled by this propaganda, they may pressure us to stop serving Jehovah and to stop preaching. In some countries, the opposition takes the form of intimidation, threats, arrests, and even imprisonment. We are not surprised at this reaction. Jesus foretold: “You will be hated by all the nations on account of my name.” (Matt. 24:9) The very fact that we are experiencing such hatred is proof that we have Jehovah’s approval. (Matt. 5:11, 12) The Devil is behind this opposition. But he is no match for Jesus! With Jesus’ support, the good news is reaching people of all nations. Consider the evidence.
7. What evidence do you see that Revelation 14:6, 7 is being fulfilled?
7 As Kingdom preachers, we also face the challenge of overcoming a language barrier. In the revelation that he gave to the apostle John, Jesus disclosed that in our day the good news would overcome that obstacle. (Read Revelation 14:6, 7.) How so? We are giving as many people as possible a chance to respond to the Kingdom message. Today, people around the world can read Bible-based material on our jw.org website because it contains information in over 1,000 languages! Approval was given to translate the Enjoy Life Forever! book—our main study tool for making disciples—into more than 700 languages! Spiritual food has also been made available by means of video recordings for the deaf and publications in braille for the blind. We are seeing Bible prophecies being fulfilled. People “out of all the languages of the nations” are learning to speak the “pure language” of Bible truth. (Zech. 8:23; Zeph. 3:9) All of this is being accomplished under the capable oversight of Jesus Christ.
8. What have been the results of our preaching activity thus far?
8 Today, well over 8,000,000 people in 240 lands are associating with Jehovah’s organization, and each year tens of thousands get baptized! More important than numbers, however, are the spiritual qualities, “the new personality,” that these new disciples have cultivated. (Col. 3:8-10) Many stopped being immoral, violent, prejudiced, and nationalistic. The prophecy recorded at Isaiah 2:4 is being fulfilled; they are ‘not learning war anymore.’ As we work hard to put on the new personality, we help draw people to God’s organization and we prove that we are following our overseer Christ Jesus. (John 13:35; 1 Pet. 2:12) None of this happens by accident. Jesus is giving us the help we need.
JESUS APPOINTS A SLAVE
9. According to Matthew 24:45-47, what was foretold concerning the time of the end?
9 Read Matthew 24:45-47. Jesus foretold that during the time of the end, he would appoint a “faithful and discreet slave” to provide spiritual food. So we would expect that slave to be hard at work in our day. This has proved to be the case. Our overseer has used a small group of anointed men to provide God’s people and interested ones with spiritual “food at the proper time.” These men do not view themselves as masters over the faith of others. (2 Cor. 1:24) Instead, they recognize that Jesus Christ is the “leader and commander” of his people.—Isa. 55:4.
10. Which of the publications shown in the artwork convinced you to walk on the path to everlasting life?
10 Since 1919 the faithful slave has prepared a variety of publications that have given newly interested ones their first taste of nourishing spiritual food. In 1921 the slave prepared the book The Harp of God to help interested ones to learn basic Bible teachings. As times changed, additional publications were provided. Which publication helped you to come to know and love our heavenly Father? Was it “Let God Be True,” The Truth That Leads to Eternal Life, You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth, Knowledge That Leads to Everlasting Life, What Does the Bible Really Teach?, What Can the Bible Teach Us?, or Enjoy Life Forever!, our newest publication? All these publications were designed to meet a specific need at the time of their release.
11. Why is it vital that all of us receive spiritual food?
11 Newly interested people are not the only ones who need solid spiritual food. All of us do. The apostle Paul wrote: “Solid food belongs to mature people.” Paul added that applying such spiritual sustenance would help us “to distinguish both right and wrong.” (Heb. 5:14) In these difficult times when morals are at an all-time low, it can be a real challenge to adhere to Jehovah’s standards. But Jesus sees to it that we obtain the strength we need through appetizing spiritual food. The source of this food is God’s inspired Word, the Bible. The faithful slave prepares and distributes this food under Jesus’ direction.
12. Like Jesus, how have we regarded God’s name?
12 Like Jesus, we have given God’s name the prominence that it deserves. (John 17:6, 26) For example, in 1931 we adopted the Scriptural name Jehovah’s Witnesses, thus attaching ourselves in a very personal way to our heavenly Father. (Isa. 43:10-12) And since October of that year, the divine name has appeared on the front cover of each issue of this magazine. In addition, the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures has restored God’s name to its rightful place in his Word. What a contrast to the churches of Christendom that have removed Jehovah’s name from many of their Bible translations!
JESUS ORGANIZES HIS FOLLOWERS
13. What convinces you that Jesus is using “the faithful and discreet slave” today? (John 6:68)
13 By means of “the faithful and discreet slave,” Jesus has built up a remarkable organization on earth to promote pure worship. How do you feel about that organization? In response, perhaps you think of the words of the apostle Peter, who said to Jesus: “Whom shall we go away to? You have sayings of everlasting life.” (John 6:68) Where would any of us be today if we had not come in contact with Jehovah’s organization? Through it, Christ makes sure that we are well-fed spiritually. He also trains us to carry out our ministry effectively. Further, he helps us to put on “the new personality,” so that we are pleasing to Jehovah.—Eph. 4:24.
14. How have you benefited from being part of Jehovah’s organization during the COVID-19 pandemic?
14 Jesus provides wise direction in times of crisis. The benefits of that direction were evident when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out. While many in the world were uncertain about what course to take, Jesus made sure that we received clear guidance to keep us safe. We were encouraged to wear face coverings when out in public and to practice physical distancing. The elders were reminded to maintain regular contact with all in the congregation and to be aware of their physical and spiritual needs. (Isa. 32:1, 2) We received additional direction and encouragement by means of Governing Body updates.
15. What direction was given for holding meetings and carrying out the preaching work during the pandemic, and with what results?
15 During the pandemic, we also received clear direction about how to hold congregation meetings and engage in the preaching work. Almost overnight, we began attending Christian meetings, assemblies, and conventions by means of videoconferencing tools. We also began witnessing almost entirely by letter and telephone. Jehovah blessed our efforts. Many branches have reported notable increases in the number of publishers. In fact, many have had encouraging experiences during this time.—See the box “Jehovah Blesses Our Preaching.”
16. Of what can we be assured?
16 Some may have felt that the organization was being overly cautious with regard to the pandemic. But time and time again, it became evident that the direction we received was well-founded. (Matt. 11:19) And as we meditate on the loving way in which Jesus is leading his people, we are assured that no matter what tomorrow may bring, Jehovah and his beloved Son will be with us.—Read Hebrews 13:5, 6.
17. How do you feel about working under Jesus’ oversight?
17 How blessed we are to be working under Jesus’ oversight! We belong to an organization that is overcoming all cultural, national, and linguistic barriers. We are spiritually well-nourished and equipped to carry out the preaching work. On a personal level, we are being helped to put on the new personality and we are learning to love one another. We have every reason to boast in our overseer Jesus!
SONG 16 Praise Jah for His Son, the Anointed
a Millions of men, women, and children are now zealously preaching the good news. Are you among them? If so, you are working under the oversight of our Lord Jesus Christ. In this article, we will consider evidence that Jesus is supervising the preaching work today. Meditating on this information will help us to be determined to continue serving Jehovah under the direction of Christ.