the flock in later years. (1 Pet. 5:1-4) Thus, Jesus, in the short span of three and a half years, laid the sound foundation for a unified international congregation with thousands of members drawn from many races.
Able Provider and righteous Judge
That his rule would bring prosperity surpassing that of Solomon’s was evident from his ability to direct the fishing operations of his disciples with overwhelming success. (Luke 5:4-9; compare John 21:4-11.) The feeding of thousands of persons by this man born in Bethlehem (meaning “House of Bread”), and his converting water into fine wine, was a small foretaste of the future banquet that God’s Messianic kingdom would provide “for all the peoples.” (Isa. 25:6; compare Luke 14:15.) His rule not only would end poverty and hunger but would even result in the ‘swallowing up of death.’—Isa. 25:7, 8.
There was every reason, as well, to trust in the justice and righteous judgment his government would bring, in harmony with the Messianic prophecies. (Isa. 11:3-5; 32:1, 2; 42:1) He showed the utmost respect for law, particularly that of his God and Father, but also that of the “superior authorities” allowed to operate on earth in the form of Caesar governments. (Matt. 5:17-19; 22:17-21; John 18:36) He rejected the effort to inject him into the current political scene by ‘making him king’ through popular acclaim. (John 6:15; compare Luke 19:11, 12; Acts 1:6-9.) He did not overstep the bounds of his authority. (Luke 12:13, 14) No one could ‘convict him of sin,’ not merely because he had been born perfect, but because he exercised constant care to observe God’s Word (John 8:46, 55), righteousness and faithfulness girding him like a belt. (Isa. 11:5) His love of righteousness was coupled with a hatred of wickedness, hypocrisy and fraud, and indignation toward those who were greedy and callous toward the sufferings of others. (Matt. 7:21-27; 23:1-8, 25-28; Mark 3:1-5; 12:38-40; compare verses 41-44.) Meek and lowly ones could take heart that his rule would wipe out injustice and oppression.—Isa. 11:4; Matt. 5:5.
He showed keen discernment of principles, of the real meaning and purpose of God’s laws, emphasizing the “weightier matters” thereof, “justice and mercy and faithfulness.” (Matt. 12:1-8; 23:23, 24) He was impartial, displayed no favoritism, even though feeling particular affection for one of his disciples. (Matt. 18:1-4; Mark 10:35-44; John 13:23; compare 1 Peter 1:17.) Though one of his last acts while dying on the torture stake was to show concern for his human mother, his fleshly family ties never took priority over his spiritual relationships. (Matt. 12:46-50; Luke 11:27, 28; John 19:26, 27) As foretold, his handling of problems was never superficial, based on “any mere appearance to his eyes, nor [his reproof) simply according to the thing heard by his ears.” (Isa. 11:3; compare John 7:24.) He was able to see into men’s hearts, discern their motives. (Matt. 9:4; Mark 2:6-8; John 2:23-25) And he kept his ear tuned to God’s Word and sought, not his own will, but that of his Father; this assured that, as God’s appointed Judge, his decisions would be always right and righteous.—Isa. 11:4; John 5:30.
Jesus fulfilled the requirements of a Prophet like, but greater than, Moses. (Deut. 18:15, 18, 19; Matt. 21:11; Luke 24:19; Acts 3:19-23; compare John 7:40.) He foretold his own sufferings and manner of death, the scattering of his disciples, the siege of Jerusalem and the utter destruction of that city and its temple. (Matt. 20:17-19; 24:1–25:46; 26:31-34; Luke 19:41-44; 21:20-24; John 13:18-27, 38) In connection with these latter events, he included prophecies to be fulfilled at the time of his second presence, when his kingdom would be in active operation. And, like the earlier prophets, he performed signs and miracles as evidence from God that he was divinely sent. His credentials surpassed those of Moses, as he calmed the stormy sea of Galilee, walked on its waters (Matt. 8:23-27; 14:23-34), healed the blind, deaf and lame and those with sicknesses as grave as leprosy, and even raised the dead.—Luke 7:18-23; 8:41-56; John 11:1-46.
Superb example of love
Throughout all these aspects of Jesus’ personality the predominant quality is that of love—for his Father above all, and love for his fellow creatures. (Matt. 22:37-39) Love was therefore to be the distinguishing mark identifying his disciples. (John 13:34, 35; compare 1 John 3:14.) His love was not sentimentality. Though he expressed strong feeling, Jesus was always guided by principle (Heb. 1:9); his Father’s will was his supreme concern. (Compare Matthew 16:21-23.) He proved his love for God by keeping his commandments (John 14:30, 31; compare 1 John 5:3), by seeking to glorify his Father at all times. (John 17:1-4) On his final night with his disciples, he spoke of love and loving over thirty times, three times repeating the command that they “love one another.” (John 13:34; 15:12, 17) He told them that “No one has love greater than this, that someone should surrender his soul in behalf of his friends. You are my friends if you do what I am commanding you.”—John 15:13, 14; compare John 10:11-15.
In proof of his love for God and for imperfect mankind, he then let himself be “brought just like a sheep to the slaughtering,” submitting to trials, being slapped, hit with fists, spit on, scourged with a whip, and, finally, nailed to a stake between criminals. (Isa. 53:7; Matt. 26:67, 68; 27:26-38; Mark 14:65; 15:15-20; John 19:1) By his sacrificial death he exemplified and expressed God’s love toward men (Rom. 5:8-10; Eph. 2:4, 5), and enabled men to have absolute conviction of his own unbreakable love for his faithful disciples.—Rom. 8:35-39; 1 John 3:16-18.
If the portrait of God’s Son obtainable through the written record, admittedly brief (John 21:25), is grand, far grander must have been the reality. His heartwarming example of humility and kindness, coupled with strength for righteousness and justice, gives assurance that his Kingdom government will be all that men of faith through the centuries have longed for, in fact, will surpass their highest expectations. (Rom. 8:18-22) In all respects he exemplified the perfect standard for his disciples, one far different from that of worldly rulers. (Matt. 20:25-28; 1 Cor. 11:1; 1 Pet. 2:21) He, their Lord, washed their feet. Thus, he set the pattern of thoughtfulness, consideration and humility due to characterize his congregation of anointed followers, not only on earth, but also in heaven. (John 13:3-15) Though heaven-high on their thrones, sharing in Jesus, ‘all authority in heaven and earth’ during Christ’s thousand-year reign as a “royal priesthood,” they must humbly care for and lovingly serve the needs of his subjects on earth.—Matt. 28:18; Rom. 8:17; 1 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 1:5, 6; 20:6; 21:2-4.
DECLARED RIGHTEOUS AND WORTHY
By his entire life course of integrity to God, Jesus Christ accomplished the “one act of justification” that proved him qualified to serve as God’s anointed King-Priest in heaven. (Rom. 5:17, 18) By his resurrection from the dead to life as a heavenly Son of God he was “declared righteous in spirit.” (1 Tim. 3:16) Heavenly creatures proclaimed him “worthy to receive the power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing,” as one who was both lionlike in behalf of justice and judgment and lamblike in self-sacrifice for the saving of others. (Rev. 5:5-13) No mere humanitarian, he had accomplished his primary purpose of sanctifying his Father’s Name. (Matt. 6:9; 22:36-38) This he did, not just by using that Name, but by revealing the Person it represents, displaying his Father’s splendid qualities, his love, wisdom, justice and power, enabling persons to know or experience what the Name stands for. (Matt. 11:27; John 1:14, 18; 17:6-12) And, above all, he did it by upholding Jehovah’s universal sovereignty, showing that his Kingdom government would be based solidly on that Supreme Source of authority. Therefore it could be said of him: “God is your throne forever.”—Heb. 1:8.
The Lord Jesus Christ is thus the “Chief Agent and Perfecter of our faith.” By his fulfillment of prophecy and his revelation of God’s future purposes, by what he said and did and was, he provided the solid foundation on which true faith must rest.—Heb. 12:2; 11:1.
1. Moses’ father-in-law Jethro is called Jether in the Masoretic text at Exodus 4:18.—See JETHRO.
3. The first-named son of Ezrah; descendant of Judah.—1 Chron. 4:17.
5. The firstborn son of Gideon. Jether apparently accompanied his father in the pursuit and capture of the Midianite kings Zebah and Zalmunna, but when ordered to slay them, the young Jether feared to draw his sword. (Judg. 8:20) After Gideon died, Jether was killed by his half-brother Abimelech.—Judg. 9:5, 18.
6. Father of David’s onetime army chief Amasa. (1 Ki. 2:5, 32) Second Samuel 17:25 in the Masoretic text calls him Ithra and says that he was an Israelite, but 1 Chronicles 2:17 calls him an Ishmaelite, possibly because he lived for a time among the Ishmaelites.
Moses’ father-in-law, a Kenite. (Ex. 3:1; Judg. 1:16) Jethro is also called Reuel (Num. 10:29), which could suggest that Jethro (“excellence”) may have been a title, whereas Reuel was a personal name. However, it was not uncommon for an Arabian chief to have two or even more names, as attested to by many inscriptions. Jethro is spelled “Jether” in the Masoretic text at Exodus 4:18.
Jethro was “the priest of Midian.” Being head of a large family of at least seven daughters and one named son (Ex. 2:15, 16; Num. 10:29), and having the responsibility not only to provide for his family materially but also to lead them in worship, he is appropriately called “the priest [or chieftain] of Midian.” This of itself does not necessarily indicate worship of Jehovah God, but Jethro’s ancestors may have had true worship inculcated in them, and some of this perhaps continued in the family. His conduct suggests at least a deep respect for the God of Moses and Israel.—Ex. 18:10-12.
Jethro’s association with his future son-in-law began shortly after Moses fled from Egypt in 1553 B.C.E. Jethro’s daughters, out taking care of their father’s flocks, were assisted by Moses in watering them, and this they reported to their father, who, in turn, extended hospitality to Moses. Moses then took up living in Jethro’s household and eventually married his daughter Zipporah. After some forty years of caring for Jethro’s flocks in the vicinity of Mount Horeb (Sinai), Moses was summoned by Jehovah back to Egypt, and he returned with his father-in-law’s good wishes.—Ex. 2:15-22; 3:1; 4:18; Acts 7:29, 30.
Later Jethro received report of Jehovah’s great victory over the Egyptians, and at once came to Moses at Horeb, bringing along Zipporah and Moses’ two sons; it was indeed a very warm reunion. Jethro responded to Moses’ review of Jehovah’s mighty saving acts by blessing God and confessing: “Now I do know that Jehovah is greater than all the other gods.” He then offered up sacrifices to God. (Ex. 18:1-12) The next day, Jethro observed Moses listening to the problems of the Israelites “from the morning till the evening.” Perceiving how exhausting this was for both Moses and the people, Jethro suggested a system of delegating authority. ‘Train other capable and worthy men as chiefs over tens, fifties, hundreds and thousands to decide cases, so that you will hear only what they cannot handle.’ Moses agreed and Jethro returned to his own land.—Ex. 18:13-27.
Jethro’s son Hobab was requested by Moses to be a scout. Apparently with some persuasion, he responded and some of his people entered the Promised Land with Israel. (Num. 10:29-33) Judges 4:11 calls Hobab the father-in-law of Moses rather than his brother-in-law, and this has caused difficulty in understanding. However, the Hebrew expression normally rendered “father-in-law” can in a broader sense denote any male relative by marriage and so could also be understood as “brother-in-law.” To say that Hobab was Moses’ father-in-law instead of Jethro would disagree with other texts. If Hobab were another name for Jethro, as some suggest, it would also mean that two men, father and son, bore the name Hobab. On the other hand, Hobab, as a leading member of the next generation of Kenites, might be used in this text as a representative of his father.—See HOBAB.
(Jeʹush) [perhaps, God comes to help].
4. The first-named son of King Rehoboam by his wife Mahalath. Because Rehoboam loved a different wife more, Jeush was passed up in the royal succession.—2 Chron. 11:18-23.
[lauded; (object of) laudation].
A person belonging to the tribe of Judah. The name is not used in the Bible account prior to the fall of the ten-tribe kingdom of Israel. The southern kingdom was called Judah, and the people, sons of Judah or sons of the tribe of Judah. The first one to use the name “Jews” was the writer of the books of Kings, doubtless Jeremiah, whose prophetic service began in 647 B.C.E. (See 2 Kings 16:6; 25:25.) After the exile the name was applied to any Israelites returning (Ezra 4:12; 6:7; Neh. 1:2; 5:17) and, finally, to all Hebrews throughout the world, to distinguish them from the Gentile nations. (Esther 3:6; 9:20) Gentile men who