cures: “When the sun was setting, all those who had people sick with various diseases brought them to him. By laying his hands upon each one of them he would cure them.” There was also a laying on of hands when the holy spirit was imparted: “They went laying their hands upon them, and they began to receive holy spirit.” And when the holy spirit made it known to the congregation at Antioch that it was God’s will that Paul and Barnabas be set apart for special work, “they fasted and prayed and laid their hands upon them and let them go.” Incidentally, because of this commissioning Barnabas was termed an apostle, not one of the twelve sent by Jesus, but one of the two sent forth by the congregation at Antioch.—Luke 4:40; Acts 8:17; 13:1-3; 14:14.
In a figurative sense the hand is often used in the Scriptures to refer to applied power, both to that of Jehovah God and of man. “The hand [applied power] of Jehovah came to be heavy upon the Ashdodites.” Judah was promised: “Your hand will be on the back of the neck of your enemies.”—1 Sam. 5:6; Gen. 49:8. See also Exodus 6:1; 9:3.
The hands also stand for activity and cooperation. Thus faithful King Asa was told by the prophet Oded: “You, be courageous and do not let your hands drop down, because there exists a reward for your activity.” On the other hand, King Saul slew certain priests because they had cooperated with David, “because their hand also [had been] with David.”—2 Chron. 15:7; 1 Sam. 22:17.
Since a murderer takes the life of another with his hands, they are said to be ‘filled with bloodshed.’ Pilate tried in vain to relieve himself of this responsibility by literally washing his hands.—Isa. 1:15; Matt. 27:24.
All who appreciate God’s gifts, including their hands, will heed the counsel: “All that your hand finds to do, do with your very power.” Yes, any activity in which we engage is to be done with our very power, that is, whole-souled.—Eccl. 9:10; Col. 3:23.
Ministerial Perseverance Rewarded
CHRISTIAN ministers are counseled to persevere: “Let us not give up in doing what is fine, for in due season we shall reap if we do not tire out.” (Gal. 6:9) Proving God to be true in this matter are the following experiences taken from the 1962 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
● A Witness in Argentina reported: ‘In going from house to house I called at one door where no one was at home. I made note of this and returned time after time without finding anyone. One day I tried again and arrived just as its occupants were ready to leave. I gave a brief sermon and noticed that interest was shown; they asked me to return the next day. This I did, placing with them the Bible-study aid From Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained and starting a Bible study with them at the same time. This was in September, 1960. They progressed rapidly, began telling others about the things they had learned, and seven months later began accompanying me in the Christian field ministry.’
● In the very religious town of A——, France, a full-time minister of Jehovah called back five times on different days at a certain door before he found the householder at home. The person he then met was so interested in the truth about Jehovah and his kingdom that in only two months she began telling others about it herself.
● In Luxembourg a married couple rented their hall to Jehovah’s witnesses for an assembly. They were so much impressed by the Witnesses that they not only told others about the Witnesses but the wife began distributing copies of the Bible among those to whom she spoke. However, for several years after that, whenever the Witnesses endeavored to arrange for a regular Bible study the excuse always was that they were too busy. Then one day the Witnesses heard that the couple had sold their business, a restaurant, and so tried again. This time a Bible study was begun and progress was rapid. The husband, wife and oldest daughter have taken up the preaching activity.
● Two Bible magazines had been placed by a Witness in Kenya, Africa, and arrangements were made to call back. Upon the first return visit a Bible study was begun, but then twelve calls had to be made before finding the interested