He acknowledged them as his collective instrument, or “slave,” and in 1919 entrusted them with the management of all his earthly belongings.
Managing Christ’s Earthly Belongings
6, 7. (a) In what other terms did Jesus speak of his faithful “slave”? (b) What is implied by Jesus’ use of the word “steward”?
6 A few months before Jesus gave his prophecy on the sign of his presence, including the existence of a “slave” representing him on earth, he spoke of this “slave” in slightly different terms that shed light on the slave’s responsibilities. Jesus stated: “Who really is the faithful steward, the discreet one, whom his master will appoint over his body of attendants to keep giving them their measure of food supplies at the proper time? I tell you truthfully, He will appoint him over all his belongings.”—Luke 12:42, 44.
7 Here the slave is called a steward, a word translated from a Greek term denoting “the manager of a household or estate.” The collective steward would not simply be a group of intellectuals who explain interesting points from the Bible. In addition to providing nourishing spiritual food “at the proper time,” “the faithful steward” would be appointed over the entire body of Christ’s attendants and assigned to manage all of Christ’s interests on earth, “all his belongings.” What would this entail?
8, 9. What “belongings” is the slave appointed to manage?
8 The slave’s responsibilities include the supervision of the material facilities used by Christ’s followers to carry out their Christian activities, such as the world headquarters and branch offices of Jehovah’s Witnesses, as well as their places of worship—Kingdom Halls and Assembly Halls—throughout the world. More important, the slave also oversees spiritually upbuilding programs of Bible study at weekly meetings and periodic assemblies and conventions. At these gatherings, information on the fulfillment of Bible prophecies is dispensed, and timely direction on how to apply Bible principles in daily life is given.
9 The steward’s responsibilities also include the supervision of the all-important work of preaching “this good news of the kingdom” and making “disciples of people of all the nations.” This involves teaching people to observe all the things that Christ, the Head of the congregation, commands to be done during this time of the end. (Matthew 24:14; 28:19, 20; Revelation 12:17) The preaching and teaching work has produced “a great crowd” of loyal companions of the anointed remnant. These “desirable things of all the nations” are undoubtedly to be counted among the precious “belongings” of Christ administered by the faithful slave.—Revelation 7:9; Haggai 2:7.