Sunday, April 17
I must also declare the good news of the Kingdom of God to other cities.
Jesus attached great importance to his preaching and teaching work. By means of it, he cultivated a field that had rich potential. Earlier, he told his disciples: “Lift up your eyes and view the fields, that they are white for harvesting.” He had in mind the ingathering of many other honesthearted ones who would become his disciples. Like a good farmer, Jesus would not leave unattended a field that was ripe for harvesting. Hence, shortly after his resurrection and before his ascension to heaven, he gave his disciples the weighty commission: “Go, therefore, and make disciples.” Jesus thus entrusted them with a precious treasure, the Christian ministry. He was, in effect, committing to them “his belongings”—his talents. Put simply, the talents refer to the responsibility to preach and make disciples.
After Jesus instituted the memorial of his death he went on to talk at length to his apostles up until he was arrested later that evening. Among other things he told them: “I still have many things to say to you, but you are not able to bear them now.”
When and how would they be able to bear the burden of the whole truth? Jesus continued: “However, when that one comes, the spirit of the truth, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak of his own initiative, but what he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things to come.” —John 16
The spirit came upon the disciples even before they were anointed, when the resurrected Christ blew upon them and said: “receive holy spirit.” The spirit they received opened up their minds to many of the things that they could not comprehend before. And it infused power and courage into them in order to give the stiff-necked Jews a witness.
In time, though, the truth was lost. Christianity was absorbed into the Roman cult of Mithras. But with the Bible Students the flame of truth flickered back to life from the ashes. It was evident that the Bible Students and now Jehovah’s Witnesses, have been infused with the same spirit that impelled the original disciples to spread the message far and wide.
But when Jesus told his apostles that they could not then bear all the things he had to say, ought we to assume that the Lord was only speaking to the 12, or is his message relevant now? Well, when Jesus told the 12 that they would see him again, that he was going to prepare a place for them and he would come to take them there, he was speaking, not of his post-resurrection appearances to them, but of his ultimate return.
That being true, it is Jehovah’s Witnesses at this present time who cannot handle the whole truth —the whole truth being that the glorious parousia has not begun; that a man of lawlessness wields a powerful “deluding influence” over them; that the judgment of the house of God is before us. But, just as Jesus assured his apostles that the spirit would guide them into all the truth, the actual coming of Christ will achieve the same result.
First will come the expulsion of the wicked and sluggish slaves who squandered the master’s talents entrusted to them. Then Jesus will come alongside his chosen ones and infuse power into them. Next, Christ will issue a new commission to give a final witness to Satan’s world during the darkest night in mankind’s sordid history. As if handing them a new scroll containing Jehovah’s judgments, the Lord will then command his brothers: “You must prophesy again about peoples and nations and tongues and many kings.” —Rev 10