“Since you are so ‘reasonable,’ you gladly put up with the unreasonable ones.”
~2 Corinthians 11:19
Was the Apostle Paul being sarcastic when he made this statement?
The context shows that the “unreasonable ones” refers to apostate Christians who were criticizing him in his absence. (2 Cor. 11:3-6,12-15).
Paul put up with a lot to carry out his ministry, including physical persecution and health problems. (2 Cor. 11:24-27;12:7).
But he was especially sensitive to the negative attitudes the Christians in Corinth had towards him.
It hurt him to have to defend his own reputation before his brothers. (2 Cor. 12:11,16)
Today we may come across negative, one-sided information about other Jehovah’s Witnesses.
It would be unwise to “put up” with apostate material that tries to weaken our faith in God’s congregation.
“[…] I have seen it, and I have given witness that this one is the Son of God.”
Before Jesus converted water to wine, healed the sick, tamed storms or resurrected the dead, John the Baptist already had faith that he was the Son of God.
John literally “cried out” about Jesus’ pre-human existence. (John 1:15)
He prophesied about Jesus’ sacrificial death. (John 1:29)
He even encouraged his own disciples to leave him for Jesus. (John 1:35-37)
This makes me wonder about my own zeal in the witnessing work.
Do I show the same enthusiasm and conviction John showed when it comes to announcing the good news of God’s kingdom?
After all, Jesus already fulfilled all the prophecies which proved he was God’s son.
Now it is our turn to imitate John and help others realize what God’s kingdom will bring. (Ps. 72:16; Is. 33:24; John 5:28,29; Rev. 21:4)
“For this is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says:’Here I am, and I myself will search for my sheep, and I will care for them.'”
As time proceeds deeper into the “last days,” Jehovah God actively looks for those who have strayed from the flock. (John 10:16; 2 Tim. 3:1-5)
Although Jehovah’s Witnesses’ worldwide preaching work is primarily aimed at witnessing to non-believers, from time to time we run into a stray sheep who for one reason or another has seized associating with the congregation.
Because our work is headed by angels, we are able to find repentant brothers and sisters who recognize the times we are living in and ask for help to return to Jehovah before it is too late. (Zep. 2:2,3; Rev. 14:6,7)
It is an undeserved honor to be allowed to collaborate with our kind heavenly Father in this soul saving work. (1 Cor. 3:9)
“[…] Truth has stumbled in the public square,
And what is upright is unable to enter.
Truth has vanished,
And anyone who turns away from bad is plundered.
Jehovah saw this and was displeased,
For there was no justice.”
God expects those in positions of authority to do what is just.
He is not a distant, apathetic God, but is watching the earth closely, ready to intervene when it becomes apparent that no one else will (Is. 59:16,17)
God’s justice will leave no stone unturned. (Is. 59:18)
He hears the plight of those who are alone and suffering. (Is. 59:11)
He promises to bless them with eternal life in an earth rid of evil. (Ps. 37:9-11,29; Is. 60:18,20,21)
This was Christ’s primary message and the message Jehovah’s Witnesses likewise share with the public. (Is. 61:1,2)
So Phar′aoh said to Joseph:[…]”Take your father and your households and come here to me. I will give you the good things of the land of Egypt, and you will eat the richest part of the land.[…] Do not worry about your belongings, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours.”
Israel’s household went from being on the verge of dying of starvation to living in the most abundant environment available at the time.
This reminds me of the spiritual abundance God’s people enjoy nowadays.
We live in a world that is spiritually deprived.
Although religion is everywhere, most people wonder where God is and they are not sure he listens to them or how to draw close to him.
Some go so far as to try to experience spirituality through fleshly conducts such as drugs or sex.
When some of my friends have participated witnessing in the streets, pastors from other churches have come up to them and asked them for our literature because they do not know what to teach their followers.
It is a blessing to be a part of God’s people- an organization that provides spiritual food in abundance.
This “food” comes in the form of answers to both basic and deep questions:
Who is God?
What is the purpose of life?
Why is there so much suffering?
What happens when we die?
Should I get a divorce?
When will the “end” come?
Does God forgive all sins?
This spiritual abundance is reminiscent of other Bible prophecies:
‘Look! The days are coming,’ declares the Sovereign Lord Jehovah,
‘When I will send a famine into the land,
Not a famine for bread or a thirst for water,
But for hearing the words of Jehovah.’