Thursday, 16 February 2012

My Talk

I have just delivered my talk in the Ministry school.  My householder was brilliant and we were to time - we have exactly 5 minutes.  And the Overseer was very nice about it.  though he is a noticing brother as the point I am to work on next time will be reducing the outline.  As you will see, I work from a script as below, but will have to have much briefer notes next time.  I may have to arrange for a brother to stand at the back of the Hall with some idiot boards.

How does Peter’s Example of Loyalty Benefit us?  
John 6:68,69     Study No.28 - Conversational Manner

Setting No.7:  Encouraging a Bible student to come to meetings

Sue.  Thanks for the study.  You are doing so well.  And you know if you want to learn even more you can always come to our meetings at the Kingdom Hall. We have a public talk this Sunday that I think will interest you.

HH.   I’m sorry Sue, I love our studies, but I don’t want to get involved with the congregation.

Sue.  Is there something specific troubling you?

HH.  Yes, to be honest, it’s the blood transfusion issue. I can't see that it is wrong - and I think that those who donate their blood to help others are doing a good and unselfish thing.

Sue.  I can understand that, as that’s exactly how I used to feel.   But I hadn’t realised how strongly you felt about this.  You seemed to accept that the Bible tells us we shouldn’t eat blood.

HH.  Yes, I do.  I can see it does. And I am shocked that I was never taught that at our church.  But blood transfusions are different as far as I am concerned.

Sue.  Its wonderful that you have stayed with our study feeling like that - you could have let this make you walk away. And let me see if I can help.  Well, let’s see if the Bible can, because it records that Peter had a similar problem – interestingly enough it was to do with blood.   Can you turn your Bible to John 6:68,69?     Before I ask you to read it, I want to show you the context. Jesus had just said this to his followers - at verse 53: “Most truly I say to you, Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in yourselves."   Do you see how disturbing they found this as they didn’t yet understand about the ransom sacrifice.

HH. Yes, they may have thought Jesus meant they were literally to drink his blood.

Sue.  You’re right. And because of that they were stumbled.  Do you see what happens?  (reads 66 and 67)  "Owing to this many of his disciples went off to the things behind and would no longer walk with him." - that must have made him very sad.  And he said to his disciples: “You do not want to go also, do you?”  But see how Peter replied.  Would you read verses 68 and 69.

HH reads John 6:68,69  "Simon Peter answered him: “Lord, whom shall we go away to? You have sayings of everlasting life; and we have believed and come to know that you are the Holy One of God.”

Sue.  Peter didn’t understand what Jesus was saying about blood, but he really believed that Jesus was the Messiah, the anointed one of Jehovah. He knew there was nowhere else to go to hear the truth, so he was not going to leave him.  And isn’t it the same with the true Christian congregation today?  Where else can we go to hear the truth?

HH.  Well, I will admit that since doing this study, I am understanding the Bible in a way I never could in my churchgoing days.

Sue. I felt exactly the same when I studied the Bible with the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and that is why I am still here, still listening, still being taught 25 years later.  And do remember that Jesus, knowing what difficulties lay ahead for his disciples, prayed to Jehovah on their behalf.  Its here at Luke 22:31,32.  Could you read it?

HH reads: “Simon, Simon, look! Satan has demanded to have you men to sift you as wheat. But I have made supplication for you that your faith may not give out; and you, when once you have returned, strengthen your brothers."

Sue.  When we show the same faith in Jesus that Peter did and keep following him, he helps us.   And he helps us through the Christian congregation, of which he is the head.  For example, the congregation provides this excellent little brochure called “How Can Blood Save Your Life?” so we can gain an insight into what the Bible has to say.   And also it helps to reassure us that what Jehovah and Jesus teach us is always always for our benefit. For example, just look at this quote from a Dr. Knut Lund-Olesen, who is quoted as saying:  “Since . . . some persons in high-risk groups volunteer as donors because they are then automatically tested for AIDS, I feel that there is reason to be reluctant about accepting blood transfusion. Jehovah’s Witnesses have refused this for many years. Did they look into the future?”—“Ugeskrift for Læger” (Doctors’ Weekly), September 26, 1988.  No, we didn’t look into the future, we looked into the Bible and there we found perfect teaching, leading us to life and safety.  Like Peter, all those years ago, we found the sayings of everlasting life.  If I leave this with you. will you read it, and we can talk about it next week.

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