1. The copper figure or representation of a serpent made by Moses during Israel’s trek in the wilderness.

Near the border of Edom the people showed a rebellious spirit, complaining about the miraculously provided manna and the water supply. Jehovah therefore punished them by sending poisonous serpents among them, and many persons died from serpent bites. After the people showed repentance and Moses interceded for them, Jehovah told him to make a figure in the form of a serpent and to place it upon a signal pole. Moses complied, and “it did occur that if a serpent had bitten a man and he gazed at the copper serpent, he then kept alive.”—Nu 21:4-9; 1Co 10:9. The Scriptures do not identify the type of venomous serpent Jehovah sent among the people. The Hebrew expression for “poisonous serpents” (han·necha·shim′ has·sera·phim′) at Numbers 21:6 can denote “fiery serpents,” perhaps from the burning or inflammation-causing effect of their poison. The Israelites kept the copper serpent and later improperly began to worship it, making sacrificial smoke to it. Hence, as part of his religious reforms, Judean King Hezekiah (745-717 B.C.E.) had the more than 700year-old copper serpent crushed to pieces because the people had made an idol of it. According to the Hebrew text, the account at 2 Kings 18:4 literally reads, “he (one) began to call it Nehushtan.” Some translations leave the word “Nehushtan” untranslated. (AT; Ro; RS) In Koehler and Baumgartner’s lexicon, suggested meanings of the Hebrew term nechush·tan′ are “bronze serpent” and “serpent-idol of bronze.” (Hebräisches und Aramäisches Lexikon zum Alten Testament, Leiden, 1983, p. 653) The New World Translation appropriately says that the copper serpent “used to be called the copper serpent-idol.” Jesus Christ made clear the prophetic meaning of the wilderness event involving the copper serpent when he told Nicodemus: “Moreover, no man has ascended into heaven but he that descended from heaven, the Son of man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so the Son of man must be lifted up, that everyone believing in him may have everlasting life.” (Joh 3:13-15) Like the copper serpent that Moses placed on a pole in the wilderness, the Son of God was impaled or fastened on a stake, thus appearing to many as an evildoer and a sinner, like a snake, being in the position of one cursed. (De 21:22, 23; Ga 3:13; 1Pe 2:24) In the wilderness a person who had been bitten by one of the poisonous serpents that Jehovah sent among the Israelites evidently had to gaze at the copper serpent in faith. Similarly, to gain everlasting life through Christ, it is necessary to exercise faith in him.

2.What does having “life in himself” mean?
The Bible speaks of Jesus Christ as having “life in himself” and of his followers as having ‘life in themselves.’ (John 5:26; 6:53) However, these two scriptures do not have the same meaning. “Just as the Father has life in himself,” stated Jesus, “so he has granted also to the Son to have life in himself.” Prior to making this remarkable statement, Jesus said: “Most truly I say to you, He that hears my word and believes him that sent me has everlasting life . . . The hour is coming, and it is now, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who have given heed will live.” Here Jesus was referring to an extraordinary power bestowed upon him by the Father—the ability to give humans a fine standing before God. Moreover, Jesus is able to resurrect those sleeping in death and to impart life to them. For Jesus, having “life in himself” means that he is granted these powers. Like the Father, the Son also has “in himself the gift of life.” (John 5:24-26; footnote) What about his followers? About a year later, Jesus addressed his listeners, saying: “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. He that feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has everlasting life, and I shall resurrect him at the last day.” (John 6:53, 54) Here Jesus equates having “life in yourselves” with gaining “everlasting life.” Expressions with the same grammatical construction as having “life in yourselves” are found elsewhere in the Greek Scriptures. Two examples are, “Have salt in yourselves” and “receiving in themselves the full recompense.” (Mark 9:50; Romans 1:27) In these instances, the phrases do not signify power to bestow salt on others or to mete out recompense to anyone. Rather, internal completeness, or fullness, is indicated. Thus, the expression “life in yourselves” used at John 6:53 simply means entering into the very fullness of life. With reference to his followers as having life in themselves, Jesus mentioned his flesh and his blood. Later, when instituting the Lord’s Evening Meal, Jesus again spoke about his flesh and blood and directed his followers who would be taken into the new covenant to partake of the emblems of unleavened bread and wine. Does this mean that only anointed Christians, who are in the new covenant with Jehovah God, enter into such fullness of life? No. The two occasions were a year apart. Those who heard Jesus’ words recorded at John 6:53, 54 had no knowledge of an annual observance with emblems representing Christ’s flesh and blood. According to John chapter 6, Jesus first compares his flesh to manna, saying: “Your forefathers ate the manna in the wilderness and yet died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that anyone may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven; if anyone eats of this bread he will

7-10. no one knows but the Son.” making everlasting life possible. Mary and Martha. We can benefit immeasurably if we examine why he died and if we act in harmony with what we learn. By then.— JOHN 3:16.” Jesus lived alongside Jehovah in heaven longer than any other spirit creature.—John 10:16. 3. he “groaned” and “became troubled. The surge of strong emotions within him was evident as his eyes brimmed with tears. ▪ In his teaching. (1 Corinthians 15:52. for example.Draw Close to God He Understands Our Pain John 11:33-35 “EMPATHY is your pain in my heart. Jesus dearly loved this family. his beloved friend Lazarus was dead. and who the Father is. along with his blood. Jesus headed for Lazarus’ village. ▪ By his actions. 14:9. groaned in the spirit and became troubled. Jesus spoke and taught from a unique perspective. (John 5:19) Consider. Such a device can take in electricity of high voltage and change it into lower voltage. Clearly. Revelation 20:5.—John 8:28. when he saw [Mary] weeping and the Jews that came with her weeping. (Colossians 1:15) Think about the opportunities he had to absorb his Father’s thinking and learn His will. 26. . but Jesus was about to undo that by resurrecting him. or enter into the fullness of life? For the anointed Kingdom heirs. were overcome with grief. he drew on memories acquired firsthand in the spirit realm and in the lofty presence of the Most High God. Hence. Jehovah God is the foremost example of empathy. Jesus made known the truth about Jehovah—His name. Lazarus’ sisters. He feels personally the pain his people suffer. Jehovah.’—JOHN 5:19.” (John 14:9) So when we read that “Jesus gave way to tears. and he said: ‘Where have you laid him?’ They said to him: ‘Lord. in effect.live forever. Jesus willingly—yes. his purpose.” The original-language words used here indicate intense emotions. How? In that his flesh was given for “the life of the world.” (Luke 10:22) When on earth as a man. this happens at their resurrection to heavenly life as immortal spirit creatures. As “the firstborn of all creation. eagerly—revealed what his Father is like. they will have been tested. Consider two important ways in which Jesus revealed his Father.—John 6:4851. the incident described at John 11:33-35. Notice that when Jesus saw Mary and those with her weeping. When on earth. 17:6.” That is how an elderly missionary of Jehovah’s Witnesses once defined this precious quality. Jesus was deeply moved by what he saw. Recall that Jesus so perfectly reflected his Father’s qualities that he could say: “He that has seen me has seen the Father also. We marvel at the way Jesus lived. the one who became known as Jesus Christ. Jesus’ heart was touched by the pain of others. 4. standards. come and see. say: ‘If you want to know what my Father is like.” Jesus’ flesh. How can we be sure of that? Jehovah’s tender empathy found perfect expression in the words and actions of Jesus when he was on earth. and declared righteous for everlasting life in the Paradise earth.” (John 11:33-35) Why did Jesus cry? True. What Jesus did in revealing his Father might be illustrated by what an electric transformer does. the statement about having “life in yourselves” at John 6:53 applies to all those receiving everlasting life—in heaven or on earth. 53. .Revealing the personality of Jehovah God When it comes to teaching others about Jehovah. . (John 11:41-44) Was there something else that also touched Jesus’ emotions? Look again at the above-quoted words. and he to whom the Son is willing to reveal him. no one is more qualified than God’s own Son. Jesus’ empathy gives us valuable insight into the qualities and ways of his Father. found faithful. thus making it suitable for use by the average consumer.’ Jesus gave way to tears. Jesus could rightly say: “Who the Son is no one knows but the Father. Understandably. would he respond? The account says: “Jesus. and his ways. Jesus revealed many beautiful facets of Jehovah’s personality. Jesus took what he had learned in the heavens about his Father and transmitted it in ways that lowly humans on earth could readily grasp and easily apply. (John 11:5) How. then. When Jesus’ friend Lazarus suffered an untimely death. was greater than literal manna. 1 John 3:2) Jesus’ “other sheep” experience entry into the fullness of life after the end of his Thousand Year Reign. When do Christ’s followers receive life in themselves.” we can be sure that Jehovah . just look at me. and ways. Jesus reflected his Father’s personality so perfectly that he could. Have you ever been moved to tears because someone you care about was weeping?—Romans 12:15.

21:15. One’s worship—and therefore one’s prayers—should go only to Jehovah God.” (Matthew 20:28) Yes. willingly assist new ones in the congregation. 8. let us wholeheartedly continue following him. like Saul. Do you. 9. 6:12) Under normal circumstances. asking Him to safeguard his spirit. including all the sayings of Christ. 2:10) Additionally. (1 Cor.” that is.—John 5:2729. not to be ministered to. 5. Instead. that one will teach you all things and bring back to your minds all the things I told you. (John 15:16) In this instance. 7. Yes. (Isaiah 63:9.— Colossians 3:12-14. Jesus provided a powerful lesson in humility. Peter was asked if he loved Jesus more than “these. you will improve in your skill in the ministry.personally feels the pain of his worshippers. the spirit will show us the way to go.Lesson for Us By washing the feet of his disciples. Jesus’ humble service made an indelible impression on Peter’s heart.” under which a loose garment was girded up. After considering the Gospel accounts. Zechariah 2:8) What a tender God Jehovah is! Empathy attracts. and the funds were distributed to the needy. some Christians sold their property. do you. Stephen would have appealed to Jehovah in the name of Jesus.9 If we are humble and willing to depend on Jehovah. other Bible writers confirm this fact. When we are discouraged or depressed. and you will form bonds of friendship that can last a lifetime. For good reason Peter wrote: “Gird yourselves with lowliness of mind toward one another. they should follow the pattern set by Jesus. 6. To help such ones. (Luke 4:8.Why did believers sell their possessions and distribute the proceeds? Many who became believers had come from faraway places and were without enough provisions to extend their stay in Jerusalem. directly to Jesus. How will that active force help us? Jesus explained to his disciples: “The helper. 19. they desired to remain there longer in order to learn more about their new faith and to bear witness to others. but he gives undeserved kindness to the humble ones. because God opposes the haughty ones.” (Acts 7:56) Fully aware that Jesus had been given the power to resurrect the dead. Nevertheless. at any unexpected turn in the road to life. working with them in the field service and helping them to progress spiritually? You will be richly rewarded if you do. which the Father will send in my name. he was not. Nevertheless. a compassionate God who feels our pain and understands the reason for our tears!—Psalm 56:8. may we be strengthened in our resolve to love Jesus more than any other things that might attract us.Was Stephen praying to Jesus? No. Christians should not think that they are so important that others should always serve them. your joy will increase. but to minister and to give his soul a ransom in exchange for many. How much more we are drawn to Jehovah. No doubt this kind act helped to foster the warm friendship that developed between these zealous servants of Jehovah. Could Peter have been making reference to Jesus’ act of girding himself with a towel and washing the feet of his apostles? This cannot be stated with certainty. accept the help that is offered to you? By working along with more experienced publishers. 10. as it should upon the hearts of all who would be Christ’s followers. so that we can follow his will closely.” (1 Peter 5:5) The Greek word for “gird” is derived from the word meaning “a slave’s apron. It will bring to mind Bible principles that we have already learned and help us to grasp how they apply in directing our next step. who “came. we are drawn to a fellow human who can comprehend our circumstances and share our pain. though. holy spirit will increase our comprehension of Jehovah’s deep wisdom. like Barnabas. Stephen spoke. followers of Jesus should be willing to perform the humblest services for one another. he will impart to us his holy spirit as a sure guide for our steps.19 Notice that Barnabas took the initiative to assist Saul. Indeed.” (John 14:26) As we regularly and prayerfully study God’s Word. . the fish that were before them. the holy spirit. If you are a new publisher of the good news. Jesus thus stressed the need for Peter to choose to follow him full-time instead of pursuing a fishing career. Stephen had a vision of “the Son of man standing at God’s right hand. but did not pray. Indeed. nor should they aspire to positions of honor and prestige.

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