Watchtower teaches Christ’s story of “the faithful and discreet slave,” at Matthew 24 verses 45-47, was given to direct people to accept a ruling class of Christians. In essence it teaches this group is an exclusive ruler, like Moses, that all God’s servants must follow to follow God. Even if Jehovah’s Witnesses you meet deny the exact wording I used to characterize their teaching, if they deny the factual content of my statements they are lying to you. As long as Watchtower has written about the story, that, is their primary point taught about that story. The only thing that ever changes in Watchtower’s interpretations is who that slave is, or when he was appointed. But Watchtower never changes the reason Christ told that story. Their point is always that Christ would appoint this slave to dispense “spiritual food” to his whole body of true Christians. Their interpretation always includes the idea that all real Christians must follow this particular slave Christ has appointed, and if not, it is impossible to follow and please Christ.
Since no one is allowed to get baptized as a Jehovah’s Witness who doesn’t accept this interpretation every Jehovah’s Witness teaches this same view. It’s the reason Jehovah’s Witnesses want to proselytize you, even if you are a member of any other Christian group. Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t believe you are a real Christian. Instead they believe you mistakenly believe you are.
Is That What Christ Meant?
But if that’s the point Christ was making in that story, why would he place that story alongside a bunch of different stories all sharing a different theme? And the adjacent stories all share similar themes. In those other stories Watchtower agrees Christ was describing the type of consequences members of his church will receive, if they remain faithful, while contrasting those to consequences they will receive if they prove unfaithful. Note how that theme is completely different than the theme Watchtower teaches the theme is inside the faithful and discreet slave story.
Something else is different too. Watchtower teaches Christ places an obligation to act faithfully on the subjects of these other stories. But in the story of the “faithful and discreet slave” Watchtower teaches the obligation to act faithfully is not placed on the subject of that story, but instead on other members inside that story that are not its subject.
Another point of difference is that in all those other stories characters representing Christ’s church are declared faithful or unfaithful in response to their behaviors towards Christ. However, in the story of the ‘faithful and discreet slave,’ Watchtower teaches Christ’s church members are declared faithful or unfaithful to Christ based on their response to someone he appoints. And that someone is a small group of decision makers for all Jehovah’s Witnesses, the ruling class inside Watchtower, now composed of eight men. But the number changes, and it is always decided upon by members in that group only. Only members of that group vote new members into the group.
Let’s look at who the characters are in these stories adjacent to Christ’s account of the “faithful and discreet slave,” and then without additional comment, let’s review the actual text. I’ll leave you with that. But know Christ advises you to accept the true meaning of “the faithful and discreet slave” story. So decide for yourself, was Christ teaching the same thing in this faithful and discreet slave story that he taught in those stories surrounding it? Or was Christ teaching some future generations that all true Christians must follow Watchtower?
In these accompanying stories the lesson is always the same. Christ was teaching that Christians who remain faithful to him will receive a favorable reward, and Christians who do not remain faithful to him will be punished. A second theme is Christians will not know the general time period of his return. Instead he said they will not be expecting it when it happens.
In the surrounding stories were two men working in a field; two women grinding at a mill; the master of a house; ten virgins; and three servants of a businessman. Christ used the stories about each of these characters to teach the same message. The vocation of the subjects, or their lot in life, never altered the stories’ themes. One theme was all Christians must prove faithful to Christ to receive a favorable consequence from him, and Christians who do not remain faithful will receive an unfavorable consequence from Christ. To me, it’s obvious that is the same theme Christ meant in the faithful and discreet slave story, speaking of a faithful slave that could become evil. The second theme is similar also, as the evil slave had convinced himself his master was delaying. And so the master came when that slave didn’t expect him. Contrast those messages with what Watchtower is teaching you about the message of the “faithful and discreet slave.”
The Bible Text
42Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day on which your Lord will come.43But understand this: If the homeowner had known in which watch of the night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.44For this reason, you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour you do not expect.
45Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of his household, to give the others their food at the proper time?46Blessed is that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns.47Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.
48But suppose that servant is wicked and says in his heart, ‘My master will be away a long time.’49And he begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50The master of that servant will come on a day he does not anticipate and at an hour he does not expect. 51Then he will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
1“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take along any extra oil.4But the wise ones took oil in flasks along with their lamps. 5When the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
6At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
9‘No,’ said the wise ones, ‘or there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’
10But while they were on their way to buy it, the bridegroom arrived. Those who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet, and the door was shut.
11Later, the other virgins arrived and said, ‘Lord, lord, open the door for us!’
12But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’
13Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
14For it is just like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted them with his possessions. 15To one he gave five talents,b to another two talents, and to another one talent—each according to his own ability. And he went on his journey.
16The servant who had received the five talents went at once and put them to work and gained five more. 17Likewise, the one with the two talents gained two more. 18But the servant who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground, and hid his master’s money.
19After a long time, the master of those servants returned to settle accounts with them. 20The servant who had received the five talents came and presented five more. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’
21His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master!’
22The servant who had received the two talents also came and said, ‘Master, you entrusted me with two talents. See, I have gained two more.’
23His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master!’
24Finally, the servant who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Master, I knew that you are a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25So in my fear, I went and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what belongs to you.’
26‘You wicked, lazy servant!’ replied his master. ‘You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27Then you should have deposited my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received it back with interest.
28Therefore take the talent from him and give it to the one who has ten talents. 29For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. But the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 30And throw that worthless servant into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’