I have had at least three JW’s express disbelief when I tell them that Watchtower teaches that Jesus is not their mediator, but is the mediator for only the anointed 144,000. The most recent, Mary, whom I met in the city at one of their portable literature stations, became more and more adamant as the conversation went on. She insisted that Jesus was her mediator, and I insisted that Watchtower teaches otherwise. She still insisted that she personally believed that Jesus was her mediator. I told her that the JW’s at the other kiosk across the train station had verified the official Watchtower teaching. She still insisted, but now with some anger, that she believed that Jesus was her mediator. I said that I would not tell anyone that she had said that. (I was half joking and half serious.) Now she was visibly agitated, saying, “Go ahead, and tell anybody you want!” At that point, the man who was with her (her husband, I think), whispered to her something, which I assume was a directive to quiet down, to which she answered, “I will if that’s what you want.”
In the past I would have thought this encounter to be quite humorous. And I still recognize the humor, but now in my heart and mind it’s eclipsed by my concern for Mary. The reaction described above tells me several things:
- There is a longing in the hearts of JW’s to have Jesus as their mediator.
- There is a universal longing in everyone’s heart for a personal relationship with God, rather than an indirect “benefiting” from someone else’s relationship with God, whether that be through a priest, an anointed “class,” or a hierarchy of any beings, human or otherwise.
- God is at work in the hearts of JW’s, and Mary’s reaction is an indication of her wrestling with her need for something more personal than the cold, sterile indoctrination of the Watchtower.
I count myself privileged to be part of God’s reaching out to people who need a personal relationship with Him. My love for these people is growing, and I long for them to experience having Jesus as their true mediator.