Jehovah`s Witness/Jesus & Michael the Archangel
Hi Carol. First time asking a question on this web site.
I understand that the Watchtower Society teaches that Jesus and Michael the Archangel are the same person. In Jude 9, Michael is disputing with the Devil over the body of Moses and refrains from rebuking the Devil but instead says, "May the Lord rebuke thee." Yet Jesus does not seem to hesitate to rebuke Satan -- as he did during his temptation in the desert when he said, "God Away, Satan!" This would seem to indicate Michael and Jesus are different persons with different degrees of authority vis a vis Satan.
I have no doubt that this problem has been pointed out to the Watchtower Society but am not clear on how they answer it. I found one blurb on its website (lost the reference, but I think it was from something called "The Follower") which quoted John 5:22. The Watchtower cited this Bible verse then said with respect to Michael in his dispute with Satan that Michael (aka Jesus) had not been committed "all the judging" -- which is why Michael could not rebuke the Devil, whereas "as Jesus" he could. Frankly, I have no idea what this means. I don't really see how John 5:22 has anything to do with Jude 9. Is is the Wathtower's teaching that Jesus gained powers as a human being, which he did not have in his "prehuman" existence as Michael the Archangel? If Michael is the Son of God, how could he not have had the authority/power to rebuke Satan? Didn't he create Satan? I mean, he created all things in the beginning -- the good angels and the bad -- though the bad angels rebelled against God and their own natures. Thanks for clarying this matter for me.
Please accept my apologies for the lateness of this response...I have been extremely ill and have not been accessing the internet at all.
Michael did not, at the time of Moses, have the authority to rebuke Satan...only Jehovah had that authority.
At this present time Christ Jesus is the one who judges us. He said: “The Father judges no one at all, but he has committed all the judging to the Son.” (John 5:22) Of course, he does this at the Father’s appointment and in full harmony with his Father’s will and laws. He is in constant association with his Father and, as he said: “The Son cannot do a single thing of his own initiative, but only what he beholds the Father doing. For whatever things that One does, these things the Son also does in like manner.”—John 5:19. Jesus also, and rightly, rebuked Peter in very strong terms: “Get behind me, Satan, because you think, not God’s thoughts, but those of men.”—Mr 8:33.
“When Michael the archangel had a difference with the Devil and was disputing about Moses’ body, he did not dare to bring a judgment against him in abusive terms, but said: ‘May Jehovah rebuke you.’” (Jude 9) Michael is a name applied to Jesus—before and after his life on earth—in his role as archangel, or chief of Jehovah’s heavenly army of angels. (1 Thessalonians 4:16) Note, though, how Michael handled this confrontation with Satan.
I believe this is the account (blurb) you read?? Jude’s account does not tell us what Satan wanted to do with Moses’ body, but we can be sure that the Devil had some vile purpose in mind. Perhaps he wanted to promote the misuse of that faithful man’s remains in false worship. While Michael resisted Satan’s wicked scheme, he also showed remarkable self-restraint. Satan surely deserved a rebuke, but Michael, who at the time he was disputing with Satan had not yet had “all the judging” committed to him, felt that such a judgment should come only from Jehovah God. (John 5:22) As archangel, Michael had extensive authority. Yet, he humbly deferred to Jehovah rather than trying to seize additional authority. Besides humility, he also showed modesty, or an awareness of his limitations.
Jude was inspired to write about this incident for a reason. Sadly, some Christians in Jude’s day were not humble. They were haughtily “speaking abusively of all the things they really [did] not know.” (Jude 10) How easy it is for us imperfect humans to let our pride get the better of us! When we do not understand something that is done in the Christian congregation—perhaps involving a decision made by the body of elders—how do we react? If we were to engage in negative, critical talk even though we cannot know all the factors behind such decisions, might we not be showing a lack of humility? Let us instead imitate Michael, or Jesus, holding back from judging matters over which we have no God-given authority.