Jesus Christ indicated that Christians were supposed to be the light of the world. The light that Jesus implied needed to be put on a hill, for everyone to benefit. This was to be characterized in people who would have adopted the principles of God’s Kingdom (Matthew 5:14).
If what transpires in the Christian world can be classified as confusion, then, we have to identify causes. Otherwise, there would be no reason for ordinary people to fumble in darkness, as appears to be the case.
The greatest challenge facing humanity is failure to appreciate the role of Jesus on earth. Christian churches are supposed to represent Jesus’ mission here on earth. The first challenge we encounter is that those Christians are not united, in terms of portraying Jesus’ values, as meant to bring order.
Each grouping claims to be authentic, where the rest are viewed as missing the mark. That aspect of confusion cannot be mistaken for the light that those Christians are expected to project, according to Jesus. [See “Order is only characterized in Jesus”].
God is the same, yesterday, today and forever. However, in Jesus, we have what it takes to become God’s own image. In Jesus, we are enabled to acquire the qualities that bring us to the values of Godly nature.
Even nations are characterized by values that grade each according to either good or bad, according to the pattern of the rulers. It is the king that carries the composite standard of that nation.
The value of any kingdom, therefore, manifests the qualities of the respective king. The first appearance of Jesus, leading to His death on the cross, qualified him both as a messenger and as King. He was a messenger, announcing the impending Kingdom, to replace the kingdoms of this world. But He was also the King, deserving to be obeyed by those subscribing to His teachings.
Those expected to subscribe to His teachings, were supposed to apply everything He taught. In applying those principles, those people were to make a difference, in a clueless world. This is where the concept of calling those people as light, comes from.
However, what we see among those people, today, is not what portrays the value of God’s Kingdom. Instead, we see people who are highly committed in highlighting the name of Jesus.
Starting with depicting what Jesus went through, in the hands of sinful people, Christians also highlight the extraordinary miracles that He performed, and how He still performs those miracles, through the so-called man of God.
Others dwell on moralistic principles, in addition to inviting people to repent on the basis of the sufferings that Jesus went through. They serve to enforce legalism, as a necessary condition for acceptance into Heaven.
Nothing is wrong with highlighting the person of Jesus, in terms of all the miracles that He performed; His moral standing and the brunt of going through the cross. But these things do not subscribe to the message that Jesus brought to humanity. Jesus never preached about miracles.
He talked about what would happen to Him, in the hands of the religious leaders. But such communication was done privately to His disciples. It is true that Jesus Christ bore the brunt of our sinfulness on the cross. It is also true that Jesus performed miracles, to do with healing people in their distressful conditions.
What appears as still missing, even today, is the message that He brought, as announcing the impending Kingdom of God. That Kingdom is the opposite of what sustains the current kingdoms and is what makes a difference.
There is nothing strange about any institution having a manager who oversees the goings on, in any organization. This ensures the sustainability or profitability of that institution. Even Caesar’s kingdom was well organized, as to ensure that there was no confusion to cause instability in that system.
The only difference is that the system was not run according to the principles of the Kingdom of Heaven. We have to find out what disqualifies Christianity, as expected to represent God’s Kingdom.
Basically, even for consideration of any other information, what is advisable is distinguishing between what is authentic, as compared with what is fictitious. Christianity does not require academic qualifications, as Jesus declared Himself as the way, the light and the truth, yet without academic qualifications.
Jesus was a messenger, with a message about the impending Kingdom of God. We have just realized that in any nation, order starts with the king, whose integrity, or lack of it, cascades down to ordinary people.
Our task is to first highlight what Jesus stood for, which today, can be viewed as unattainable by most people. But Jesus’ followers were expected to manifest the values of God’s Kingdom, because such values are what He taught, in His ministry. [See “Characteristics of God’s Kingdom”].
I suppose there is nothing unreasonable about stating the truth, in that current Christian churches do not represent the values of God’s Kingdom. In fact, most of those highly successful Christian organizations apply the principles of good management, as taught in secular institutions.
Jesus is the only standard, on all Christian principles. It is not necessary to consider who does better than others, as assuming that to be what brings a person closer to God. Jesus Christ is the only way, the truth and the life.
Unfortunately, we have our own ways of looking at things. Because most of what Jesus taught cannot be identifiable with our customs and traditions, most people cleverly devise ways of replacing what Jesus taught with what appears as workable.
Jesus’ preoccupation was to do those things that benefited other people. Jesus focused on preaching about the Kingdom of God. While Jesus was well known for His compassion, concerning people’s problems, His mission was preaching about God’s Kingdom.
Before ascending to Heaven, He also instructed His disciples to preach the gospel to all creation (Mark 16:15-16). The gospel is the good news about the impending Kingdom. The character of Jesus reflects what is good about God’s Kingdom.
While marriage is something that all of us put much value in, Jesus, though as human as all of us, never preoccupied Himself with need for marriage. I suppose, even Paul, having acquired the highest level of understanding, also downplayed the value of marriage (1 Corinthians 7:7).
All this should not be construed as advocating for celibacy. The intention is to focus on how Jesus behaved and what He preoccupied Himself with, when He was here on earth. His interests ought to be the interests of those who subscribe to His cause, which is about the Kingdom of God.
He died for the sins of humanity. He also preoccupied Himself with solving the problems of everyone who sought help from Him, regardless of such people’s backgrounds. In His coming Kingdom, His governing officials will also be expected to reflect the characteristics that identify with the King.
Corruption will be unheard of. It does not strike many people that the problems of this world are a result of improper governance. People rejoice and prosper, as long as there would be the right person at the helm of leadership. The immeasurable goodness of God’s Kingdom cannot be replaceable, but based on principles of altruism.
The only three obstacles that make it difficult for ordinary people to grasp the simplicity of the gospel of God’s Kingdom are: 1) Christ said this would be not easy for people who would not have become like little children. 2) The authoritarianism that cuts across all sectors of humanity makes it extremely difficult for ordinary people to ever evaluate things without interference.
3) Religion is probably the chief hindrance, as most people are obsessed with worshiping Jesus, instead of adopting what He said. Any person given better understanding, ahead of the rest, like Paul (Acts 14:11-15), gets worshiped, in the same way that most people seek to worship Jesus more than adopting what He taught.
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing reliefs to those having witnessed strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long awaited providential oasis of hope.
The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99