The hidden datum lies in that Jesus left no hierarchical structures in His only organization that comprised His disciples. He labeled that organization as His Church. The fact that He promised not to leave them as orphans, implies that, even though having left, physically, their leader would be present, spiritually.
There was no need for the disciples to panic, after their leader had left the scene. But, when considering the behavior of Thomas—demanding to see the nail marks, as proof, the majority may have not yet understood the God’s Kingdom principles.
Unlike the known organizational practices of this world; Christianity is the business of Jesus, whose principles could not be likened to anything of this world. Jesus gave specific instructions to His disciples, on what they were expected to do, after He had left the scene.
Jesus also indicated that He would remain responsible, just as in charge, during His physical presence. The clue is on what He meant, by saying: “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you?” (John 14:18) (ESV).
The physical absence, would not subtract the significance of Jesus’ presence on this planet. The physical Jesus did not add much value, except that ordinary people could imitate the one declaring to be the Son of God.
In the same way, the physical Christians do not add value, except when ordinary people see ordinary humans, declaring themselves to be God’s Children. It is the Christ in Jesus that adds value. Just as it is the same Christ among Christians that should be considered as adding value.
In other words, the Christ that used the physical Jesus on earth is the same Christ that ought to use true Christians, in different ways. The one, who is the same, yesterday, today and forever, is the Christ, not the physical Jesus—born of Mary—seen only for thirty-three and a half years.
This is where most of our fellow Christians have missed the mark, just as the disciples often missed the mark. The physical departure of Jesus does not change anything, in Christ’s method of leadership.
What this means is that every word, as pronounced by the physical Jesus, who walked on this planet, as recorded in the four gospel books, cannot be changed by anyone. See [Defending the disciples].
The physical Jesus’ behavior was a replica of the Christ in Jesus, who often said “I and my Father are one.” Therefore, the physical Jesus represented that which was formed from the dust of the ground. But the Christ in Jesus represented that which was God’s image, lost by all of us, due to the Garden of Eden incident.
The only difference between Christians and the physical Jesus is that the conception of Jesus bypasses the Adamic genealogy. The sinful genes of Adam could not influence the behavior of the physical Jesus. The origins of the seed of Jesus came directly from God.
In other words, God existed in Jesus, even though still a fetus in His mother Mary’s womb. Remember, in Jesus, God is with us, just as His other name, Emanuel, clarifies. What caused the Jewish failure to recognize the physical Jesus as God’s Son is the physical appearance of Jesus.
What eluded those Jews, even though being custodians of Scriptures, was Jesus’ human aspect, representing what was created in God’s image. This elusive aspect is what made the physical Jesus a stumbling block to them (1 Corinthians 1:23). This is clarified further in [Revealing the Christ in Jesus].
At Jesus’ baptism, a voice was heard from Heaven: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). At that point, the physical Jesus ought to have been regarded as the only Child of God.
While all human beings were supposed to be regarded as God’s Children, they had lost that privilege, due to the Garden of Eden incident, as all died in sin. This is what necessitated the arrival of Jesus, as our Messiah.
On another occasion, the three, regarded as the nucleus, among His disciples, saw something spectacular and heard, yet another Heavenly voice: “This is my beloved Son, listen to Him” (Luke 9:35). This is recorded by, both Matthew and Luke, as a transfiguration incident, where the three saw Jesus conversing with Moses and Elijah.
Moses is known as representing the Law, while Elijah represents the prophets. Jesus represented God’s Kingdom. This was a spectacular incident, causing one of the disciples, Peter, to hallucinate and blurt out a suggestion to build three tabernacles; for Jesus, Moses and Elijah (Matthew 17:4).
Concerning the voice that came from Heaven, the most interesting aspect is the last portion: “Listen to Him”. That voice implied that; Moses was no longer to be listened to. Elijah was no longer to be listened to. But God’s beloved Son, Jesus Christ was to be the only one to be listened to.
This spectacular drama was observed only by the three disciples, Peter, James and John. Afterwards, Jesus instructed them to tell no-one, until after His resurrection (Matthew 17:9). But the most important datum is in that episode, where God directly stated that Jesus was to be listened to.
I suppose, if Christianity is riddled with failures, it is due to inability to take note of that voice from Heaven: “Listen to Him!” The work of Jesus was to continue, after He had left the scene. This time it would not be physical Jesus, directly interacting with humanity, but it would be the Christ, pulling the strings—so to speak—using each of those disciples.
Jesus’ promise was that the Spirit of Truth, whom the world could not receive, would be given to the disciples, as long as they kept His commandments (John 14:17). This meant that; even though Jesus had left the scene, the same Spirit of Truth, that manifested in physical Jesus would be with His disciples.
The physical Jesus would leave the scene, but the Spirit of Truth, which is not different from the Christ in Jesus, would manifest in the lives of His disciples. That Spirit of Truth is the same, yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
But, please, keep in mind, the Heavenly voice, heard by the three disciples: “This is my beloved Son, listen to Him” (Luke 9:35). The command is intended for everyone to take note. That voice does not say anyone else ought to be listened to, but, specifically, Jesus.
As human beings, the disciples would be used by God, similarly to how the physical Jesus was used. But the miraculous voice from Heaven, declared that the physical Jesus was the only one to be listened to.
Everything said by the disciples should be evaluated on the basis of what was uttered by the one to whom the Heavenly voice said should be listened. This does not, necessarily, mean negatively judging those disciples, for doing or saying things that Jesus never said.
The same applies to those used by Christ, today. Careful analysis reveals four important aspects of data that have been overlooked by scholars and Christians, alike. As soon as those aspects are discovered, Christianity would be revolutionized, as to never be the same, worldwide!
The first, possibly, missed datum is that Jesus never considered credentials of those appointed by Him. This is clear violation of principles used in today’s business world, when filling vacancies. There was no observable criterion, used by Jesus, to appoint those disciples.
Virtually, all of those disciples were not committed religious people, prior to being appointed. The appointments included the man who would later be His betrayer. But, apparently, there was no error, whatsoever, in appointing a person like Judas Iscariot to be among the twelve?
The second, possibly, missed datum is that the physical Jesus was not the Christ, who was also the Spirit of Truth mentioned in John 14:17. In physical Jesus, nothing was worth worshiping, but in physical Jesus there were physical traits that needed imitating. See [Jesus the Servant and Christ the Lord].
The third, possibly, missed datum is Jesus’ instruction in Matthew 7:1-4. The physical Jesus, who, all Christians were supposed to imitate, did not condemn anyone. But He took the responsibility to die, even for the vilest offenders. Please compare John 3:16 with 1 John 3:16.
This brings in, the aspect of responsibility on all Christians. This is just as Christ took the responsibility to die for the sins of humanity? If Christ was condemned on the cross, for humanity’s sins; today’s Christians are called to also accept being condemned for humanity’s sins?
Christians cannot be the Christs, but Christ desires to use them to advance His mission, as initiated in the first century. That is, on condition that those Christians allow Him to use their lives (Revelations 3:20).
The fourth, possibly, missed datum is that Christ does not desire Christians to attain perfection in this life:
“So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weakness, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).
A true Christian is a free person indeed. He/she doesn’t worry much about weaknesses, as commonly worrying ordinary humans. True Christians take pleasure in being God’s children, when allowing Christ’s will in their physical lives.
Such Christians are no longer obsessed with desires to impress other people; committed to doing what is expected of Christians, necessarily? However, their minds are connected with God’s mind. As God thinks, so they think.
You can hate and criticize those people in the way you like, but they cannot be easily offended, because they breathe and live by every word of the Living God. See [Where are God’s Children?]
The most interesting thing about Jesus is that, He never sought to impress anyone, except doing His father’s will. No-one can understand the reason why Jesus chose His disciples without the noble consideration of credentials? But the only virtuous thing about Him is that He did everything according to His Father’s will.
May we now attempt to get into the mind of God, in this age? Why would He choose to use the uneducated and despicable sinners like me, to reveal such deep things of God? As instructed to listen to Him only, could we do anything else?
Therefore, to understand God’s mind let us appreciate what Jesus said, as recorded: “……I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children.” (Matthew 11:25) (ESV).
But, I beg your pardon. This is not intended for boasting that people like me should be regarded gloriously, for being used to reveal such things. All should appreciate that God reveals through whomever, without considering the opinions of humans.
But, Christ’s invitation is also unconditional (Matthew 22:10). There is no need to consider current conditions, whether atheism, sinfulness, Moslem or whatever. There is no consideration of anything attributed to one’s background.
But, while any person can be free to accept the invitation, the same person needs to consider the aspect of counting the costs. Any baggage, as associated with the person’s background, whether education, religion, wealth, status or desire to survive longer, has got to be discarded; for Christ to take over (Luke 14:25-33).
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.
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