Right at the beginning of the first millennium was the greatest news ever told in this universe. The King was born, to replace all the kingdoms of this world. No other greater news had ever been told.
The bringer of that good news was Jesus Himself, though brutally murdered, for highlighting the significance of such good news. Notwithstanding the vicious opposition, the spread of the gospel has remained unstoppable.
This instalment seeks to answer three questions: 1) had there been any need to change the status quo? 2) What instigated the murder of an unparalleled philanthropist of that magnitude—helping the most disadvantaged of society? 3) Why could such good news be viewed as unacceptable by Jesus’ killers?
The first question appears unnecessary. Changing the status quo seemed long overdue, when considering the majority, wallowing in poverty, under the suppressive authorities. Others had been sick, with incurable diseases. The common man—subjugated under a government that imposed burdensome tax-collection against the poor majority—needed change.
The only way that evil, in any governing system can be observed, is when the majority are disadvantaged in favour of the minority. Ironically, the privileged minority is always supported by the majority who galvanise the status quo. Rationally, the transformative good news ought to have been unacceptable, only to the privileged few.
The religious people ought to have had no problem with that principle. Jesus did not announce the good news to the governing authorities of that time. Instead, He went to the religious authorities—whose existence had been codified in scriptural canons. Those scriptures pointed at the anticipated establishment of God’s Kingdom.
Unfortunately, those religious authorities had rank structures that gave advantage to the minority, rather than the majority. The pattern was not different from the governing authorities of the Roman Empire. At synagogues the high priests were honoured, in their prominent positions.
This was the opposite of the gospel that sought to grant honour to the majority, rather than the minority. Obviously, the good news was bad—even to the religious minority leaders. But, who else would influence the disadvantaged majority—as long as the influential minority leaders loathed the reversal of their privileges?
Bear in mind, the system had been steeped in assumption that the authorities were the untouchables. Even the religious leaders could not see any reason for changing the status quo. Every effort had to be engaged to convince the majority that the so-called good news had been bad news, after all.
Nevertheless, those religious authorities could not prove that Jesus violated any scripture. Their problem, specifically rested on Jesus’ insinuation that none was more important than the rest. They could not stomach the idea of being equated with those regarded as the sinful of society.
Above all, they could not perceive that at the bottom, was the issue of pride. Removing pride, was the only reason for which Jesus came to die on the cross. All the sins of humanity, specifically, originate from the sin of pride.
The most dangerous person in this world is the one whose ego is tempered with. If pride was to be removed, all other sins have no foundation, on which to stand. John the Baptist, specifically described Jesus as the lamb that takes away the only sin, representing all other sins of humanity.
“The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel” (John 1:28-31) (ESV).
Notice that John talks about the sin, as in singular form. This is the only sin, from which all other sins connect. The religious authorities could not have perceived the need to change the status quo. They expected God’s Kingdom to come—but not as would require them to renounce their privileges and comfort.
Apparently, the entire Christian spectrum cannot fathom this as having been the only problem that caused Jesus to be murdered at Golgotha. This idea of the gospel being bad news affected only a few—having been concerned about losing their comfortable positions of authority.
Still, the rest of the populace were manipulated to support the cause—in silencing Jesus. Though not in power, such manipulated people supported the authoritarian culture. Their mind-sets resonated with those in positions of leadership. Given a chance they would behave similarly, if not worse.
The entire humanity is under the grace of our Lord. But, how possible can it be for the proud to accept that grace? Jesus said: “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26) (ESV).
Indeed there had been a need to change the status quo, as long as that did not impinge on authoritarian culture of the Pharisees. Unfortunately, for them, this was specifically the reason for which Jesus came to this planet. The minority had to be disadvantaged, at the expense of the majority.
Now let us deal with the second question: What instigated the murder of an unparalleled philanthropist of that magnitude—helping the most disadvantaged of society? Jesus exactly knew that His mission had been to remove the only sin of humanity—and this required His death. (John 1:29).
His murderers were not aware, but Jesus knew everything—as having come specifically for that mission. The sin of the world had to be removed, and Jesus was the only route through which that sin could be crushed. Consider the axiom that to remove darkness, only the light is necessary.
The light is the opposite of darkness. In other words, to remove evil, you do not bring another form of evil, assuming it as most appropriate. That behaviour is tantamount to succumbing to evil, as evil begets evil. The opposite of darkness is light—the only power that removes darkness.
Therefore, the opposite of pride is humility that remove pride. The opposite of pride—humility—identifying with no other man—came with Jesus. The humble men may have been there. But, I suppose none could then be willing to carry the cross of Jesus.
Justification is the key-word that ensconces the only sin of the world, whether people realise it or not. As human beings, in our condition of weakness, we desire to be viewed as good people. That leaves us incapable of doing that which is required to crush the only sin of humanity.
The culture of justification was initiated by Adam. When asked by God—concerning what had brought them into sinful condition—Adam blamed his wife—thereby absolving himself. Adam was expressing the effect of pride.
On his own, Adam could not disentangle himself out of that sin. The murder of Jesus—though carried out by the sinful humanity—was instituted in Heaven. Satan instigated the murder of Jesus. But this was a plan initiated in Heaven, to invalidate the only sin codified in pride, against humanity.
As to why God did not deal with it, immediately after Adam’s demeanour, is a subject for another day. But what followed after that incident, was bad news for humanity. Nothing else could reverse that reality.
The landmark vanquish of the sin of pride took place, only in the first century AD. The birth of Jesus confirmed the significance of the good news that would take away the only sin of humanity. Now, let us deal with the third and last question: Why was such good news treated as bad?
Humanity is caught up in the labyrinth—complicated by the culture that insists on adulating other people, while despising others. This came from the spirit of pride—having nothing to do with God. A person feels good when being adulated for performing better than others.
A person who performs better than others gets rewarded. But a person who fails to reach the level of what is considered good is despised. It is considered natural, therefore, for any individual to seek excellence—not for any other purpose, except being adulated.
The educational system is crafted out of that consideration. The political system is also motivated by that consideration. Even the religious system is ensconced in that consideration. Everyone wants to be viewed as better than his fellow men. Instead of working to help his fellow men to become better.
The passion is to become better, thereby, suppressing others, not to reach the same level as accessed by the individual. The person feels good, as long as other people are subservient to him. But, at the bottom of all this is pride—aiming to acquire the status of being better than others.
Of course, only the minority desire to maintain the status quo—as enjoying privileges of being in authority. The authoritarian package, associated with influence—is what manipulates the poor majority to acquiescence—seeking to curry favour with those in authority.
The common man wants to impress, in order to access superior positions—carrying the possibility of also influencing other people. Who can that person aim to impress, except the one holding the power to facilitate his vision? This appears natural, and has remained that way, even after the resurrection of Jesus.
Of course, having managed to impress, that person can expect promotion. The congratulatory messages can flood his communication lines. But not all those people would be sincerely projecting their inner feelings.
The unavoidable jealousy and envy would be overwhelming the inner feelings of those appearing as friendly. They project what is considered as good. But only desiring to be associated with the person having acquired promotion.
Nevertheless, secretly, this is where witchcraft is manufactured. Gossip and slander become the order of the day. Generally, all hatred against one’s fellow men—including the existence of all wars—are born out of such covert delinquencies.
Humanity was vanquished, right at the beginning, when Adam succumbed to the devil. What makes pride problematic is that the proud are generally envied by the ordinary people. The humble ones are considered as unintelligent and therefore unimpressive.
What complicates this further is that the public media makes good income out of bad news and not out of good news. Perchance, the good news could be given coverage—when mistakenly considered as causing controversy.
Otherwise, it is plainly impossible for the good news—uplifting the welfare of the ordinary humanity—to be given good coverage. The good news, as first announced by Jesus, is a threat to the existing system that gives honour to those viewed as living comfortable lives.
Though few, those people hold the power of influence. They can cause the majority of humanity not to see anything interesting from such good news. If Christianity is currently acceptable to humanity, it is because there has not been any good news effectively preached this far.
This website may be among the few, projecting the good news of Jesus. Only the miniscule of humanity might see value in what is projected. The courageous ones—ready to stand up to defend what is projected—are almost non-existent. Serve for those driven by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The majority of our people, are cowards. They love to impress and would swear allegiance, only to those in authority. Their inner feelings could convince them of what they know to be right. But they would rather remain conservative—in anticipation of possible favours from those in authority.
It is actually possible that some of them pretend to be loyal, to those masters. But deep inside their conscience, they have something different. This is why Jesus insisted that only the truth sets people free (John 8:32).
This highlights the confusion that exists with humanity. Good news is taken as bad, while bad news is taken as good. The most liked people are those crafting bad news, not those bringing good news. Truth is most unpopular, compared with falsehood that almost everyone itches for.
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matthew 7:13-14) (ESV).
Although having been rejected by His own people, Jesus remains as the only hope of humanity. However, as He stated, only a few people find comfort in what He said, and follow Him. The rest find comfort in going alone with the majority, though being led to destruction.
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
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