After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself (John 6:14-15 NI).
Jesus was born to be King. Why did he not take the opportunity of being crowned by those, who had admired His profile? In this world, people get excited about opportunities coming their way, unlike Jesus who could not accept the opportunistic privilege. There is a thing called “Opportunity,” in this world, which every ordinary person wants to take advantage of.
Jesus was born of a woman, like any of us in this world. The only difference between us and Jesus is that Jesus had the privilege of superior knowledge. He knew the purpose of His existence on earth. He did not think of anything else, except to fulfil His mission. There is no human being born without a purpose on earth.
There are three reasons that cause people to fail to accomplish their respective missions. The first one is ignorance. A person is born in this world without knowing the purpose of his/her existence. The person is born by parents, existing within the condition of their own ignorance. The environment is allowed to take control so that opportunities or lack of opportunities determine the person’s fate.
The second reason concerns the invalidation, coming from parents or peers. Parenthood always takes the position of dictatorship to control children. The parents would always express their dominance, even though the child displays capabilities, superior to them or the environment. If born in rural areas, the child would be expected to pursue subsistence farming, as applicable to everyone in the environment.
Jesus was also challenged by people who invalidated Him, causing Him to stop ministering in their surroundings. The mostly despised people are those coming from poor families. It is always the environment that seeks to determine what role the person ought to play in society.
Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked. “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” And they took offence at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honour except in his own town and in his own home.” And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith (Matthew 13:54-58 NIV).
Affected by the problem of invalidation, by those of His community, Jesus had to go elsewhere. Rather than get support from them, those relatives took offence, as to disapprove of His teachings. Jesus could have succumbed, suspending His ministry if He was ordinary. One could, actually, be reduced to a laughing stock when displaying such superiorly peculiar knowledge.
In Zimbabwe, geniuses are unfairly disallowed to excises or exhibit their talents, as long as those talents potentially displace those in authority. A good example is that of Daniel Chingoma, having manufactured a helicopter in early 2003, using scrap metal. He could not be allowed to fly that helicopter in Zimbabwe. Let alone be assisted to sharpen his skills.
The reason given was that his technical abilities did not come from traditional training institutions. The environment suggests that it is impossible to have the knowledge, without going through the school system. The invalidation is more pronounced among blacks than among whites. Authoritarian leaders become intimidated when knowledge does not flow through orthodox channels.
If displaying some peculiar knowledge, one is deemed unacceptable. Had Daniel Chingoma been a foreigner, from some Western country, he probably would have been taken seriously. Authorities found his innovative ability to manufacture that chikopokopo, disturbing their authoritarian stability.
The cause of invalidation is endemic, across the world, although more pronounced in Africa. Those invalidating unorthodox innovators would, themselves, have been products of invalidation. They would have failed to achieve anything, in life, due to being invalidated. Those succumbing to invalidation criticize themselves, as to question their sanity.
There is nothing peculiar with nations with people who produce nuclear technology when compared with people who can’t. It’s not about race, but it is about authoritarianism. This is why geniuses like Steve Jobs were regarded as rebels before they could be given the honour, with regard to their technological achievements.
The people who make a difference in this world are those willing to break the rules doing what they were created to do. In short, progress or lack of progress is not racially connected but blocked by authoritarians, putting themselves in positions of knowing everything.
They invalidate those venturing into new ideas. But, it is also possible that those with such novel abilities may not believe in themselves. Those sitting in the comfort of invalidating themselves hardly ever ask themselves the reason for their existence in life. This brings us to the third reason for causing failure, which is fear.
Fear is an animalistic condition, mostly affecting those emerging from terrible conditions. There is truth in that successful people are commonly risk-takers. However, risk-taking should not be mistaken for money-making ventures, often considered without value addition. Making money without value addition is criminal.
A person might have very workable dreams, according to his/her own evaluation, but feel intimidated. The person feels intimidated, even without anyone invalidating him/her for what he/she was born to accomplish. There are some people who spend most of their time talking about failures rather than successes. They fail in the area of not realizing that it would be their duty to solve problems.
Born under an oppressive environment, a person can assume it would be criminal to assert authority on anything that they consider workable. This is called self-abnegation, assumed to be humility. However, this describes the mental captivity of humanity. Jesus came to bring freedom to humanity. Unfortunately, those living under fearful conditions remain unaware of the referred freedom.
He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day, he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:16-21 NIV).
There is no single person, whether in a mental asylum or whatever condition, created without a purpose. After having finished creation, God declared that it was very good (Genesis 1:31). In other words, no human being was created without purpose. Those appearing as existing without any purpose would, commonly, be victims of an oppressive environment.
Nevertheless, Jesus brought freedom, meaning that any person can now be himself and not be bothered much about other people’s opinions. Like Jesus, each person can commit him/herself to fulfil the purpose for which he/she was created. If everything that God created was very good, it cannot exclude people created in His own image. The misnomer of whatever was pronounced as very good, at creation was addressed by Jesus.
Looked at from that angle, being promoted or granted a position, or some position of superiority should be considered fake. Each person is inherent with abilities that are peculiar to that individual. What can be hilarious is that a person’s innate talent does not make him as boastful as those trained but without inborn talent. The purpose of education ought to be regarded as a reminder of what the person knows already.
Academic achievements have got little to do with what a person was created to be. People should not be trained according to the whims of those in authority, but according to their innate abilities. Those in leadership are often respected more than they would be worth. Others would be considered inferior, thereby invalidating God who created them in His own image.
The peculiarity of individuals ought to be revered as much as God is revered. Even those with tattered and torn clothes need respect, as much as God is respected. Rather than despise people, one considers ways of assisting them to discover their personal identities.
If not born to be a teacher, one should never contemplate or envy becoming a teacher. If unable to sing, there is no reason to even wish to become a singer. If born to be a singer, one would be a singer, but not like any other singer, known to be successful in some other area.
This goes for any other profession. Perhaps the most important subject in this world ought to be communication. If all of us were skilled in communication, it would be possible to understand one another, without having to assume. Parents have problems with their teenagers, due to their inability to communicate.
For instance, the child may be born to be a professional dancer. But, if the background of those parents carries an inclination to invalidate dancing, that creates problems. The parents may begin to imagine their own child becoming associated with whatever degradation they carry in their own minds. They may have previously observed a discredited dancer, causing them to assume that all dancing is evil.
The child might then fail to understand the abnormal behaviour of such parents. Communication helps in ironing out such misconceptions. However, communication is not always effective, where there would be an aberration. Communication is commonly enigmatic in primitive areas.
Jesus could not be understood, even by his own relatives. Understandably, the contrast was too sharp for ignorant people. The knowledge that Jesus carried could not suddenly be acceptable to such people. Anything new is always met with resistance. Cowardice causes ordinary people to be conservative.
Galileo’s novel telescope information could not be freely disseminated, as intimidating to those in authority. The world of sceptics gives no room for free thinkers. Everyone prefers to be associated with what would have received wide approval. New ideas are commonly treated with suspicion.
Ordinary people prefer living the lives of others, rather than living to be what they were born to be. They would rather adopt whatever comes from authority, as considered to be elevating their statuses. However, there cannot be any position that is more important than others, in the field of livingness.
Humans were created to function similarly to how body parts function in a physical structure. A foot cannot accept being given the role of an eye. A foot knows only how to carry the entire body, walking long distances. But the same foot would trust that eyes would ensure the foot not stepping on dangerous ground. Similarly, the eyes cannot accept some other function, not designed for the eyes.
Hence, Jesus rejected to be crowned as King. He was born to be a King, but at the right time. The most important realization is taking instructions from God. Jesus pursued righteousness, rather than taking advantage of any situation. This agrees with Confucius’s quote: “The superior man is aware of righteousness, the inferior man is aware of advantage.”
In our society, we have people placed in leadership positions but not born to be leaders. Conversely, we also have people doing odd jobs, when supposed to be leaders. Ordinary people are directed by greed, more than they ought to be directed by their instinctive mandate to fulfil their purpose of existence.
It is always a question of what one gets out of whatever one does. A person becomes a teacher because he considers there would be better remuneration, than in the field that identifies with his natural abilities. The person would then blame others for not creating opportunities in the area of his calling. In other words, most people prefer being the effects rather than being the cause.
Having been created in God’s image, humans cannot load everything on others, except doing what God created them to be. There is no need to consider advantages, but doing one’s duty. It would be quite healthy to reject, even a position of honour like that of a state president. Self-introspection is necessary before accepting any job offer.
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the 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 relief to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. Most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope, in a simple conversational tone.
The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99