The purpose of Jesus’ ministry was to save humanity from the confusion that has enslaved humanity since the time of Adam. There is no other way of deliverance, except Jesus’ way. The sad thing, as prevailing, is that many Christians think that they can improve on Jesus’ ways of doing things.
Virtually, all Christians love God. But most Christians are under the grip of Satan in disguise of having been delivered. This portrays the undetected falsehood that sustains the current confusion. The only problem is that most of those Christians manifest the appetite for hearing God via somebody else.
There is no doubt that most mega churches across the world are highly effective in serving many people from their troubled lives. This is just as Jesus served multitudes from troubled lives. But those served by Jesus were mostly not His followers and Jesus did not encourage them to follow Him.
Jesus actually discouraged most of those benefitting from His services against following Him (Matthew 8:20). To most of those who thronged around Him, Jesus taught in parables, so that they would not understand the secrets of His ministry. That ministry was about God’s Kingdom (Matthew 13:10-17).
Jesus exhorted His disciples to continue with that ministry, after Jesus’ departure (Matthew 28:18-20). Any addition or subtraction to Jesus’ ministry would obviously be false gospel. Such practices carried the unpleasant consequences affecting those concerned (Revelation 22:19).
What happened, since Jesus left? Supposing all Christian organizations, as known to exist, were projecting only what Jesus taught, wouldn’t the objectives of His ministry have long been accomplished? (Matthew 24:14).
It takes an analytical person to realize that, basically, what is taught among most Christian groupings is a different gospel from the one that Jesus advanced. Such gospels save only to sustain the confusion experienced since Adam.
The word ‘ministry’, simply means service and cannot necessarily be limited to Christian organizations. There is no need to put religion into the term ‘ministry.’ When Jesus provided services, like healing, to those thronging Him, He was simply displaying His personality, being commitment to serving those in need.
Of course, this was another way of preaching the gospel, which portrays concern for other people more than concern for self. But helping people was not necessarily the gospel. This is why to most of those people whom Jesus helped, He charged them not to tell anyone else (Matthew 8:4).
Naturally, after receiving something of value, the desire is to remain committed in friendship with the person providing such service. But that was not the aim of Jesus’ ministry. This is why Jesus even advised His followers:
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven”(Matthew 6:1) (ESV).
Jesus did not help people in their times of need, in order to attract some following. His mission was not to attract followers, but to preach the gospel to those desiring God’s Kingdom. This is why to those, naturally attracted by His services, Jesus had to preach in Parables (Matthew 13:10-17).
Practicing whatever righteousness is not, necessarily, preaching the gospel, as long as designed to attract some followers for self-gain. Doing so, actually, reverses the effects of the mission of the gospel, which is what the false gospel aims for.
True gospel bestows responsibility on those listening, but without attracting benefits to the one preaching the gospel. It seeks to make a difference where there is need—bringing comfort to other people. See [Created to solve, instead of creating problems].
I am aware that this sounds quite confusing to most people, due to the established traditions. But still, the established traditions do no mean that truth should not be communicated, regardless of how unpopularly regarded, by most hearers.
The aim is not to please the majority, but to help the few, desiring to abide in truth, as encouraged by Jesus (John 8:31-32). There is no other truth, except what comes from Jesus who even fulfilled the requirements of the Law (Matthew 5:17)
The mission of Jesus was to advance the Gospel, which basically, is the opposite of what prevails in this world. That Kingdom can only be understood in the Spiritual realm, because it is the opposite of what sustains the physical nature. See [Works bring the opposite of what is intended].
In order to simplify the understanding of the gospel of God’s Kingdom, in my writings, I have codified the dichotomous principles. The first being altruism, which implies selfless concern for the well-being of others. This principle is not commonly found in this world.
A few people known to have practiced altruism are regarded as heroes. But, though considered virtuous, such practices, do not encourage willingness to adopt such kind of life style. The common indulgence is to be committed to doing what eventually brings comfort to the benefactor.
What sustains those helping other people in need, is what would be there for the benefactor? While not common in the present world, altruism represents the gospel of the Kingdom of God that Jesus sought to advance.
There is nothing attractive about altruism. But it is the only way of escape from the sinful entrapment, that the entire humanity finds itself in. Imagine, if everyone born in this world had been committed to the selfless concern for the well-being of others?
I suppose some people would find it easy to denounce the principle of altruism as too Utopian to be true. But that happens to be what represents God’s Kingdom and such principles are as truthful as the rising sun tomorrow. Falsehood is only found in self-centredness.
Altruism is generally the opposite of the self-centred principles that currently drive our existing civilization. What is manifested, even in the way we raise up our children, drives the current civilization, as based on the principle of self-centredness.
In other words, working hard in order to survive is highly commendable and even highly encouraged among Christian groupings. But this is different from the principle of working hard so that other people can survive.
The principle of self-centredness appears very good at fault-finding. It places the blame of all wrongs, squarely, on those, actually, causing the existent problems. It demands that everyone should be good, rather than being evil.
It, therefore, encourages the purging of trouble-makers, in order to reap benefits after such people have been removed. It habours no concern for the trouble causers. This is why it is a principle of self-centredness.
Ask any ordinary person regarding him/herself as a dedicated Christian, whether purging all trouble causers is not a noble thing to do? The answer by such a person would, obviously, be resoundingly affirmative. This resonates well with other religions of the world.
The only irony is that such Christians would also be sincere in regarding themselves as true followers of Jesus. Yet Jesus preferred dying for those deserving to be purged. Jesus did not die for good people. He was actually the best friend of sinners, though not a sinner Himself.
As commonly known today, virtually, characterized in Christian denominations, are different ministries. You have what is called Youth ministry, Women’s ministry, Men’s ministry, etc. What motivates such ministries is catering for the interests of those concerned.
In the culture of self-centredness, these ministries are indeed valuable. But they reflect the opposite of altruism, which focuses on God’s Kingdom. Such ministries portray the opposite of what Paul describes as making a difference between the current civilization and God’s Kingdom:
“For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, hears according to promise”(Galatians 3:26-29).
Any sincere Christian ought to answer the following question: Was Jesus altruistic or self-centred, in His nature? Whether altruistic or self-centred, the person who professes to be a Christian ought to follow the route of Jesus Christ.
Truth implies that one cannot be one thing and be the other at the same time. This is not to say such ministries do not serve the purpose of producing positive results. But what we should be clear of is that the gospel of God’s Kingdom seeks to reverse the current civilization, including whatever looks positive.
It does not seek to improve the current civilization but to replace it with a new civilization that is based on altruism. Under the conditions of altruism, the question is: how can other people benefit from my services?
This question is different from: How can I benefit from other people’s services? Or what can I do to benefit more from my services? There is no doubt that happiness also comes from the effects of practicing self-centredness.
But such benefits are temporary and unsustainable in the long run. While self-centredness appears as providing comfort to its proponents, ultimately, its fruits are the reverse of what is intended. See [Personal Salvation vs. God’s Kingdom].
The current civilization seeks to project some people as better than others; while highlighting those considered as worst sinners—so as to effectively lay the blame on them. The blemished ones, therefore, also find good reason to militate against those vilifying them.
However, in an altruistic civilization, even one’s enemies are well-treated as deserving to be loved (Matthew 5:43-48). In other words, in an altruistic environment, bad people can be influenced to also become good. This is done through the power of influence. See [Influence is the method, not witnessing].
However, on announcing the message of the gospel, Jesus did not intend that self-centred people should take advantage. Such people will ever be hearing but not understanding. They will also be ever seeing, but never perceiving (Mark 4:12).
The few identifying with the call of the gospel will be privileged to rule with Christ, when He comes to establish His Kingdom. Those finding it easy to identify with altruism, have the mind-set that identifies with Jesus—whose altruistic nature led him to die for humanity’s sins.
But the only way to take advantage of Jesus’ services is to follow in His footsteps. Any other way is self-pleasing, as advanced by the ministers of darkness, who are called the deceitful workers of iniquity (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).
But people are free to choose whatever identifies with their own conditions. They can choose to belong to any church grouping that makes them feel comfortable. They can also find comfort in belonging to any of the various ministries as available. I suppose that is workable for those seeking comfort in the current civilization.
But for purposes of being on the Lord’s side, there is only one way, as portrayed in Jesus’ ministry. That ministry is not about self-comfort or self-benefit. It is about serving according to God’s will. It is more to do with sacrifice than it is to do with the benefits accruing to self.
There is a lot to benefit in accepting the call of Jesus. But such benefits come after have fully understood and adopted the principles of God’s Kingdom (Matthew 6:33). Yet there is also a lot to benefit in self-centredness, including benefits that can be received from those practicing altruism.
What is unacceptable and dangerous for such beneficiaries is assuming being included in the bridal party when Jesus comes. My view is that those not in Christianity are safer than those in Christianity, only for what they can get.
There is nothing wrong with benefitting from Christian services. Many people also benefitted, even in Jesus’ time. But what appears as dangerous is pretending to be a Christian, when only intending to unscrupulously benefit from it.
The ministry of Jesus is more about giving than it implies what one gets from it. The reason why Jesus projected that ministry secretively, is because He did not want the wrong people to make a mistake of associating with it. He knew the consequences that would befall those doing so.
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.comfor $13.99