Unlike animals, human beings are privileged with superior communication skills—enabling access to information about survival solutions. Since Jesus, knowledge has been available to humanity. However, there remains one obstacle that has made such knowledge inaccessible to most people.
Generally, it is assumed that the uneducated are the ones clinging to ignorance—rejecting workable ideas. This may be true, although there also seems to be reality in that ignorance is more prevalent among the so-call educated of this world.
The label of illiteracy is common, more among those taking comfort in assuming to be highly educated. Not necessarily only those having not gone through formal education. It is the so-called highly educated of this world, who exhibit similar—and possibly multiplied symptoms of knowledge deficiency.
In Jesus’ time, the Jews—though having been custodians of Law and Prophets—displayed knowledge deficiency, more than everyone else. The Jews shamelessly instigated the murder of their own Messiah—due to maintaining assumption of being more knowledgeable than others.
The Jews did not view Jesus as possessing knowledge. Notwithstanding Jesus’ ability to display unquestionable proof of knowledge and Godly traits. Instead, they were obsessed with seeking to find incriminating evidence to arrest him. Everyone expected knowledge to come from approved sources—instead of Jesus—whose educational credentials could not be proven.
The starting point is in knowing that all humans were created in God’s image. But each person holds peculiar talents and abilities. Just as the limbs of a human body peculiarly hold respective abilities to serve the entire body structure. Disdainfully treating any person, considered as uneducated or having insufficient knowledge is doing so against God.
Unfortunately, this a problem that appears as globally being in the entire educational system. Instead of attending to natural talents and abilities of individuals, the educational system encourages copying those having achieved successes earlier on. New students are not allowed to be themselves—as to produce new ideas, except quoting those regarded as authorities.
This comes from comparing personalities—creating an environment with despised people on one hand and charmed ones on the other. Those doing so are clearly oblivious of the fact that by despising another fellow human being, they would actually be despising God.
Most of the things that pass for normal in this world are actually abnormal—even among Christians, themselves. To belong in this world, one needs to blend, and behave likewise. For instance, what John wrote will continue to be a mystery, even among the most renowned Christians:
“If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother” (John 4:20-21) (ESV).
This scripture does not imply that loving another person ought to be proportionate with what is contributed by that person. What John says is that there cannot be any way a person can treat his brother scornfully, yet at the same time pretending to love God.
This statement is true and simple. But it misses the minds of those used to categorising people according to class and rank. As Paul aptly put it in 1 Corinthians 12, the body parts have different functions. But it is impossible for each of those body parts to despise one against the other.
The entire human body values each and every part of those body components. The challenge arises when there is physical deformity. But, even then, the deformed limb gets fully supported by the other limbs. Perhaps it may be on rare occasions that a person with physical deformity may suggest amputating the deformed limb?
God treats humanity as one. This is why Jesus’ death could not have been for a specific race, or a specific section of the human community. However, Jesus was commonly characterised as loving sinners more than the righteous ones.
This arises from the fact that, generally, those considered as more sinful than others were despised. Otherwise, there is no truth in that Jesus did not love those who obeyed His commandments. The privilege to know and apply God’s commandments, does not make one better than the ignorant ones.
Careful analysis of Jesus’ teachings show that the only section of people Jesus derided were the proud ones. The derision of those people, by Jesus, did not take into consideration that such people were regarded as good and highly respected in society.
Jesus ferociously attacked any forms of pride—being the only sin of the world that He came to deal with (John 1:29). To illustrate this point, Jesus had to use a parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector (Luke 18:9-14).
Bear in mind that it was pride that caused the Pharisees to reject Jesus’ teachings. It was also pride that caused them to condemn Him to the cross. Pride happens to be the only cause of drawback in salvaging sinful humanity.
The undisputable truth is that pride did not originate from God. Though disdainfully displayed, even by the generally considered good people, pride was the only reason for which Jesus came to die on the cross.
When and how can humanity understand the simplicity of the fact that the purpose of Jesus was to eliminate pride? Though appearing as simple, eliminating pride is impossible without Christ. As pride is the only hindrance towards all knowledge, the sinful humanity has ever desired—nothing else ought to be treated as culprit.
Interestingly, proud people lose sleep over someone appearing as doing better than them. This includes successes achieved by their own closest relatives. They rejoice excessively when the person they despise gets demoted, or goes through some misfortune.
Such despisers appear as doing well in life. But their lavish lifestyles are accessed through misfortunes of those they despise. They do not prosper due to providing services to humanity. They prosper through their harmful acts against humanity. This is very easy to observe in our weird environment.
For instance, there are those feeling so angry with what is currently happening in Zimbabwe. But there are those who actually wish that the status quo should remain unchanged. They do well out of confusion, not out of orderly processes.
In actual fact, without chaos, such people feel threatened. They would rather peddle lies and misinformation for the confusion to remain existent. It may actually be true, that without confusion such people drastically lose income.
I am reminded of the encounter that befell Paul in Ephesus. The riot that took place had nothing to do with the love of idolatry, nor necessarily Paul’s teachings, whether good or bad. Demetrius’ consideration was more on the threat of his business, as Paul preached against idolatry (Acts 19:21-40).
Demetrius had resolved not to even listen to what Paul was preaching about. What was important to him was the lavish income that came from his business of crafting idols. Such income made Demetrius feel good, as regarded highly, among ordinary people—necessary for sustenance of pride.
Sadly, people like Demetrius are skilled in taking advantage of the less informed, using them for own benefit. They do so, without such ordinary people being conscious of being used unscrupulously.
Poor people generally succumb to being manipulated by such unscrupulous individuals—though few in numbers. It seems all troubles in the environment are initiated by the considered well-to-do. Strangely enough, such people draw their support from the very people they abuse in that manner.
While comical, this ought to be regarded as sombre, as all problems of humanity are generated from such stupidity. The apparent injustice all over the world is highly supported by the victims of such perpetrators.
The few proud Pharisees instigated hatred towards Jesus, leading to riotous calls for His crucifixion. The poor majority did not know what they were doing. They were simply being manipulated by those viewed as privileged of society.
Ignorance is therefore the only enemy of humanity. Unfortunately, humanity seems to prefer walking in darkness, rather than walking in the light. This perfectly stresses the reason why God used the Prophet Hosea in stating thus:
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children” (Hosea 4:6) (ESV).
Everything changes, as soon as people heed the instruction to love fellow men as though loving God. Everything else hangs on this truism. Two questions remain empirically stuck in reality of what is conjectured in this significance:
“In all my toiling on this planet, have I been happy that I lived?” This happens to be the only question that leads to all problems of humanity. Even those being manipulated by the unscrupulous ones, it would be in pursuant of attending to this maverick question.
The second question focuses on the opposite of what the first question focuses on: “In all my toiling on this planet, were most people glad that I lived?” All resolutions to humanity’s problems are contained in only this particular question—if objectively attending to its demands.
Nothing else stands in the way, as Jesus clearly plotted the marks for everyone to follow and live. The second question, rather than the first, opens doors for learning, as such a person seeks after knowledge. That is the only person who fulfils what Jesus said in His Sermon on the Mount:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3) (ESV). It is impossible for the person who focuses on self, to ever consider, or let alone being willing to access new knowledge. Anything new is falsely considered as threatening his/her own survival.
This explains the rationale behind businessman Demetrius, as considering Paul’s teachings to be unacceptable. His judgment had been based on what solely benefitted him. In other words, Demetrius sought to answer the first, rather than the second of these two illustrative questions (Acts 19:21-40).
Knowledge is abundantly available. Jesus, who walked on the streets of Galilee, being the citadel of all knowledge, still walks through the streets among common people. He cannot be identified, in the same way that he was not identified by the most educated people in His time.
Knowledge begins with accepting the fact that all people were created in God’s image. There is no difference between the scruffy vagabond on the streets and Jesus, who the religious people profess to love dearly (Isaiah 53:3-4).
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
Also available as an e-copy at Lulu.com for $6.99