Is there anything good in a man?

There are indeed good things, considered deserving of praise in men. Even a rapist can buy sweets for an unsuspecting juvenile to access her bottom. That juvenile would consider the benevolent rapist good. A man named Wicknel Chivhayo has suddenly become popular, for dishing out cars. The recipients cannot be blamed for considering him as good. Everything is taken at face value, granting such people goodness, according to the benefits they would have received from him.

Praise singers are motivated by what is received at any given time. Even among Christians, who should know better, rarely do we have people evaluating according to Jesus’ words. The Biblical record shows Jesus refusing to be called good. Yet Jesus committed Himself to commendable things throughout His ministry. The multitudes of people were attracted by His benevolent activities. But Jesus, as a physical human, is on record, having refused the title of being addressed as good.

Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” So He said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but One, that is God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matthew 19:16-17 NKJV).

There we have it. The greatest Man who ever lived on this planet states that there is no one qualified to be good except God. In His capacity as God, Jesus was good. However, in His capacity as human, Jesus clearly stated that He ought not to have been regarded as good. The man who had given Him the title of being good was in error. This is helpful data in evaluating issues in this life. “No one is good but One, that is, God.”

The man who called Jesus good could have argued with Jesus, asserting the reason why he had addressed Him as “Good Teacher.” Jesus would have made it clear to him that flesh and blood cannot inherit God’s Kingdom, but deserve to perish. If there was anything good in a man Jesus would have opted avoiding the cross.

The man in whom Jesus said nothing good could be found was crucified. What remained in Him was God. Jesus was very clear on that aspect, hence accepting being treated badly on the cross. There is nothing good found in a physical human. The only condition may rest in his possibility to surrender that physical body to become God’s child.

At that point of surrender, the same person accesses the condition of becoming good. The attribute of being good comes from the Holy Spirit. Hence, one cannot invalidate that person, without invalidating God. If the Jews had been aware of this datum, indeed they could not have fallen into the trap of crucifying their Messiah.

They were unaware that Jesus hung on the cross on behalf of their physical condition, justifiably deserving to perish. The lamb that takes away that condition was crucified so that those willing could be saved. Jesus displayed His Messiah-ship when He prayed for the two criminals condemned similarly to how He was treated.

There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death.  And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” (Luke 23:32-34 NKJV)

God responded to Jesus’ prayer but revealed that in His effort to save humanity, not all humans would be salvaged. A portion of humanity will still perish, like the second thief, mocking Jesus, whose condemnation represented the entirety of humanity, without exception. The assumed goodness was represented in those who shouted in unison, demanding that Jesus be crucified:

But they were insistent, demanding with loud voices that He be crucified. And the voices of these men and the chief priests prevailed. So Pilate gave a sentence that it should be as they requested. And he released to them the one they requested, who for rebellion and murder had been thrown into prison; but he delivered Jesus to their will (Luke 23:23-25 NKJV).

The net effect of their shouting for Pilate to release Barabbas rather than Jesus portrays the mindset of humanity. Hence, Wicknel Chivhayo is granted the position of being good. This should not be construed as necessarily condemning Chivhayo, as also carrying the opportunity to be forgiven, like the second criminal.

Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.” But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him“Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23:39-43).

The one granted the privilege of being in Paradise with Jesus had certainly done nothing to deserve that redemption. He had not been a High Priest, in his lifetime. Jesus had prayed for both criminals but managed to salvage one. The difference between them is that the first considered goodness in physical humans. The second saw the opposite: “And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds.”

The important question is: If there is nothing good in humanity, why did Jesus die? That is the most reasonable question, although it would not corner Jesus, to be unable to respond to it. Jesus adopted the sinful condition that would redeem those wallowing in sinfulness. This had been a preconceived idea, since the beginning of times. God knows humanity more than humanity assumes to understand physical conditions.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:16-17 NKJV).

Jesus gave a dicey parable that seems to be confusing many Christians, yet it is as clear as affirming the above Scripture. This was after His lecture on affirming the significance of greatness, among those aspiring to be in God’s Kingdom. Those desiring to be great are expected to selflessly serve others, thereby invalidating the idea of scrambling for positions of authority.

“What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray” (Matthew 18:12-13 NIV).

It takes only the superficially reasoning characters to view Jesus as advocating the idea of abandoning the ninety-nine sheep, only to save one. However, Jesus was not entertaining the consideration of saving the ninety-nine but was emphasising the point that the proud would never inherit God’s Kingdom.

Bear in mind, that Jesus spoke in parables, to confound His messages, making it difficult for the unrepentant (See Mark 4:10-12). This is why many behave like that first criminal on the cross. They devise ideas of mocking Jesus, rather than taking advantage of Him. Jesus’ messages were never designed for good people.

They were designed for the humble—willing to sacrifice everything for the benefit of others. Jesus’ teachings are foolishness to the considered wise of this world. The gospel Books cannot be understood by evil characters. Evil characters are not supposed to access that condition of Godliness, before repentance. Doing so would be detrimental, as exposing them to the deadly Holy Spirit.

“Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven, men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come” (Matthew 12:31-32 NIV).

The mockers, like that first criminal, who could not take advantage of Jesus, have an appetite for sinful conditions. There is nothing that Jesus can do to help such people. They behave similarly to those poised to attempt an uprising against God’s Kingdom, after the millennium (Revelation 20:8-9). The only mercy applicable to them is preventing them from accessing the deadly Holy Spirit.

They stand another chance on the Day of Judgment, as covered in Revelation 20:11-15. Bear in mind that the deadly Holy Spirit was blocked from humanity when Adam and Eve took the wrong fruit. God sealed off the Tree of Life. The symbolic flaming sword protects sinful humanity from accessing the deadly Holy Spirit.

Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”—therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So He drove out the man, and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life (Genesis 3:22-24 NKJV).

Take note of the wording: “Behold, the man has become like one of Us!” This reveals that Adam did not have the attribute of that super-being, created in God’s image. Adam projected the opposite of Godly goodness. God makes it impossible for any human considered good, to ever access that tree of life.

In Matthew 20, Jesus gave another tricky parable, likening a farmer, hiring workers at different times. At day-end, those hired first, expected preference, ahead of newcomers. Jesus highlighted an uncommon method of remuneration. He appears to favour those having enjoyed good times throughout the day, at the expense of those who came early. The last were rewarded first, whereas those having experienced hard labour were rewarded last.

This exposes the hard-working ones to discontentment. The disgruntlement could lead some to condemnation. Jesus advanced a principle whose undertaking was not intended for those assumed to be better than the imagined worst criminals. There is nothing good in humanity.

Without condemning the physical nature, it is impossible to access the privilege of being God’s child. This sounds appetising to the habitual sinners, gleefully disapproving of the pontificating Christians. However, all humans are on the same level. None is good except God. To access Godliness, surrendering everything is necessary.

When Jesus invalidated goodness in humanity, He revealed the stupidity of assuming being better than others. Salvation is achievable when willing to lose everything. My humble advice to the proud is for them to avoid dabbling in Christianity. The Holy Spirit is not worth risking fumbling with it.

“Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for conditions of peace. So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:31-33 NIV).

The only bonus for living in physical life is in the ability to positively answer the question: “In all my toiling on this planet did I make most people glad that I lived?” As long as such a condition is not guided by condemning anyone of this life, that person is free, indeed. The same person may be killed because the righteous ones are hated in this world. But that condition portrays the only person with freedom, even though going through unenviable conditions.

Jesus said: He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 10:39 NKJV). Happy are those having lost the bad side of humanity to adopt what is good. That goodness is depicted in God. A human being was created in God’s image. All humans are the same, as created in God’s image. This is the time to renounce the fallacy that there can be any human who is greater than others. In God’s eyes, we are as equal as God created us all in His image. Only the fools remain in their deep slumber, assuming that they would be wiser than others.

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 for $13.99

Also available as an e-copy at  for $6.99



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