Jesus is mistaken for an impostor

There is a huge difference between attracting a huge following out of popularity and being largely ignored for maintaining the truth. An imposter can be identified by attracting huge crowds. This is because an impostor aims at telling the audience what they want to hear. The genuinely factual individual, repels followers, by telling them the truth that they would not be familiar with.

Jesus insinuated the impossibility of those with genuine information ever to attract the majority. Jesus can be mistaken for having qualified as an impostor if going by what He affirmed to His disciples. An authentic informer will always be vehemently rejected, according to Jesus. There is vast information attributed to Jesus, out in the world, so one is expected to meticulously select the authentic.

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it. Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit, you will recognise them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit” (Matthew 7:13-18 NIV).

The irony is that no other leader attracted huge followers like Jesus, at His time. Jesus never proselytised, but attracted people by providing solutions to their problems. The test of genuineness was in willingness to sell everything to follow Christ. The fruit that Christians are judged by is on matters of service but not for purposes of attracting followers. Failure to observe such differences can be costly.

And behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness. Honour your father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt not bear false witness.”

The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, if thou wilt be perfect, go sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shall have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful” for he had great possessions” (Matthew 19:16-22 KJV)

(Notice that I deliberately deviated from the NIV translation, having always preferred it, for its modern English. However, the NIV translators treacherously render: “Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God.”  The KJV directly originated from Greek, whose original messages are recorded. This suggests that the KJV is more authentic than modern translations. Sadly, the KJV does not identify with modern English users. Modern translators had a problem with the KJV rendition, which trips Trinitarian preachers.

Hence verse 17 of the NIV, reads: “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good.” This exposes the treachery. Jesus appeared as human as all of us, although being the Christ. True Christians are in the same category as Jesus. By stating “There is only One who is good.”  The interpreters implied that Jesus referred Himself, as the only one good, making it unnecessary to have corrected the rich young man).

Nevertheless, the above Scripture confirms the significance of God’s Kingdom, as attracting few people. The rich young man was among those fascinated by Jesus’ miraculous activities, but not necessarily attracted to God’s Kingdom. The way of the majority included attraction to wealth accumulation. The rich young man may have sincerely wanted God’s Kingdom, but not at the expense of losing his riches.

This truth is missed by those supposing that Christianity is a pastime activity. The idea of being exposed to abject poverty does not appeal to ordinary people. Popular preachers exclude the idea of selling everything. However, that does not necessarily suggest that being popular confirms being an imposter. Jesus attracted huge crowds, without being an impostor. Conversely, being unpopular does not automatically make one authentic.

Authenticity comes from the source. Although Jesus attracted multitudes, He actually, discouraged those desiring to follow Him, like the above-quoted rich young man.  Jesus also preached in parables to curb pretenders from falling into the category of uninvited guests, with precarious consequences:

“So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad and the wedding hall was filled with guests. But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. ‘Friend,’ he asked: ‘how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ The man was speechless. Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are invited, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:2-13 NIV).

The above Scripture validates the danger of being a pretender. Ordinary people assume that it is better to be among Christians than to be identified with blatant sinners. There is no danger in being an outright sinner. This was confirmed in the Book of Revelation. God does not tolerate mixing good and evil.

“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich, I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing. ‘But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.

“I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:14-29 NIV).

These Scriptures confirm the truth that God does not tolerate pretenders. The parables were designed to compound Heavenly messages (Matthew 13:10-20). Why would the King treat harshly those who, at least, participated at the wedding banquette, where others mockingly ignored the King’s invitation?

Parables are designed to exclude ordinary people’s understanding. Christianity is not necessarily, designed for purposes of convenience. Christianity is a deadly undertaking, similar to Jesus’ sacrifice, leaving the Heavenly convenience, for death on the cross. Jesus illustrated this form of commitment to forewarn those desiring to follow Him, but unaware of the consequences.

“Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple. Salt is good but if it loses saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out. ‘He who has ears to hear, let him hear’” (Luke 14:31-35 NIV).

The entire Biblical provisions are parabolic, for purposes of hiding the Kingdom messages from ordinary people. Such messages attract only a few, willing to leave everything, to follow Christ. This disregards the question of what those with whom one is associated would say. It is about sacrificing what one cherishes most, to follow Christ. “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:29 NIV).

Abraham qualified after having expressed willingness to sacrifice his son, to show his dedication to God. This test separated Abraham from those of this world. No person can declare being Christian while conveniently attached to worldly practices. In other words, no one can enjoy worldly conveniences and expect to be part of Jesus’ crew. When soberly viewed, Christianity is a matter of life and death.

There are those having made remarkable fortunes through Christianity. Exciting as it might be to observe such achievements, precautions are necessary. It cannot be for the writer to confirm or denounce such observably magnificent achievements, based on these Scriptural references. But the reader is advised to reflect on the validity of such Scriptures.

My earnest prayer is to avoid being a stumbling block; limiting God’s voice, to the intended audience. God’s voice is distinctly different from that of humanity. Being God’s instrument can be exciting, but humbling at the same time, as projecting what cannot be matched with anything in this world. Jesus’ services, as highlighted in Isaiah’s prophecies are mysteriously fulfilled, but only majestically provided to the privileged children of God.

Things observed today were foretold by Jesus, through His lecture on the mountainside. The lecture was quite long and scripturally provided in three chapters (Matthew 5, 6 and 7). But the most captivating portion projects what happens at His second coming. That event appears as not affecting ordinary people, but negatively affecting those having participated in Christianity:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord; will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you; Away from me, you evildoers!’” (Matthew 7:21-23 NIV).

These Scriptures are not for ornamental purposes but for application by those to whom the lecture was intended. They are valueless to the unintended audience. God communicates differently to those of this world. He spoke in parables while speaking clearly to His disciples. Those of this world expect dramatic manifestations rather than profoundly significant Kingdom messages.

“Here is my servant, whom I uphold my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will put their hope” (Isaiah 42:1-4 NIV).

No work of God does not project the fulfilment of some prophecies of old. How can one be assured of who God’s servant would be except by observing the prophetic fulfillments? Every bit and pieces of Jesus’ works were confirmed by Scriptural references. This included betrayal by Judas, who assumed that his nefarious activities were secretive.

 So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself. The chief priests picked up the coins and said, “It is against the law to put this into the treasury since it is blood money.” So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners. That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “They took the thirty silver coins, the price set on him by the people of Israel, and they used them to buy the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me” (Matthew27:5-10 NIV).

Through the services of the internet, these messages go far and wide. They are marvelled by some. Ignored by others, but hopefully adopted by those to whom God would be communicating. Existence in this world is but for a short time. Jesus’ ministry lasted for three-and-a-half years. His popularity, punctuated by His resurrection, ignited the entire world. But His communication was assuredly intended for the infinitesimally few, among the multitudes.

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

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