To most of those reading through the New Testament Scriptures, Jesus was globally honored, as Lord. Although projecting the unprecedented knowledge, Jesus was never globally honored. The common men regarded Him as a loser. Those currently glorifying Him may, therefore, be fallacious.
The subject of human race appears as yet to be adequately explored by scholars. The reason why other people are regarded as greater as or smaller than others confirms this dearth. Who and what is man, in this physical universe? The answer can be very unpopular to scholars, who crave for honor and status in society.
The number one enemy of humanity is ego. What drives most scholars to study are status and honor. Hence Degrees, doctorates and other titles of honor are ego stimulants. The most unpalatable truth is that education does not make one greater or better than others in one’s environment. This is the datum that was highlighted by Jesus to his early disciples:
“Jesus called them together and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many’”(Matthew 20:25-28) (NIV).
As long as unable to confront the significance of this Scripture, one would be deceiving himself, when assuming being Christian. It is impossible to assimilate this Scripture without duplicating, to understanding its content.
On referring to Gentile rulers, Jesus was pronouncing what was commonly acceptable to humans. Leaders are honored, considered as carrying burdens of leadership. That viewpoint has not changed, even today.
The designations that go with certification, warrant rewarding achievers, accordingly. Nothing appears amiss, with that perspective, except contradicting what Jesus taught. According to Jesus, one bears the responsibility to serve, after attaining a leadership status.
That means owing servitude to others, rather than other people owing anything to the leader. This is despite ordinary people feeling obliged to honor leaders. Of course, the person can become greater, depending on the magnitude of his servitude.
This sounds confusing, but very workable, when looking at what happened to Jesus. There are only a few incidences where Jesus was honored. One of such incidences depicts a woman using expensive perfume, to clean His feet with her hair (John 12:3).
Also, Joseph of Arimathea, though not one of the twelve, catered for His burial services. Incidentally, there is no recorded of the closest erstwhile disciples, Peter, John and James, ever serving Jesus. He washed their feet, but they did not wash His.
“When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. ‘Do you understand what I have done for you?’ he asked them. ‘You call me “Teacher” and ‘‘Lord,’’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you’”(John 13:12-15) (NIV).
Indeed, Jesus was Lord, even before crucifixion. But He was not, and did not crave being worshiped by anyone. Those desiring His services never gave him time to rest. He provided a perfect example of greatness in servitude.
The question may arise, concerning the workability of Jesus’s teachings. Being a believer implies believing everything taught by Jesus. This does not mean blind faith. The workability of the datum, is what sustains faith.
Any piece of information is factual, as long as coming from the source. How workable is the idea of servitude, as opposed to being served by others? Jesus demonstrated how His disciples were expected to serve others, after His departure. This principle prevents adulation from ordinary people:
“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you”(Matthew 6:1-4) (NIV).
This principle was as workable as Jesus demonstrated its workability. Nevertheless the effects, considered as derived from such a behavior, deserve debugging. Most of those calling themselves “believers” cannot apply such a principle. The excuse given is that Jesus was peculiar.
But the peculiarity of Jesus is premised on pioneering the new way of life. Discipleship is confirmed in applying what Jesus taught. Of course, the charlatans will always exist, just as true disciples also always exist. The behavior of charlatans is not, necessarily, of interest in this presentation.
The datum against practicing righteousness before others is most important. Those who matter most are the uncelebrated heroes of our time. This was also affirmed by Jesus, when pronouncing blessings to those reviled for doing good works (Matthew 5:10-12).
What is currently grooved in most people’s minds is that leaders ought to be reverently respected. Hence, we have people jostling for positions of leadership. This may have been the postulate held by a woman who requested Jesus to grant leadership positions to her two sons:
“Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him. ‘What is it you want?’ he asked. She said, ‘Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.’ ‘You don’t know what you are asking,’ Jesus said to them. ‘Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?’ ‘We can,’ they answered. Jesus said to them, ‘You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.’ When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers”(Matthew 20:20-24) (NIV).
There are four points, deserving analyzing in this Scripture. The first highlights a woman, ignorantly asking Jesus for a favor? She spoke from the honorability of leaders’ viewpoint, rather than leaders honoring those led. In other words, she had a juxtaposed idea of the leadership principle.
The second highlights the unnecessary behavior in canvasing for leadership. Each person was born a leader, one way or the other. God looks at the attitude. What causes the desire for promotion? The woman assumed that promotion was for purposes of being served.
The third point is that God determines, on questions of leadership. Wise people disabuse themselves of the idea that the reverently respected denominational leaders will comprise the bridal team. This is why there will be gnashing of teeth, at Jesus’s second-coming.
The last point is that the ten disciples became indignant against the two brothers. They appear as also having been ignorant of the workings of God. Their indignation was probably spurred by the common belief that there is advantage in leadership.
There was no advantage in wearing the shoes of Jesus. Each person carries some advantage, as manifested in Jesus, so long as understanding one’s own true identity. One could even do greater things than performed by Jesus (John 14:12).
What separated Jesus from the rest of humanity was unparalleled knowledge. Otherwise, Jesus was as human as everyone. Although Jesus is described as the only begotten Son, others are also God’s children. The story of humanity is best clarified in the Book of Genesis.
“Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’ So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them”(Genesis 1:26-27) (NIV).
It is difficult to understand why most people find this Scripture difficult. Yet, as simple as appreciating that God’s image implies being like God. If God eternally exists, humans should have no difficulty in appreciating the potentiality to exist eternally.
Evidently, humans are degraded. But that does not take away the fact that humans hold the potential to revert to their status of God’s image. This is not an idea peddled by an ill-considered Andrew Masuku. It can be appreciated by anyone, who believes in the infallibility of Scriptures. See [The prodigal Son parable, and the Mystery of Man].
There cannot be any other description of hell, except this deranged world. One is blessed, when able to perceive hellish conditions in this world. When appreciating being God’s image, certainly, one cannot take comfort, existing in the physical body.
One way or the other, humans witness their loved ones perishing in misery. It seems impossible to change things in our environments. Glaring before us are terrorist bombings, suicides, criminality, insanity, Illnesses, mysterious deaths, accidents, natural disasters, child delinquency and many other unwanted conditions.
Nevertheless, the mission of this website is not to advance hopelessness, but the Good News of God’s Kingdom. When Jesus said, “It is finished,” He implied the possibility of ending human misery. The only reason why it is difficult to appreciate Christ’s deliverance messages is pride.
Egalitarianism does not appeal to the proud people, regarded as trend-setters. In my previous instalment I touched on those supporting what oppresses them, rather than supporting what liberates them.
The proud people feel threatened by the idea of equality, as finding separation highly attractive. Pride is sustained in racial prejudice. Yet it can also be sustained by those advancing a narrative, favoring the considered racially prejudiced. There is also pride in wealth, hence the corrupt people assume that wealth accumulation produces freedom.
As created in God’s image, any human being is different from his/her physical structure. This means everything descriptive of God, ought to sustain a human being. Of course, this is more than too good to be true. Especially when considering the degradation, having befallen humanity.
Each Human being holds peculiar talents and abilities—though remaining unidentified for most humans. Therefore, none can assume being better than the next person, also created in God’s image. Those degrading other fellow humans, fail to appreciate that they would be degrading God.
At the advent of Jesus, solutions to human troubles were unveiled. Pride has remained as the only stumbling block. Christianity has been heralded ever since Jesus left the scene. But true Christianity has been operating under very suppressive conditions.
Those given the limelight in Christianity are mostly, criminals, using God’s name in vain. The advancement of Christianity has been according to the viewpoint of Trinitarian theology. God’s true servants are very few, being invalidated, for one reason or another.
The suppressive strategy being manipulated has always commonly been the frailties of human nature. Those of this world cannot be as perfect as Jesus was perfect. David was not perfect. Peter and Paul were not perfect.
Unlike Jesus, humans are imperfect. But the charlatans use such frailties to effectively suppress the validity of truthful preachers. When advancing information to the fallible public, the charlatans are more elaborate in highlighting the wrongs, committed by God’s servants.
Such a strategy can be powerful as a tool, when validating propaganda, and attracting public approval. The charlatans advertise gorgeously to the public, although Jesus instructed that good works should be done in secret.
The only way to distinguish between charlatans and genuine Christians is not necessarily by how much is known. But by how willing or unwilling to learn one would be. Like the Pharisees, the charlatans are fixated on the idea that they know everything. They seek to prove how wrong others would be.
Yet, no-one knows everything, except those willing to test everything, and holding fast to what is good (1 Thess. 5:21). Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”(Matt. 5:3) (NIV). “…..God has revealed it to us by His Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God,”(1 Cor. 2:10) (NIV).
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. 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