In the name of privacy, it is customary to observe affluent people living in protected homes. The greatest enemy of human beings is assumed to be other fellow humans, more than anything else. Currently, the considered most sophisticated nations, boasting of being the most civilized, are admired for investing in the most destructive weapons. This is where the dangers of humanity lie, more than any other danger that can be a cause for concern.
There can never be any effect without a cause. Are some nations more dangerous than others? Can it be possible to limit wickedness to particular nations, where the rest can be considered harmless? Would eliminating those considered most harmful be the solution for the desired peace?
Before claiming the Promised Land, the Israelites were credited for having killed more people than any other, on the face of the earth. They did this under the instructions of God of peace. These are pertinent questions, in need of workable answers, without which the idea of worshipping God is irrelevant.
Diseases and other problems of humanity can be handled, except the problem of enmity among humans. The problems of rivalry can come from relatives. Limiting problems of hostility to racial differences is unnecessary. Fighting is common, across humanity, regardless of race or any other consideration.
Hence, the most astringent divorce cases are a daily routine, across the world. Statistics could point in the direction of worsening or improvement. If there has been any improvement in recent years, the worse is to be expected, any time soon. Education is considered effective in improving relationships. But the more educated people are, the more destructive they become.
Superior education has induced fear of the escalation of nuclear arms. There doesn’t seem to be any answer to the dangers enveloping humanity. Without weapons to defend oneself, one is considered vulnerable. While having irrefutable answers, the Holy Scriptures are used to reverse goodness in humanity.
Wars have been fought in God’s name, not only in Israel but also among Christians. Anything evil invites being dealt with evilly. It is a principle of a tooth-for-a-tooth that has governed humanity since the beginning of times. Without understanding causes, it is impossible to ever expect to find solutions.
The starting point is to know the origin of humanity. As God’s children, humans had God’s mind, lost in the symbolic incident of the Garden of Eden. They wrongly took the symbolic tree of knowledge of good and evil. This was parabolic, but throwing confusion, more than it revealed answers to humanity.
To start with, there is nothing wrong with knowing goodness from evil. But, any information in parabolic terms causes problems. The interpretation of the knowledge of good and evil can come from diverse angles. However, in this life, there is a thing called pride, totally hidden, that is causing all the problems of humanity.
One of the attributes of pride is assuming to know what one does not know. The knowledge of good and evil could, therefore, stem from assuming to know the unknown. True knowledge comes from the source. If one assumes to be the source of knowledge one carries the syndrome of that parabolic sin.
This is different from those acquiring knowledge directly from the source. As human as Jesus was, His knowledge came directly from His Father. Jesus was not like the Pharisees who assumed to know, but not directly from God. The Pharisees should not be mistaken for having been the only ones carrying that syndrome.
Greek Scholars attempted to ridicule Paul, concerning Jesus’ story (Acts 17:16-34). Although a few accepted Paul’s teachings, the majority could not imagine anyone without a philosophic background could understand Godly things. The problem with pride is that it prevents one from perceiving. A person could be the worst sinner, without pride, but be better than the law-keeper.
This is incredibly true. The more educated a person would be, the stupider he becomes. This can be observable in all areas of humanity, including most of those of my age, for instance. Modern technology can be considered complex to elderly people, who would have learnt more difficult things, during their lifetimes. However, they would be unable to understand the causes of their failure to grasp simple technological formulas.
Jesus insisted on the impossibility of entering God’s kingdom unless one became like a child (Matthew 18:1-3). Teaching someone who assumes to know can be daunting. Rather than focus on learning, such people get limited by evaluating the presenter, rather than the presented information. The Pharisees rejected and harassed a blind man who had identified Jesus.
Jesus said, “For judgment, I have come into this world so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?” Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains”(John 9:39-41 NIV).
Jesus was dealing with a sin of the knowledge of good and evil. That knowledge makes a person blind. A person who assumes to know can see anything else, except what he assumes to know. The more he thinks he knows, the more blinded he becomes. The only problem with such people is that they influence followers to then perish with them.
The Pharisees were considered to be knowledgeable of the Scriptures more than everyone else. They discouraged ordinary people from following Jesus. In society, leaders who turn the corner towards insanity, influence hordes of followers behind them. Such followers would not know what they would be doing, except putting faith in their leader.
There is no prudence in accepting information without evaluation; which is similar to rejecting knowledge without evaluation. God’s voice comes from any angle, even from one’s children. Parents are commonly arrogant and reject knowledge coming from their children. They assume they are more informed than their children. Even those of Jesus’ family could not readily accept Jesus’ teachings. They assumed to know better than Jesus.
Before delving into the mystery of humanity, let us first exhaust reasons for God allowing tragic wars in Old Testament times. Jesus came teaching the opposite of what happened in ancient times. God was ruthless to sinful people. The most difficult thing for the Israelites was to administer God’s laws according to the projected intent. No human being could effectively keep those laws.
There are two possible reasons for that state of affairs. The first was to reflect God’s righteousness when projected against humanity. This was the lowest gradient, necessary before God’s righteousness could be revealed through Jesus. The Israelites were expected to be positively influential to other nations. The second reason was preparing the groundwork before the arrival of the Messiah.
There had to be a tradition of obeying God’s Laws, at the arrival of Jesus. That tradition did not necessarily imply granting privilege to Israel. The blessing would extend to other nations, without necessarily validating the Israelites. To display a lack of favoritism, God originally blinded the Israelites, concerning Jesus, because all humans receive salvation only on the condition of humility.
“I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, and in this way, all Israel will be saved. As it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.” As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable”(Romans 11:25-29 NIV).
The biggest problem affecting humanity is that knowledge puffs up (1 Corinthians 8:1). Knowledge, as originating from that parabolic tree, generates pride. Jesus’ ministry takes humanity out of the sin of pride. This is what necessitates Christian persecution in this world. As it serves to condition Christians to humility, persecution helps eliminate all forms of pride.
The previous installment alluded to David’s exposure to Saul’s persecution; as a way of preparing David to become the next King of Israel. Allegorically, David was pronounced as shadowing Jesus. But David’s experiences also represented Jesus’ brothers, also to become kings as detailed in Revelation 20: 4-6. Hence, Jesus insinuated those brothers of Him to be not different from Him (Matthew 25:40).
If there is any data that Jesus emphasized more than any other, it was on the aspect of humility. His entire ministry can be summarised as; “Humility.” Focusing on whether Christians keep God’s laws can be necessary. But nothing beats the aspect of humility, as highlighted in the parable of a Pharisee and a publican in prayer (Luke 18:10-14). Jesus summarized this Christian conduct in one of His lectures to the unpretentious disciples.
“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted”(Matthew 23:8-12 NIV).
The most observed problem among our fantastic preachers has always been the consideration of being superior to other Christians. It can be extremely depressing to observe highly effective preachers, displaying being oblivious of the above Scripture. My trepidation is induced by Jesus’ insinuation of what could befall them:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one 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 in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”(Matthew 7:21-23 NIV).
The most popular trends in this world cannot grant assurance on matters of salvation. The wrong thing is to assume that Christianity implies being more privileged than other fellow humans. That is a fallacy, but stemming from ignorance, or assuming to know when one would be ignorant.
All humans are fallen children of God. They were created in God’s image, for which Jesus died on the cross. No one can claim to have special rights ahead of others. John 3:16 should be understood in its context.
This Scripture can be recited many times, but without understanding the significance of humility, carries no relevance. Unfortunately, many people sheepishly desire to first observe multitudes subscribing, before engaging, unaware that God calls people as individuals, not as groups.
Nevertheless, all humans are called at different times. The danger is in those failing to heed when directly called by God. Delivery into God’s Kingdom requires surrendering everything. This cancels fear and other weird considerations. This is why the accumulation of wealth can be cumbersome before one can surrender to God’s calling.
The good news is that all humans have the potential to be like God. The Most ignored, if not misunderstood Scripture is poignantly stated in Genesis 1:26-27. The imagination of God’s image does not make sense to most people. The Jews almost stoned Jesus for insinuating that reality.
Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?” “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God”(John 10:31-33 NIV).
The difference between Jesus and humanity is pride. But that statement alone causes one to be regarded as heretical. It violates the commonly adopted orthodox doctrine of the Trinity. Rather than look at the Scriptures, most people display the appetite to throw stones, before looking. Nothing is surprising, as Jesus confirmed that as the sign of Christianity.
This comes from adjudging fellow humans as unfit to be used by God. This blinding factor also affected the Jews. Nevertheless, there is no other truth except as taught by Jesus. Race, gender, class or educational background of the one used, carries no relevance, except Jesus’ words.
All humans are created in God’s image, meaning that all are equal, in God’s eyes. We are better off leaving the question of why God uses some individuals rather than the preferred characters. There can never be anyone who can answer that question in this world, except God.
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 who have 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 Amazon.com for $13.99