The fundamental reason that caused Jesus’ murder was his affirmation that He was not of this world. The truth of all ages, concerning human origin, is derived from the datum, which is scripturally authenticated. Jesus’ involvement in quarrels with His opponents concerned utterances about His Godly origin. Jesus’ utterance was a matter of truthfulness. Stating it differently would have been false. But, from where did humans originate?
“Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?” Jesus replied, “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me. Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and keep his word.
“Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.” “You are not yet fifty years old,” the Jews said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!” “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “Before Abraham was born, I am!” At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds(John 8:53-59 NIV).
The Jewish contention was based on human origin, whose datum had all along been available. Their Scriptures stated that human creation was in God’s image. But Jesus’ origin could not be viewed as originating from God. They revered Abraham but were seemingly unaware of his origin. Their refuting of Jesus’ inference of existence before Abraham ought to have revealed the datum on which they based their argument.
Jesus’ statement had been confirmed by the adored Scriptures, held by those plotting to kill Him. They held to the datum that Abraham was God’s child, but, seemingly, without answers on the question of Abraham’s origin. The revelation of human origin was through the same Scriptures, bearing Abraham’s record.
The Jews were physically Abraham’s offspring. But Abraham could not represent the structural source of humanity. Abraham existed in flesh and blood, subject to death and decaying. His spiritual condition, unassociated with this world, had long existed, just as the entirety of humanity had since existed. Arguing with Jesus, having come from God, was a nullity.
Jesus’ position was based on human origination, while theirs was based on flesh. If Abraham was fleshly, what sustained their commitment to him? The Jews appear to have been committed to the Scriptural data that they did not believe in. Invalidating the personality of Jesus was uncalled for, without Scriptural confirmation. Had their father, Abraham, been alive or dead?
At some point, a section of the Jewish community tried to pin Jesus on the question of resurrection. They could not figure out how dead people could come into existence. Their reasoning was limited to physical existence, rather than spiritual existence. Jesus proved their spiritual ignorance.
Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you, I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.” When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at his teaching.(Matthew 22:29-33 NIV).
The reason for being astonished at Jesus’ teaching is not surprising, as affecting ignorant people. Nothing surprises knowledgeable people. Surprises affect those holding false data. Abraham was alive, although physically unobservable. This is just as Jesus is alive today, but not physically observed. Jesus manifested His spiritual livingness, after His resurrection. That manifestation was necessary to convince the materially fixated humanity.
Our physical condition is based on falsehood, sustained in physical death. The physical universe is not conditioned according to human origin. Worldly promises are temporary, while Godly image is eternal. Jesus was, effectively, not in communication with those Jews. They were physically obsessed, while Jesus spoke from a spiritual condition, forming the source of humanity.
The incredible truth, currently unknown, is that Heaven has no force. The power and force is of this world. Let us consider the sensation that drives a person to, at times, act without reasoning. Emotion is commonly driven by uncontrolled energy. In almost all disputable matters involving Jesus, the Jews became emotionally aroused.
Jesus had to slip out to avoid being stoned. That was a manifestation of physical sensation, causing those Jews to desire to act unreasonably. The most dangerous thing is to argue with an ignorant person. The reason why ignorant people are dangerous is because ignorance is worldly. Ignorance is as reactive as the atom bomb is reactive. Ignorant people cannot be logical.
Physical humans are reactive in their reasoning. They do not communicate based on logic. Jesus’ adversaries were simply reactive rather than analytical in their communication with Jesus. They attempted to pin Jesus at every turn, but they could not succeed, as Jesus was truthful.
Jesus never said anything not based on Scriptures that they attested believing in. Each time Jesus confronted them with the truth, they became reactive. Even Peter, regarded as the chief disciple, was susceptible to being reactive. His reactive behaviour aimed at protecting his master, unaware that reaction was of this world.
From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men”(Matthew 16:21-23 NIV).
The above Scripture reveals the reactive factor in Peter. Although regarded highly, among the disciples, Jesus castigated him, as his reactive behaviour had not been in tandem with the heavenly condition. Due to his reactive condition, Peter missed the last part of Jesus’ communication: “…and on the third day be raised to life.”
Typical of ignorant people, listening is uncommon, due to reactive behavior. Jesus said Simon Peter’s behaviour was human. Worldly humans are as reactive as the atom bomb is reactive. Their culture is not associated with reasoning, but reaction. The majority of them regret, having harmed their loved ones, due to their reactive behavioural condition.
The bottom line is that any worldly person is as reactive as this world is reactive. Simon Peter’s behaviour was driven by his attachment to this world, rather than being attached to God. This grants the ability to realize that ignorance causes the uncontrolled reaction. This is why arguing with an ignorant person can be extremely dangerous.
While blamed for being reactive, it is necessary to appreciate that ignorance is reversible, through knowledge acquisition. The fundamental process of learning involves appreciating being uninformed. Providing knowledge to a person who assumes to know is impossible. Providing knowledge to a person, who appreciates his possibility of being uninformed, cannot be difficult.
The most dreaded condition is warfare. After engaging in war, either side of the warring factions wished it could end promptly. Driven by the power of reaction, the warring inferno becomes irreversible, until either of the two sides is vanquished. But it takes the vanquished side to regroup, coming up with a different strategy to eventually overcome the victorious opponent.
This has been the cyclical condition of humanity, since time immemorial. Some of the kingdoms have existed longer than others. Yet others are recorded as having lasted for a very short time. But the rising and waning of worldly powers remain to be what sustains the unpredictable worldly conditions. The reactive forces are mostly attractive to ignorant people, rather than the more informed.
Armed revolutions are most attractive, due to their reactive nature. But those attracted to such revolutions are commonly, the most uninformed. This is a curse currently haunting Zimbabwe. The youths may appear as if aware of the negative effects of the armed revolution. But the reactive factor closes the minds of some of those in their ranks, attracting the possible repetition of reactive stupidity.
It is only the factor of logical reasoning that brings tranquillity and progress. The reactive factor, while energising, produces chaos and misery. The future of a country is doomed when the advocates of reactive forces are allowed to dominate. The story of Jesus provides something to learn from the reactive elements. This confirms the fact that ignorant people are exposed by being reactionary.
Each time Jesus uttered what the Jews found to be unbelievable; they picked up stones, intending to kill Jesus. He survived only because His time had not yet come. Jesus reacted calmly when the Jews uttered highly provocative statements against Him who spoke only what was based on truth.
But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebub, the prince of demons that this fellow drives out demons.” Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? And if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you”(Matthew 12:24-28 NIV).
Nothing could be more offensive than likening Jesus to Beelzebub. Jesus remained calm, under such abusive acrimony, as Jesus was from an informed position, rather than from ignorance. He was different from His adversaries, in that He was informed, while His adversaries were uninformed.
This civil condition can even be observed among the conventionally educated communities. The truly educated people are more dignified than the uneducated people, who react easily. Jesus was not reactive in dealing with His adversaries. The demarcation, revealing how uninformed the person would be, is his reactive attitude.
The Jews did not need to be reactive if committed to their Scriptural references. In the Book of Genesis, after the physical creation, the creation of Man is highlighted differently from the rest of the worldly creation. Being emotional was unnecessary, if those Jews had considered, what Jesus taught, in light of the narration of Man’s special creation.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them”(Genesis 1:26-27 NIV).
The Landmark achievements have been credited to humans, including information technology, currently dominating. But that is infinitesimal, when compared with the authority granted to humanity, as inferred by the above Scripture. When Jesus calmed the tempestuous sea, at a time when His disciples had become hysterical, He displayed the power inherent in humanity.
As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement, they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him”(Luke 8:23-25 NIV).
Ordinary people regard Jesus’ abilities, as miraculous. But Jesus would not have questioned the faith of His disciples if such a display was unachievable by humanity. To save the lives of those aboard that troubled boat, Jesus simply invoked the power inherent with humanity (Genesis 1:26-27 NIV). Although constantly arguing with Jesus, the Pharisaic Jews had such Scriptures at their disposal.
They succumbed to reaction, when Jesus revealed what they ought to have known, regarding human abilities. Their emotional behaviour caused them to resist the truth, as committed to falsehoods, instead. Understanding Jesus is as simple as appreciating human origin. Groping in darkness is unnecessary, when the light has since been available. Pride, as sustained by ignorance, causes all this confusion.
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 Amazon.com for $13.99