Who, in this world, is willing to take Jesus’ teaching seriously? The lip service is one thing, but the application projects another dimension. Willingness to stand by Jesus’ words, serves to test the true character of an individual. What appears to be is not always reflective of the truth. The trash gets along well with grain, as long as there is no wind pressure, which cannot be resisted by trash. To true believers, there is no ambiguity in Christianity.
The formula was put across by the author of Christianity at the beginning of the first century. Believing in Jesus implies believing everything He taught, without variation. It can only be fraudulent people who are choosy on matters of Christianity. It takes courageous people to confront the truth. Cowards avoid the truth, just as darkness avoids the light. This universe is sustained by axioms, requiring confronting truthful information, rather than maintaining falsehoods, for the sake of convenience.
The idea of promoting despised people ahead of those considered to be superior does not make sense to ordinary people. This world is comfortable with dividing people according to rank. However, the deterioration of human civilization is a result of adopting rank structures. Life formulas can only come from the author of life, just as death formula comes from the author of death. In-between there is confusion, requiring meticulous dissection of data between life and death.
The apostles constituted the foundation of the new civilization, designed to replace a decaying civilization characterized by corruption. The statement suggesting that despised people should be honoured ahead of achievers sounds incredible. However, the open failures of human civilisations rebut the considered credible information regarding the categorisation of human beings. Only the truth was designed to set people free.
Jesus is the only authentic personality, among all humans having ever lived on this planet. The authenticity of Jesus stems from His undisputable teachings, leading to His resurrection. He is the only recorded individual who, after having died, rose from the grave, as to be able to converse with physical humans. While life after death is incredible to most people, Jesus proved the possibility of living after death.
Nothing else grants Jesus the authority over death. Humans are scared of death; hence humans are under the subjugation of death. That, which, a person fails to confront, bears authority over that person. Jesus defeated death through His resurrection. Those who assert to be His followers cannot be cowed by death, anymore, but are willing to stand, confronting death with conviction.
The unanswered question seeks to establish truth concerning those unwilling to defend Christianity when facing death. The germane allegory can be taken from winnowing activities. For separating grain from trash, the wind is necessary. Without sufficient wind, the trash remains dishevelled with grain. The trash is unwanted but remains dishevelled, as long as the wind is unavailable. The farmer requires sufficient winds to blow trash, to separate grain from trash.
Some people boast about Christianity when considering it as the largest religion on earth. However, such large numbers suggest the scarcity of the powerful winds, which are unavailable, as allegorically necessary for blowing away the trash. Christianity could constitute the least number of followers, compared to other religions. It is a matter of the scarcity of torrential winds, necessary to effectively blow trash. Christianity is sustained by Jesus’ teachings, more than it can be sustained by any other opinion from those of this world. The standard for Christianity is based on Jesus’ teachings.
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-28just 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)
Jesus’ statement was not for a common audience. That statement was directed at His disciples, comprising the twelve at the time. But, this includes every true Christian, existing in our time. His statement cannot be saleable to ordinary people. Why then do popular preachers ignore this Scripture, preferring to hypocritically highlight the greatness of Jesus, instead? Unless willing to dissect hypocritical information from the genuine, the believer is under deception.
Pretenders are aplenty. Why would honest people be attracted by pretenders, rather than be attracted by genuine preachers? The answer lies in the adoption of self-gratification. There is a vast difference between feeding the soul and feeding the ego and other desires of the flesh. The flesh perishes one way or the other, while the soul lasts for eternity. The typical story of Esau despising his birthright, for the sake of his appetite can be a case in point. Hence the legendary adage remains, “It is not all gold that glitters.”
It cannot be possible to adopt Jesus’ teachings when allured to self-interests. Jesus suggested forsaking everything, including one’s own life, before entertaining the idea of following Him. That standard is unreachable by ordinary humans of this world. The value of eternity cannot be compared to what is temporary. Physical life is a vehicle, through which one can access the ability to choose valuable existence, as opposed to worthless existence.
Although living in the flesh, a human being is not brutish. Humans are a product of spiritual existence. Spending life satisfying the desires of the flesh, but losing everything at death, displays a deficiency in common sense. We are a result of our own choices in this life. It is necessary to evaluate one’s actions discretely, against recorded lamentations by one of the wisest men, having lived on this planet.
“So I hated life because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of Iife is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun because I must leave them to the one who came after me. And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have control over all the work into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. This too is meaningless”(Ecclesiastes 2:16-19 NIV).
Sacrificing one’s eternity for the sake of the bowl of soup should be regarded as the dumbest thing to the wise. But, lo behold, doing so is the easiest thing for the simpleton characters of this world. A person is considered wise when chasing after those things that grant personal glory, rather than God’s glory.
A lot can be said about the stupidity of failure to perceive valuable things as worthless things. However, a person remains ensconced in stupidity, as long as lacking the necessary information to come out of the chute. This brings us back to the information provided by the author of Christianity. The most valuable information from Jesus was given to His disciples and fringe followers.
Ordinary people received parables that merely excited them about the perpetuity of physical existence. To ordinary humans, there cannot be anything exciting about serving other humans, ahead of self. Servitude is considered as deriding human dignity, whereas the opposite is true. Among the simpleton characters, who wants to be treated as a servant, instead of being served like a king? Wise people know that in Jesus we are dealing with matters of substance, rather than matters of misleading notions.
Trash cannot be regarded as important unless the evaluator is in total confusion. But how did trash get mixed up with grain, in the first place? The trash also gets treated with honor, as long as the winnowing season delays coming. But the reverse takes place when considering the gruesomeness associated with the troubling periods of winnowing. The consideration of shudder is induced by inevitable discomfiture when having been accustomed to co-existing with the highly valued grain.
The repulsive failures in practising Christianity emanate from assuming that Jesus came to grunt good living to those choosing to follow Him. The most dangerous deportment in this world is assumption. Even the high rate of carnage on the highways is a result of assumptions. Any disastrous occurrences are always a result of assumption, rather than inadvertently accidental.
Our ancestors, Adam and Eve assumed that the information coming from the serpent was as truthful as suggested. However, there can never be any truth that does not come from the origin. Confusion always arises from mistaking false information for truthful information. In confusion, truthful information is always assumed to be false, while false information is always taken as true.
Millions, calling themselves as Christians cannot resist prosperity gospel ministries, possibly resulting from generously paying tithes. The dubiously promised blessings include healing and many other ancillary services, designed to fill the gap in insatiable human desires. Such big numbers in Christianity are often mistaken for a duplication of Jesus’ ministries, where miracle performers would be likened to Christ. True Christians cannot be fascinated by miracles.
A careful observer would always spot the difference, in that the multitudes of those following Jesus had nothing to do with Christianity. Other than the twelve, it was only the infinitesimal fringe in society, like Martha and Mary Magdalene who followed without condition. Jesus helped those who needed help with healing and other services, but not as a condition to attract followers. He could have raised the number of followers to above twelve if considered necessary.
The same applies, even in our time, although irrefutable that truth is not saleable. The number of disciples at the foundation of His Church was twelve. Jesus knew the exact number that He needed, just as He even knows the needed numbers at our time. He instructed His disciples to preach the gospel far and wide. But this was merely to reach out to people, for a witness, rather than designed to necessarily increase the number of Christian discipleship.
Unbeknown to many people is that the Christians who truly stand for His gospel were known by Him, even at that time. In John 17 Jesus prayed for His disciples, but that included those existing today. It is only the pretenders who maintain that the message of the Bible was directed to the twelve disciples, only. Nothing is hidden when considering the aspect that His communication was not limited to the twelve disciples only. Although not visible, those of today were included in his communication. This is just as Jesus knew about today’s pretenders.
If there is ambiguity in Christianity it exists among those likened to trash that is poised to be blown away at winnowing. Jesus loves humanity. The only ones that exacerbate Him are the pretenders, who appear genuine when the opposite would be true. During His ministry on Earth, the real enemies of Jesus were pretenders, rather than common atheists. The same applies in our time.
The passionate preachers, who warn nonbelievers to repent, assume that Jesus is desperately looking for converts. They presuppose that Jesus wishes to save as many people, as before the prophesied Armageddon. However, there is nothing Jesus does not know, including those poised for the prophesied lake of fire. Those intended to be part of the required number include those who are yet to be born. This is why He is said to be all-knowing.
The author knows this information to be true, but there is no way this can be availed on a grand scale. This is intended only for those grafted into Christianity as early as the first century. Jesus is as available as He was in the first century. He cannot be identified by nonbelievers, just as nonbelievers could not identify Him, even as he hung on the cross. It is on record that many were spurred to believe, after hearing of the miracle, communicating His resurrection.
Jesus said His disciples would know Him as much as they would know His Father. If still unable to know Jesus, it would be better for such a person to examine his/her conduct. Duplicity is more dangerous than maintaining truth, regarding one’s documented unacceptable conduct. It is extremely dangerous to declare knowing Jesus when the opposite is true. Similarly, it is extremely dangerous to declare not knowing Jesus when the opposite is true. Each individual ought to examine himself, without involving others.
True Christians are not cowards, as to need others for sustenance. Each person is a Master of his destiny. Choosing to truthfully dedicate one’s life to conducts of ridicule and dishonour, as associated with Christianity is foreign to those of this world. However, a Christian is a new Christian, whose perception of life is the opposite of what sustains the physical nature. A spiritual person remains unlimited to anything in this world, but as ethical as God is ethical.
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.
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