Jesus gave significance to children. Insisting that God’s Kingdom would be accessed through behaving like little children. This is profound. How could little children project what the learned adults are unable to display? Being a grandparent, having spent most of my time with little children, I know the behaviour of young children.
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.” (Matthew 18:1-5 NIV)
There is a lot of inconveniences that get mixed up with some joy of answering children’s inquisitive minds. Children can be irritating, especially when one desires privacy. I have developed the preference to give them liberty, rather than too many restrictions. The most irritating experience is when they engage me in the role of arbitration over their mini quarrels. Possibly, I may have done well as a young parent.
As my children were growing up, I used to be authoritative and effectively handle such problems. But it is now different with my grandchildren. It seems they take advantage of my frail reasoning as finding me incapable of effectively punishing them for being naughty. But I find the time I spend with these little angels most worthwhile, compared with the time I spend with adults.
Children are open to learning and very easy to engage in reasoning. Possibly if spending most of one’s time dealing with children, the ideas of God’s Kingdom could go a long way. My blogging started some seven years ago. But with very little reception from the adult audience. Elsewhere, Jesus rebuked, His disciples, who wanted to prevent the children from accessing Jesus:
Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.(Matthew 19:14-15 NIV).
God’s Kindom can only be accessed by those with the attitude of little children. It is not difficult to perceive what was going on in the mind of Jesus, on matters of children. They are easily accessible with new information. Whereas adults hang on to past experiences. It is common to assume that parents know better than children. In the year 2000, I was awakened to appreciate the reality that there is no truth, in that assumption.
I had bought a new computer, installed with Microsoft Windows, which, in Zimbabwe was still unfamiliar to most people. I had been taught how to operate the Microsoft Windows computer, at the company that I worked for. My son was doing Form 2 at the time. The reason why I had thought of investing in a computer gadget was specifically for my son. I had become aware of the advent of Information Technology.
I remember trying to fumble with the mouse, trying to show my son some tricks of how to use that gadget. I became stupefied when my son would correct me on various steps, showing that he, actually, was ahead of me, as far as understanding the usage of that computer. I had been introduced to the Microsoft Windows computer, some two years back, in the company that I worked for.
I had assumed to be ahead of my son, so as to teach him how to use that gadget. I was wrong. My son was ahead of me, regardless of the fact that computers were still new, in the country. I have observed that most people of my generation are still uncomfortable with touchscreen cell phones. Yet my four-year-old granddaughter is so adept with unbelievable dexterity on them. Why is that? This may draw some amazement to people like me, but not to Jesus Christ.
Adults assume to know better than children. But the opposite is true. The reason is that education in this world makes people stupider, rather than being wiser. The more educated a person might think he is, the stupider he becomes. There is a lot of unlearning to be done to an adult before he can absorb new information. Education makes a person carry the idea that he has become better than uneducated people.
However, without interference, the human mind can easily analyze data and sift erroneous information. But having been bombarded with information from the media and aggressive advertising, ordinary people have become confused. The gospel has never met with such a caustic environment before. It takes a real sacrifice to disseminate information about the gospel. The adult minds have got more things to unlearn than what they could learn.
This could be the only reason why Jesus said adults had to become like little children, to absorb the gospel information. Adults hang on to previous experiences, more than dwelling on the current information. Becoming like a little child is not difficult, though. Jesus was talking about the attitude. Adults have had to contend with aspects of invalidating other people. They focus on the person advancing the information than the information itself.
When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. “Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him that he even does miracles! Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offence at him. Jesus said to them, “Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honour.” (Mark 6:2-4 NIV).
What had the information given by Jesus, to do with his brothers? But what is even more puzzling is that they took offence! Why would a person be disturbed by Jesus’s knowledge? The answer is that this world believes in categorizing people. There are people who are given honour while at the same time others are despised. This takes its historical cue from the traditions of slavery.
The original truth is that a human being was created in God’s image. Being under slavery does not make him less than being in God’s image. Under subjugation, the person may believe that he would be less important than others, although similarly created in God’s image. This happens to be the reason for the appearance of Jesus, on this planet.
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”(Luke 4:18-21 NIV).
Human beings are not used to treating humans as equals. The purpose of engaging in studies is to acquire a status, considered higher than one’s peers. This is why the educated people are labelled with strings of letters against their names. In the majority of cases, such strings of letters do not even mean anything. When considering contributions to society.
Surprisingly, while awarding themselves with such fanciful educational titles, Scholars never raise questions, on why Jesus did not award Himself some Scholarly degree title. Jesus preferred to be as ordinary as any other of that time. Hence Judas Iscariot had to use a kiss, to distinguish Him from the rest of His disciples. He was their teacher. But he preferred not to be distinguishable from others.
The kissing sign distinguished Jesus, for those intending to arrest Him. Jesus was not as distinguishable as the Roman Catholic Pope is distinguishable today. Traditionally, good information was not expected to come from despised quarters. Even today, the information advanced in the newcivilization.co.zw website, could easily reach out to millions if coming from approvable quarters.
Only the minds of young children can be receptive to virgin information. Unfortunately, those children get drilled to always consider the warped information from adults as true. Otherwise, the only thing hindering the advancement of the gospel is the consideration that people were not created equal. One section is considered superior, while the other section is considered inferior
Satan is often blamed for that kind of thinking. But, in my view, there is nothing wrong with Satan, known to represent evil. For purposes of choosing, I suppose it is necessary to be presented with alternatives. Presented with an example of ugliness and another for beauty, why would one choose the ugly, rather than the beauty? Satan, clearly, represents evil. But, when granted liberty, why choose what represents Satan?
The reason for choosing Satan’s schemes is threefold. The first one is secrecy. When desiring to cover up secret actions, the tendency is to engage or support dubious activities. A good example is that of David, after his sinful act with Bathsheba. David sought to cause the death of Uriah. He knew this was wrong and abominable in the eyes of God. But, as far as David was concerned, this was a necessary evil. For what reason? To cover his evil deed. (Self-centeredness).
Secondly, in his physical condition, a human being needs comfort. Therefore, acquiring gain without working for it, is highly attractive. That is the only thing that lends many people to corruptible activities. The person would be clear, in his head, about the evils of corruption. But the physical comfort that comes with easy gains is too overwhelming.
Not many people are capable of resisting corruption. In their warped thinking, they would rather sacrifice their eternity, as long as, seemingly, enjoying this life. Of course, deep inside their inner feelings, they would carry no joy in corruptly earned gains. But, as long as equated with the considered affluent characters, the person draws some comfort. (Self-centeredness).
The last reason for choosing wickedness is mental illness. Having been subjected to suppression, one renounces his dignity. He equates himself with animals. He then buys the idea of ‘survival of the fittest.’ These are criminals who rob people, especially at night. There is not an iota of conscience with those people. Conscience is no longer accessible for most of them.
Prison life, actually, emboldens them. Serve for God’s grace, those people appear as lost forever. Most of them get galvanized by other criminals, to become even more dangerous to society. By God’s grace, prisons are often blessed with good people, incarcerated alongside hardcore criminals. This gives an opportunity for actual criminals to access the gospel.
The existence of criminals in societies is caused by self-centeredness. Everything starts with the degradation of humanity. The status of God’s image is not attractive to Satan, encouraging suppressive people to feel threatened by those doing well, in society.
Suppressive people are prevalent in all societies. Even in families, siblings suppress one another. A brother feels threatened by his brother’s achievements. A wife feels threatened by her husband’s achievements or vice versa. This creates a generic suppressive environment. This world carries people who believe in killing others, in order to access survival.
In varying degrees, this mindset permeates societies across the world. The only way out of such suppression is to grant liberty to young people. The more the adults seek to control these youngsters, the more they infect them with the dangerous disease of self-centeredness.
The clean attitude of young children is what made Jesus insist that salvation required re-adopting the mindset of young children. Left on his own, a human being is not different from Jesus. He takes his instructions directly from his Father. The question of his origin has got nothing to do with Scholars, unnecessarily assuming positions of authority. It, also, has got nothing to do with the person’s physical parents.
The statement about being created in God’s image does not need addition or subtraction. Left to be himself, that person can achieve baffling results. Just as God, in whose image the person was created, can do baffling things. This makes the statement by the apostle John as undisputable as anything truthful, in this world.
“If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.”(1 John 4:20-21 NIV).
As easy as this appears to be, it is considered a threat, by the rulers of this world. They prefer the idea of enslaving other fellow humans. The authoritarian environment is considered the safest, yet with documented evidence of toxicity. The starting point would have been assumed to be education. But the educational system, itself, is embedded in authoritarian conditions. It has left the considered educational rebels like Steve Jobs to produce what is now driving sophistication in information technology.
The only thing that makes it difficult to educate adults is obstinacy. There is nothing as difficult as trying to educate a person who assumes to know everything. In fact, it is a waste of time, to attempt doing so. And yet the same person needs that education as a matter of urgency. It is incumbent upon anyone reading the information given here, to disseminate it to others as well. That endeavour does make a difference. There is unbelievable deception in the world
It should be the responsibility of fair-minded people to disseminate information such as this one. A few more people could be salvaged from this kind of slavery. Our young children need to be liberated from the grip of adult authoritarian mentality. But those adults need to be helped to accept the blanket statement by the author of Christianity, Jesus Christ:
“I tell you the truth unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.” (Matthew 18:3-5 NIV).
We cannot downplay the idea of studying the Bible. But there is no value in studying the Bible without putting into practice what that Bible says. When applying the contents of the above Scripture, it is impossible that we would have the so-called Bishops and Reverends, superintending over God’s people. Without them, we would have free individuals, communicating directly with their Father in Heaven, just as Jesus Christ did.
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