It is impossible to talk to a corpse. Communication represents life so that where there is no communication, life would be unachievable. An evil governing system goes as far as cutting off the internet so that clandestine killings can take place, without detection.
As long as governed by an evil system, the sanctity of life is violated. There are countries said to be more developed than others. Yet a country is only as developed as its citizens would be able to communicate.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him, nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John”(John 1:1-6 NIV).
Figuratively, in the above Scripture, we perceive a development, gradually progressing from poor communication, leading to maximum communication. As the author of life, God is the chief communicator, suggesting that using His channels of communication life is guaranteed.
His communication is accessed on a gradient scale, before reaching the full potential of its value. Humanity had been pronounced dead, at the Garden of Eden. The clear instruction to Adam had been to avoid eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Doing so would lead to humanity’s demise.
“And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.’”(Genesis 2:16-17 NIV).
The death of humanity took place after the couple had eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The development from that condition of death, leading to the reestablishment of, hitherto, nonexistent life, is given in John 1:1-6.
The narration reveals that there was a time when humanity could not communicate with God. Having attained the point of death, after eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, no life had remained in humanity. Verse 6, introduces John the Baptist. He was not the author of the Book of John, which showed him preparing the way ahead of Jesus.
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John testifies concerning him. He cries out saying, ‘This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me’”
“From the fullness of his grace, we have all received one blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side has made him known. (John 1:14-18 NIV).
The narration was intended for the Jews of Jerusalem, seeking to understand the role of John the Baptist. In His preaching and baptism, John had displayed extraordinary agitation on repentance. Those religious leaders were pursuing the right thing, requiring information. It is only in the Book of John that the role of John the Baptist was clearly articulated.
“Now this was John’s testimony when the Jews of Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, ‘I am not the Christ.’ They asked him, ‘Then who are you? Are you Elijah?’ He answered, ‘No.’ Finally they said, ‘Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?’
“John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, ‘I am the voice of one calling in the desert, ‘” Make straight the way for the Lord’”
“Now some Pharisees who had been sent questioned him, ‘Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?’ ‘I baptize with water,’ John replied, ‘but among you stands one you do not know. He is the one who comes after me, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.’”(John 1:19-27 NIV).
The problem with those religious leaders was their failure to separate between personalities and God’s information. For instance, why did they need John’s identity? I suppose they would have fallen on their knees to worship him, had John declared being the Elijah?
In their death condition, men had, hitherto, been excommunicated from God. The only instrument through which that communication would be reignited was Jesus Christ. This highlights the fact that before Jesus, there had not been any communication between God and men.
In John chapter 1, we are shown John preparing the way for Jesus. In their death condition, it was impossible for the Jewish leaders to receive Jesus, as shown in verse 5: “The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”
Jesus is the provider of information, being used metaphorically as the light. Without knowledge, a person is figuratively groping in darkness. “And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.”(Genesis 1:3-4 NIV).
Information comes through communication. Prior to Jesus, there had not been any information—meaning that there had not been clear communication between God and humanity. The light at the beginning of Genesis is different from the later physical light, kindling the earth:
“And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth’ and it was so” (Genesis 1:14-15 NIV).
Having been pronounced dead, humanity could not communicate. Jesus was, at that point, being introduced to Jewish leaders. But, as John said, “The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it”(John 1:5 NIV). It takes a great miracle to understand Jesus, as the light.
In their death condition, humanity could not communicate. The origin of God’s Word flows directly through Jesus, who is the source, or the author, as articulated in John 1:1-4. The purpose of communication is to provide information, which is necessary to gain understanding.
However, we realize that the Jewish leaders were obsessed with the identity of the informant, rather than the information. That was the only reason that caused Jewish leaders to fail to receive Jesus. Their Scriptures had everything necessary to understand the identity of Jesus.
Their stumbling block was on the identity of the person of Jesus, rather than the message provided. The reason for ordinary humans to be obsessed with the identity of the one giving information is two-fold. The first reason is for purposes of idolatry. Ordinary humans crave objects, through which to worship.
Physical humans desire to worship tangible things, seen by physical eyes. The idea of worshipping in Spirit and in truth is foreign to them. The Jewish leaders were not behaving differently. Notwithstanding that in the Ten Commandments is recorded that God cannot be likened to anything physical.
The second reason is driven by pride. The identity of the informant is found to be necessary, for authenticating the provided data. Human beings are categorized according to social status. The profile of an individual determines the acceptance or rejection of provided data. The initial rejection of Steve Jobs was that he had not emerged from renowned scholars.
Human comparisons come from proud people. In their naïve reasoning, such people assume that God created other humans superior to others. In the United Kingdom, there are terms like ‘Lords’ and ‘Commoners’. This suggests that some people are superior to others.
To be regarded honourably requires a publicly recognized achievement or a notable educational achievement. This consideration may even include the skin colour of an individual. People are either honourable or less honourable. The dutiful aim for ordinary folks, in their death condition, is to become honourable.
Education is given relevance, only when granting honorability. Among ordinary people, no one wishes to remain in the state of dishonour. However, Jesus came in a state of dishonour. Yet possessing the information that could not be found from honourable people.
The idea of honouring and dishonouring humans is in stark contravention of the Holy Scriptures. If God created man in His own image, who then, is qualified to determine their honorability or their dishonour?
Obviously, the originator of such information is Satan the Devil, as fundamental to all problems of humanity. The reversal of such an idea changes conditions, for establishing strong civilizations.
“Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him, I am well pleased. Listen to him!”(Matthew 17:3-5 NIV).
Of the three renowned communicators, Jesus was most honoured, according to the above vision. Jesus was a great communicator, but dishonourable, and remaining unacceptable, even at our time. That dishonourable communicator initiated His Church, through which communication flows, since John.
Jesus represented the dishonourable flesh in humans, causing him to be rejected by His own people. The good news is that there will always be people to be enlightened, through His perfect communication. The identity of Jesus is revealed in the story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32).
The faithful son, whose communication is now being used to redeem humanity, is Jesus. Even though relegated to dishonour, at the point of his brother’s return, the faithful son, nevertheless, remained committed to His father.
Jesus, in His physical condition, is no longer available to directly communicate with humanity. But He is as available as He was available in the first century. The world did not know Him at that time. The world cannot know Him, even at this time (John 14:17). The works of Jesus are manifested among true believers.
Jesus taught outside the established educational curriculum. Old Testament Scriptures had then been so corrupted so that ordinary people could not understand God’s original message. But the crux of what Jesus taught is found in what he told His 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).
What Jesus taught, in this passage, is in stark contradiction to what is commonly practised. I suppose, even those willing to apply it, have trouble implementing it. Customs and traditions have a strong bearing on our lives. Many things are adopted without considering their impact on the general conduct of humanity.
Nevertheless, the tradition of granting respect to seniors implies that juniors are less important. In the event that those assumed to be juniors become better than the seniors, ill feelings take root. Hence, King Saul spent the remainder of his life hunting for David, instead of facilitating the realization of David’s potential.
The spirit of envy is caused by the idea that other people ought to be respected ahead of others. This carries no root in God’s Word. Proper human conduct was lost at the Garden of Eden. The great communicator came with the right information, applicable by all.
There may be some institutions, applying this, to some degree. Fruits can be observed, based on the axiom of doing unto others as one would like the same done to one. Any communication that does not take into account the teachings of Jesus, should be regarded as miscommunication.
Terrible things observed in this world, are a result of miscommunication. Such miscommunications are what has led to human suffering and death. Jesus holds the unquestionable information on human survival. All is well, for those taking seriously, Jesus’s teachings.
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