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Friday, 26 December 2014

The Silencing Of The Lambs: 10 Important Teachings From Jesus - News24 Voices

The Silencing Of The Lambs: 10 Important Teachings From Jesus - News24 Voices:



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Wise words from Matome Letsoalo



Jesus of Nazareth is possibly the most popular personality in History. He is loved by many and likewise despised by many. His sincerest critics might range from those who accuse him of being fictional to those who dismiss him as a foreign god. The following are but ten of some of my most memorable quotes from Jesus (Yeshua) and what they mean to me…
1. Seek the kingdom of God first, and all these things shall be added to you. When an earthly man is first confronted with the spiritual message of Christ, he is intrigued and wishes to follow the man, but similarly, his mortal nature reminds him of his worldly commitments. He is worried about his material sustenance, but a real follower of Jesus should leave behind everything without a shadow of reservation. Following Jesus requires more than the typical once a week Sunday session of one, but it becomes an everyday lifestyle. Such a person is on a pilgrimage and is like a monk who pockets no ‘savings’ as he carries the cross on the narrow path, at the end of which is jubilation and fulfillment.
2. What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul? The message of Christ was not directly political, but it was socialist and humanitarian in nature. Jesus was very much against the concept of accumulation of material wealth in his gospel, and often required those who would follow him to give up their riches first, which some found rather challenging and unrealistic. In one of his piercing and witty parables concerning wealth, he said it was easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye than for a rich man to enter heaven.
3. Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Jesus greatly criticized the notion of vengeance, which culture was prevalent in Jewish tradition, based on the centuries old laws of Moses, the Torah. Jesus is said to have studied from far and wide, and in his philosophy are traces and elements of other universal faiths like Buddhism. A motto like ‘An eye for an eye’ was greatly discouraged as such, and Jesus rather encouraged his disciples to extend love and warmth to their enemies. He encouraged a spirit of mercy and forgiveness, as also exemplified by him intervening for the life of a female adulterer who was about to be stoned to death, as the Law of Moses required of such.
4. Do not judge others, and you also will not be judged. Some people who claim to be the followers of Christ may erroneously use their status by judging and condemning those they deem deserving of such. This however does not mean those who don’t judge live without any discretion. Jesus was against the condemnation of another human being, for whatever reasons. He was known to have been one to find common ground with the outcasts of society. He was accused of being a friend of sinners by those who spied on him. Jesus spoke against contempt and the holding of grudges, often using figurative language to send his message across.
5. Do to others as you would like them to do to you. This is one of the golden rules of the philosophy of Christ. This decree is the stumbling block of great men; the rock of offense which crushes whoever it falls upon, and injures whoever trips over it. In the Sepedi language we call it ‘Swana ya Moshate’. This very statement is the very basis of Socialism and its sibling Communism. Be fair to the next man, and others will be fair to you too. But this basic law has proven to be way more than our modern capitalist society can bear. It is thoroughly despised by all who nurse selfish ambition and consider themselves better than others. This is why they had to coin their own phrase, which retorts ‘not all men are born equal’.
6. He who exalts himself will be humbled; he who humbles himself will be exalted. Jesus advised his followers on the importance of humility and not being arrogant. He advised one who is invited to a grand feast to not rush to sit on the most majestic chair, but to take the least important seat. This he said in case you take the grandest seat and someone more prestigious than you arrives and is led to that seat, and you are shamed to a lesser seat. In this instance, Christ said it was better to take the least important seat and rather have the host come and call you to a better seat. A humble attitude is a timeless jewel in the journey of humanity therefore.
7. Blessed are the peace makers, for they shall be called children of God. Religions have changed from being institutions which help people to grow spiritually into ones which divide, prejudice and enslave humanity. There are many who are now engaged in heartless military campaigns in the name of ‘the Son of Man’. Jesus specifically stressed the significance of unity and common love in his ‘church’. He warned his disciples on the brutality of conflict and to be remembered by people for their brotherhood rather than factionalism. Those who go out to make peace will be endeared to the hearts of society basically.
8. Love the Lord Your God with all your mind, heart and strength. This is the law which (Rabbani) Jesus considered fundamental to inner peace and human understanding. It follows logic that one would have affection and appreciation for their origins and the life they live. Without this instrumental love, life would immediately take the form of a dark prison, and would resemble a breeding womb for all rebellious ideologies and doctrines. Jesus taught his disciples to visualize God as a Father, as opposed to the symbolic image of an angry God seated high on a golden throne, exercising judgment and punishment with unforgiving precision. Jesus therefore encouraged an intimate but respectful relationship with God.
9. The kingdom of heaven is within you. The language of the Biblical Hebrews is highly symbolic and metaphoric. Most people have often misinterpreted these ‘figures of speech’ to their own unfortunate detriment. Some people had thought heaven was a literal misty location somewhere above the earth’s atmosphere. But Jesus helped them understand that heaven was not necessarily a physical location, and neither was it a realm which existed beyond death, where disembodied beings resided for eternity. But heaven was rather a state of mind, or an attitude at best. The symbolic path to this heaven was therefore paved with some of these guidelines Jesus taught.
10.The meek shall inherit the earth. Other misled people have wrongly assumed the message of Christ spoke of a final day of judgment, whereupon the earth is physically destroyed and some people are flown to heaven as others perish with the cursed earth. Once again, unlearned people took symbolic teachings too literal to disastrous effect. The ‘end of the world’ is as such not a literal annihilation of life on earth, but a change in Authority and the retreat and collapse of Carnal Powers. As the book of Revelations expounds, the Son of God and his people come to take control of the governments of the earth, and God symbolically makes earth his Holy Residence. But some people will still literally look up the skies waiting for Jesus, God and the Holy Angels. ©



Matome Letsoalo

Matome is a Nothern Sotho name directly adopted from the cleric Swahili title: M’tume, meaning prophet, messenger or ‘one who was sent’. In the Nguni languages, the name is relayed as ‘M’tungwa’, while in common Sotho it becomes ‘Morongwa’, likewise meaning ‘an angel’ or ‘one who was sent’.
I’m a Poet, Artist and Writer. Call me the Student of Human Reason, Modest Keeper of his own brother, And the aspiring Soldier of the People’s cause.
I’m a Revolutionary Socialist, Believer in Democratic Ethnicity, Lover of Philosophy, Supporter of Local Industry and African Nationalism.
(Visit And Follow My Blog on Twitter: @JustSmartRage)

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