#Article (Archive)

Jesus is the solution (Part 2)

May 18, 2011, 3:32 PM | Article By: Galandou Gorre-Ndiaye

Prophesising over Jesus’ ministry, the prophet Isaiah had written: “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 to the blind. To release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” (Luke 4.18) Luke captures the same passage in his gospel.

In ‘His letter of credence,’ Jesus had received instructions from the Father to come to the rescue of those that were oppressed by Satan; to liberate those who had lost their freedom and have been blinded by the prince of this earth. Jesus had a full plate of assignments to carry out. The crowd that followed Him never gave Him any breathing space; they were always at his heels. At the end of the day, He was exhausted for dispensing so much energy tackling the problems of the oppressed and downtrodden. Satan had been wrecking havoc everywhere, without respite. “(He) the thief comes only to kill and steal and destroy.” (John 14:6)

At the wedding in Canaan to which Jesus and His disciples were invited, all was going well until it was observed that the wine was running out while the guests were still flooding in. What an embarrassment that would have been if Mother Mary had not intervened for Jesus to revert the situation. “They have no more wine.” (John 2:3) she alerted her son, knowing He had powers to do something about it.

It took some coaxing following Jesus’ initial reluctance. But his mother had asked the labourers to execute whatever her son instructed. It did not take long for Him to give orders: “Fill the jars with water.” (John 2:7) And the water became wine. When the wine was served, it was of a better quality than what was served earlier. “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved it for last.” (John 2:10) Thus the situation was saved.

Problems will forever surface in the lives of human beings - there is no gainsaying that - but there is nothing that should come in the way of a solution if you believe. A principal character among the Pharisaic elite, called Nicodemus, had a problem for which he had to summon a lot of courage if he wanted a solution. He was a Pharisee but he had some admiration for Jesus. Unfortunately he could not do so openly so he went to see Jesus in hiding – at night. “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.” (John 4:2) Nicodemus was a doctor of law but he was ignorant of a few fundamentals. He could not understand what it meant to be born again. He posed questions like “How can a man be born when he is old?” “How can this be?” Jesus reproached by saying: “You are Israel’s teacher and do not understand these things?” (John 4:10) His problem was that he was shallow in matters relating to God. Thereafter he became a secret disciple of Jesus and he grew up to the extent that at Jesus’ crucifixion, he was one of those who claimed his corpse, for burial. No doubt night after night as he visited and discussed Scripture his burden of ignorance became lighter. You cannot enter Jesus’ entourage ignorant and leave ignorant. Jesus is ‘the light of the world’ and as the clouds of darkness fell off Nicodemus’ eyes he became bolder; he got to distinguish the truth from the false teachings and was later set free.

We cannot go through life blindfolded; we ought to look out for solutions for the things that constitute stumbling blocks and which deter us from claiming our rightful places in the kingdom of God.

A blind man named Bartimaeus had an evident problem that had no solution in sight until one day when he heard that Jesus was passing by where he had stationed himself as a beggar most of his living years. It was a drab kind of life, monotonous for the best part and far from enterprising. He had sunken in his problem and had even identified with his fate.

On this particular day Jesus was passing by, and in spite of the crowd Bartimaeus would try to put in a word in search of a solution for his condition. Oh how he screamed at the top of his head until Jesus asked that he be brought forward. Exceptional opportunity that he would not let slip through his fingers! His problem was solved on the spot. “What do you want me to do for you?” was the question Jesus asked him. His response: “I want to see.” Blindness is a deterrent, a hindrance even to one’s development and Bartimaeus wanted to part with that kind of life.  

You may not make any fuss about your condition because you have come to accept it as your fate. Be like Bartimaeus; do not accept your condition as normal. Our eyes were meant to guide us, when they cease to function there is a problem. Don’t just sit there and say, it is God’s doing. God says: “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3) Isaiah echoes; “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.” (Isaiah 55:6)

Jesus recounted several parables with the central theme of ‘lost and found’. By this he wanted to underline that there is an effort one has to make in order to search and find things that are dear and important to us. He said about the lost sheep that out of a hundred if you lose one you should abandon the ninety-nine others and go in search of the lost one. Searching will lead to solutions and the joy is shared upon finding what had been lost. With regard to the lost coin, finding it demands meticulous effort. “Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it.” (Luke 15:8)

Never stop seeking solutions; it will be defeatist in nature if we did. Life will heap a lot of rubbish on our heads if we delight in accepting all that comes our way. Sometimes it may be too hard for us. When that happens, give it all to Jesus such that you may enjoy sound sleep. There is no problem that would come your way that He may not be aware of. Our problems will have a short life span if we put them in Jesus’ ‘in tray.’ Be sure they’ll come out in the ‘out tray’ as ‘matter resolved and settled in Jesus’ name.’

Jesus is the answer to the world’s problems.