Monday, January 7, 2013

Hunger Games

UV 630/10,000 Hunger Games Jesus answered, “ It is written: “ Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Mathew 4 v 4 Without the Bible as the software and operating system and without God as the operator, mankind are a lot of hardware floating around for some time till someone presses the self-destruction button. Jesus had fasted forty days and forty nights in the wilderness of the desert. He was hungry and satan knowing the extent of His hunger tempted Him, saying, “ If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Satan was challenging Jesus to prove His identity as the Son of God, knowing full well that Jesus was the Son indeed and that He was capable of doing the impossible of transmuting stones into bread. The very word, “ person”, that each of us is, points to the Son. Jesus knew who He is and did not wish to prove any point to the tempter. He instead relied on scripture to answer satan. We too need to rely on scripture to answer the fundamental questions of life as well as to face the challenges of daily living. Jesus said, “ Man does not live on bread alone”. In these words, He was acknowledging that though He is Son of God or fully eternal, divine and spiritual being, He was also fully human. He submitted to the laws of nature that the Father in Heaven had put in place and though He could have transcended the laws to meet His immediate need of satisfying His great hunger, He chose not to. These words also point out a truth that physical resources like bread enable us to merely exist but in order to live and live fully and well, we need the spiritual bread of the Word. This is the bread from Heaven. Jesus Himself is metaphorically described as the Bread from Heaven that will fully satisfy the spiritual hunger that is there in all mankind, regardless of religious background. By using the words, “ Man does not live on bread alone”, Jesus is also acknowledging the reality of our physical need for food, shelter and clothing and material things. But these material things though necessary should not be given top priority in our lives. We should not be obsessed with money and what it can buy, the modern slang for money being “ bread.” In other words, we can possess money but not obsess over it. We can also play a game saying, our hunger is satisfied by the physical or psychological and deny that our spiritual hunger even exists. The priority in our lives, the ruling obsession or passion in our lives should be the Word of God. God is not visible nor do we hear His voice nor can we touch Him. But, He has made Himself visible in the printed or written Word. This Word has come from the very mouth of God in the sense, chosen people through the ages have penned down what they heard from the Spirit of God. What comes from the mouth of man is fallible and prone to error. But what comes from the mouth of God is infallible, eternal, true and practical. Whatever is written in scripture, according to St Paul, is “written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” Every word contains the hidden manna. We need to search out this hidden manna, manna that will not spoil if saved and stored in our hearts and minds, not for a lifetime, nay not even for eternity. For Scripture says, “ Heaven and Earth shall pass away but my Word shall not pass away.” Near the Police Academy where I was working, there are some thirty odd lions in a “rescue camp” of the nearby zoo. It is quite a sight to see them at lunch hour. When the van bringing in meat comes around mid-morning, all the hungry lions as if on cue, rush to the entrance of their respective enclosures, literally baying in sync for food. We need to have that kind of hunger for the Word. The Word will guide, lead and instruct us in how to satisfy even our physical, emotional, psychological, social as well as spiritual hunger. In every uni-verse, I am led of the Spirit to analyse every word of every verse and study every related verse in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. I then relate it to my past experiences and real-time life to superimpose the Word upon our world. Every uni-verse throws up a management principle for life, a template to employ in our daily life. Prateep V Philip

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