Thursday, June 3, 2010

It is Written: The Human Condition since Time Immemorial

From Time Immemorial

Towards the end of March this year, I watched the 10th episode of the final season [6] of the wildly popular TV Series LOST. Titled Ab Aeterno, which is a Latin phrase that means "from an infinitely remote time in the past", the episode tells Richard Alpert's back story.

Having accidentally killed his physician in 1867, Richard [then known as Ricardo] is sentenced to hang. While in jail, Ricardo reads his Bible. Minutes before his execution, a priest visits him. At this point, Ricardo is reading from the book of Luke, chapter 4.

It is Written

This entire chapter is an account of  Jesus' activities shortly after he returned from his 40-day fast in the wilderness.

Following are personal deductions from various verses in the chapter, with respect to how relevant they are to our every day life situations:

  • v2-3 Not just God, but the devil too will often meet you at your point of need.

  • v13 Overcoming temptations is not an end in itself. The devil usually leaves for just a while, only to return when you are no longer steadfast or keen to resist temptation.

  • v23 Human beings just love to compare themselves with others.

  • v25 Some things are meant for only some people. That is why only the widow in Zarephath was fed in the days of Elijah, inasmuch as the entire land was experiencing famine.

  • v27 Likewise, only Naaman the Syrian was healed of leprosy in the days of Elisha

  • v28-29 People cannot handle the truth, they will all too often get very angry and irrationally kill the messenger...

  • v31, 32, 36,37 Thankfully, the people of Capernaum had a different reaction. They welcomed the message of God. They went ahead and shared the good news with others, thereby spreading the word everywhere

  • v40 Jesus did perform miracles and heal the sick

  • v42 These people were so interested in Jesus' message, that they sought him and requested him to stay on with them

The Human Condition

In view of the above, I found it very striking that people can react so differently to the exact same message. Additionally, people will invariably compare themselves with others.

Unique, just like every person else

The widow who was fed in Zarephath and Naaman the syrian who was healed of leprosy, both underscore the importance of understanding that some things are only meant for some people, no matter how much we feel we deserve similar treatment.

Additionally, not every good thing comes from the right place or person, or is offered with noble intentions. We therefore need to be discerning whenever seemingly good things come our way.

Standing by our word

The devil departed from Jesus Christ only for a while.

This basically means that winning the battle doesn't necessarily mean that the war has been won. We therefore need to be steadfast in seeking good and overcoming evil.

The Written Word

The more I read this and many other chapters in the Bible, the more I realize that there are many ways of looking at everything that happens to us.

In the same vein, the more I marvel at the genius of the writers of LOST.

What do you think?


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