It is always a real challenge working with the youth when you are also one of the youth. This is because most of the youth are looking for models in this digital world. There are people out there who may be more influential and could attract the attention of our youth. However, as leader of a particular youth group, it is my duty to try and lead other youth to know the greatest influential person ever lived. He is Jesus Christ who is our Savior. Here I am reflecting about one of his influential techniques. This is the technique of using words.
Words represent what they express. However, they are not what they express. E.g. Jesus and Savior represent the same person but they are different words. Take your own name and say; “This belongs to…………. (Your Name)” how does it sound to you? Again how does it sound to you when you say; “this belongs to me?” “Your name” and “me” express the same thing but two different words. How one feels towards the use of words is our concern here. Our relationships in life sometimes were affected by the use of words that connects us together. Word is therefore a medium of relationship and relationship is natural to human. In this way, word touches lives.
Look at the way Jesus speak the words. For three years and by using words, a huge crowd follows him just to listen to his words. No one was like that before him. They followed him even to places where there was no food to eat, some short guys even climb trees to see him, some even broke the roof of one house to get close to him all because of the words he spoke. By his words the whole of Palestine was shaken. He was only putting single words together and it throws people to come to him with eagerness. What was so special about his words? What was there in his words that touch everyone? There is nothing else but life. “You have the words of eternal life.” (John: 6: 68)Jesus speaks the words that contain life. There is still a real depth in his words of life because many others were speaking of life as well but were not effective as he was. In Jesus’ words, all kinds of life were touched as long as his words were heard. The rich and the poor, slaves and free and Jews and Gentiles alike. His words were for all life and that he himself is life. (John: 14:6) let us see his first words in the gospels;
Mark: 1: 15 : “This is the time of fulfillment; the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the gospel.” The first words spoken by Jesus in the gospel of Mark announce liberation from oppression and from the slavery of sin because the time they were long awaited is at hand and is in Jesus himself.
Luke: 2: 49: “Why are you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” here Jesus announces that his origin is from the one who owns that house within which they found him (temple) who is God.
Matthew: 3: 15: “Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness”. Obedience to righteousness is highlighted here in Jesus’ words a prototype of Christian life fulfillment to commitment.
John: 1; 38: “What are you looking for? ……. Come and you will see”. Here there is a wide open invitation for everyone who is looking for something in life.
If we are to put the first words of Jesus in the four gospels together, they would sound something like this: “Oppression or burdens can now be liberated or lifted up by Jesus who is the son of God, who obeys the will of his Father the righteous one. As human beings looking for freedom, we are therefore invited to come to Jesus and we will see.”
This is the power at work in the words of Jesus Christ. And above all, Jesus himself is the word made flesh (John 1: 14). He therefore has all the word expression for all kinds of life situations.
Just come and you will see!!!!
Gideon Harps Houanitau
VMY Salomón Island