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Wed, September 5, 2018 - Jesus Loves Problem Solving

Luke 4:38-44

After Jesus left the synagogue, he entered the house of Simon. Simon's mother-in-law was afflicted with a severe fever, and they interceded with him about her. He stood over her, rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up immediately and waited on them.
At sunset, all who had people sick with various diseases brought them to him. He laid his hands on each of them and cured them. And demons also came out from many, shouting, "You are the Son of God." But he rebuked them and did not allow them to speak because they knew that he was the Christ.
At daybreak, Jesus left and went to a deserted place. The crowds went looking for him, and when they came to him, they tried to prevent him from leaving them. But he said to them, "To the other towns also I must proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God, because for this purpose I have been sent." And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.

Capernaum was a town on the northern shore of the Lake of Galilee. Both places of the gospel’s first line, the synagogue and the house of Peter, can still be visited. The sites are impressive: the synagogue was big for a little provincial town - a Roman centurion famously contributed to its building; and Peter's was probably the biggest house in town - right between the synagogue and the port.

I just said that the town was provincial, but that didn't mean that Capernaum was isolated. On the contrary, it was located on the important trade route between Damascus and Egypt. Thus, a fairly diverse crowd would have listened to Jesus that day. Hundreds of different people with hundreds of different problems. Most certainly, everybody in that crowd will have been intrigued by a popular man such as Jesus was at the time. Everybody will have been fascinated by His healing person after person and casting out demons: this man was special! He had what everybody desperately sought for in life, no matter where one may come from: Jesus brought solutions. For everybody.

True enough, Jesus would eventually take to a kind of solution which was quite different to what people hoped for. They were most likely envisioning a care-free life under Jesus' miraculous political leadership. As we know, Jesus was not aiming for that. He set out to solve problems on a much higher level: universal Redemption. Nevertheless, by this He did provide solutions to redeem them from their concrete sorrows, their specific desperation, and their individual biting questions of existence. Our Lord heard their cries and listened, He saw their needs and set out to bring the solutions.

Jesus has not only relieved our sufferings, He has burdened them on Himself. He has not only cured us from disease, He has unrooted the poisonous origin of it, sin. He has not only given meaning to our lives through the Gospel of Love, He has opened the gates of Heaven for us. These are the ultimate solutions He brought. Our Lord listens to our prayers and helps us find the solutions for our needs. He loves solving problems. So we may bring our needs onto His table.

Bring your problems to the Lord's table

Deduce from the akes, the yearnings, the unsettlements of your life the greater needs of existence. In the light of the Gospel, you can connect, for example, today's struggle for friendship with your ultimate vocation for love; or your fear of pain with your vocation for fulfilment; a biting conscience with the vocation for holiness, etc. Thus, you can experience that the solutions which Jesus has brought will connect seamlessly with what you need today. Sometimes, we believe that our faith only offers high-level solutions while our every-day needs remain unattended. If you learn to discover the true needs behind or within the every-day business, however, then you will find that Jesus is offering you true solutions for your true and most real needs.

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