– DUKE JEYARAJ
When Jyothi Basu resembled Jesus a little
Jyothi Basu is gone. The man who held the record for being the longest serving Chief Minister of any Indian State (He was West Bengal Chief Minister for 23 years) is now dead. Dead, at the ripe age of 95. Several accolades are pouring in for him. Yes, he’s getting praise even from his political enemies. The accolade that he received that touched me the most was this: he said to ‘no’ to the post of being India’s Prime Minister in 1996 so that he could continue to remain as the disciplined soldier of his party – his party which did not want him to take up the invitation to form the Central Government! “Wow!” I went when I heard that. “This is rare!” I told myself. “It does not happen that often!” I remarked. Though Jyothi Basu is no patch on Jesus, the God whom I serve, I feel compelled to compare him with Jesus in this regard, at least.
“Why not have Jesus feed us this way, day after day!” Others joined in: “If we make him King, He would do this for us, day in and day out!”
There was a time when the crowds wanted to make Jesus the king by force. He had just fed a crowd of 5000 men (it may have been a crowd of about 20,000 people if the women and kids are included in the count) with five loaves and two fish which a young lad had given him. Each one of them ate to their heart’s content. Their stomachs pressed harder on their belts after had eaten. You could hear their burps. At that time, some of them went this way, “Why not have Jesus feed us this way, day after day!” Others joined in: “If we make him King, He would do this for us, day in and day out!” Still others said, “Surely he is the (Political) Messiah we have been waiting for!” What was Jesus’ response to all of this? Did He grab the opportunity? Did He go, “Finally, these humans realized that I am the King of Glory, who has come in human flesh and bone! At last, they did! Okay guys, when is my coronation ceremony? I am ready!” No. He gave them the slip and went to meet with the Person who knew the right time He would be made King of Kings and the Lord of Lords before whom ‘every knee would bow’ – His Heavenly Father. Yes, when Jesus was offered the kingship, he was not dreaming about ruling, but He escaped to do some praying – in the hills alone (John 6:14-15; Math 14:22-23). They wanted to give Him an elevated chair – the throne. But He preferred to climb the elevation of the hills where He could talk, one on one, with His Father. He knew, it was not His Father’s will that He should become the kind of King, the people wanted him to become, right way. He had to wait. He had to suffer first. He had to be bound, butchered, bloodied and bashed up and pinned up on the Cross for the sins of the planet before He could come back riding a white horse as the Ruler of the Planet. And He was ready for that. He was willing to go through that. Yes, He first chose to be lifted up and be pinned on the Cross with crude nails before He agreed to being lifted up and be placed in an high and lofty throne, with cries of ‘All Hail, King Jesus!’ belting the air!
But He preferred to climb the elevation of the hills where He could talk, one on one, with His Father.
What about you? Have you joined the rat race for position? Do you scheme and work your way to the top post using unfair means? Will you not learn from Jesus and Jyothi Basu in this regard? Position should follow you. You should never go in search for it. And sometimes, even when it comes in search of you, you must be willing to say ‘no’! Like Jesus did. Like Jyothi Basu did. If you did that, the Lord Jesus, who was lifted up on the Cross for your sake, will lift you up in ‘due’ time! And trust me, He will not be a second too late or a second too early!