Fighting the Messiah Complex

These last several days, we have been visiting various churches in a number of different districts in the Kinshasa area.  It has been eye-opening to say the least.  I have come to expect that part of the visit will include a letter being read explaining the particular needs of the church and a request for us to respond to those needs.  This process has stirred up in me many emotions.  I can't help but think of the concept of the messiah.  Messiah carries with it the idea of anointed one, Saviour king.  He is the long awaited hope.  For the Jews, their perception and expectation was a rescuer who would physically save them from Roman domination.  That was their ulitmate hope for Jesus.  He dashed their hopes completely though He was, in actual fact, the true Messiah.  But his intent was quite different from theirs.  He had not come to set up a physical kingdom at that time.  He came with a much greater liberation mission in mind - a rescue mission that would open the doors for them to His kingdom ways and life.  Jesus never faltered from his intended mission inspite of the constant pressure from those who misunderstood His task and role.
I have come to realize throughout these visits, that the people here also have certain expectations.  When they see our white skin and hear the word "missionary", they immediately think of a liberation of sorts - a financial freedom from the devastating poverty that is their every day experience.  Perhaps they see us in terms of a messiah of sorts.  There are times when we could be tempted to respond to those messiah overtures -meet some of the material needs which would make them and us both happy today.  But the question would still remain - is that why we came and is it our place to respond in such a way?  We are not their messiah.  Somehow we need to remember that both for our own good and theirs.


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