The question that is often asked is, “What does a man need?” In economics, we learn that human needs are insatiable. This refers to the depth and breadth of these needs. Abraham Maslow, in his hierarchy of needs theory, proposed that there are five levels of human needs: physiological, safety, love/belonging, esteem and self-actualization. He went further to state that there is a kind of order for the satisfaction of these needs. This is in the sense that individuals move from the lower level to the higher level. For instance, a man who has not eaten, that is, met his physiological need for food, will be less concerned about safety!
As fundamental as Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory is, it does not offer any comfort for an individual seeking one thing s/he must do in order to meets his or her needs. Is there a particular need someone can focus on that will enable that person meet all other needs? I believe there is.
In Mark chapter 6 verse 34, we read,
“And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things.”
There are a couple of hidden truths in the above verse of scripture. For instance, we can deduce that the key attribute of a leader is compassion. Every family, business and nation needs a compassionate leader. Nigeria is the way it is today because of the dearth of compassionate leaders. The second point that can be deduced from the passage is that the suffering of the masses did not start today. The third and most important point is what Jesus did when he saw the hopeless state of this large number of people.
It is instructive to note that Jesus did not give them food (‘stomach infrastructure’), at least not immediately, as most of the affluent in our society are wont to do. He also did not give them donkeys – the main means of transportation at the time – so that they can use them to ferry people and make money. This puts in perspective the stupidity of those distributing ‘Okada’ to hapless youth in Nigeria.
Now what was Jesus’ response to these ‘shepherdless’ sheep? “He began to teach them many things.” There lies the greatest need of man – KNOWLEDGE. The scripture says, “My people are destroyed for of lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). You may ask, “Knowledge of what?” Let us consider the following Bible verses for an answer:
- And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent (John 17:3, NKJV).
- And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free (John 8:32, NKJV).
The first knowledge to seek is the knowledge of God and Jesus Christ. The Bible calls this knowledge ‘Eternal Life.’ This means that with the knowledge of God and Christ Jesus, you will begin to enjoy/live the life God intended for man at creation from now to eternity!
The second knowledge you are seek is the knowledge of the truth – the truth about everything important in life. Examples include truth about money/finance, truth about marriage, truth about parenting, truth about human relationship and truth about nutrition, among others. This knowledge type underscores the importance of education.
Why is the knowledge of the truth important? It is important to know the truth because there is someone – Satan – whose ministry it is to deceive. The bigger challenge is that Satan has many human agents; meaning you can easily be deceived because these agents do not look like your mental image of their principal (Satan). Rather they look like you and me!