What is the greatest problem in the world today? Is it the problem of evil? Is it man’s fallen and ruined spiritual condition, which is the root of so many other great problems such as injustice, war, crime, etc.? Or is it something else?
Consider the analogy of a hospital with two wings. Each wing has a thousand patients who suffer from a fatal but curable disease. In the first wing, there is a surplus of doctors and much more medicine than is needed. However in the second wing, there are only enough doctors and medicine for 1/10 of one percent of the patients. In this case, what is the hospital’s greatest problems? Is it the disease? Or is it the way the hospital is being run?
In the same way, the problem of evil is not really the greatest problem in the world. When Christ died on the cross, he not only saved sinners; he resolved the problem of evil. True the medicine only works for those who take it as directed, and some refuse to take it. Nevertheless, God has done his part in providing the answer to the problem of evil, and given his Church the joy and the privilege of bringing the good news of this liberation to all. The real problem is not the problem of evil; it is the Church’s failure to make the solution available to those who need it. That’s why we need to understand Jesus’ vision for his task.
In the gospel of John, Jesus reveals his vision for how we are to carry out the work he has entrusted to His Church.