We here in “Christian America” (I know it’s a misnomer) take for granted that everyone gets us when we talk about Jesus. We share some common culture, some common background, at minimum, a common language.
But ever talk to someone from another culture about Jesus? Someone who maybe doesn’t speak the same language as you (at least primarily)? Someone who has NEVER been exposed to anything about this Jesus we worship?
How do you think they would they respond? (Or if you have had this blessing, how did they?)
I heard an interesting account of this from a friend recently. I won’t disclose names, so don’t ask, but I promise: this is all true.
My friend has had a unique opportunity to host several young people from another culture in their home recently. They’ve been blessed to be the “American family” for these young people, and have not shied away from sharing their faith with these people as well.
They’ve shared the experience of attending a Christian worship service. They’ve shared the experience of reading Scripture. They even shared the celebration of Christmas together.
The response is an eye-opener.
The young people my friend has been hosting have had ZERO exposure to Jesus before this. You’d think that being from another culture, with other beliefs, that these young people might just totally shut my friend out from sharing about Jesus. You’d think that they might be completely closed to hearing about Jesus, knowing their years of upbringing in other faiths.
The opposite has been true.
These young guests of my friend are completely intrigued. They’re curious, even though they don’t complete get what they’re learning.
For example, Lazarus and Jesus. Both raised from the dead. Apparently they heard about this account in a church service they attended with my friend.
“So they’re like zombies, then?”
While it’s easy to laugh about this, put yourselves in the shoes of these young guests. They’ve never heard about Jesus. They’ve never heard an account of the story of Lazarus, let alone any Biblical account. It’s not a far out conclusion given what they know.
But they’re reading the Bible to learn more. Not just any Bible; an “Action Bible”. You know, Scripture illustrated in comic book style?
From what I’ve been told, these young guests can’t get enough of it.
And my friend gets to share Jesus with them almost every day based on what they read.
You see, cultural differences DO matter. Cultural difference CAN create barriers to understanding the gospel. My friend is seeing that first hand.
But what my friend is also seeing is this: love supersedes all of this. Sharing life together transcends differences.
And hope of gospel transformation is ignited as a result.
I don’t know if these young people will come to know Jesus as my friend does. That’s for God to know as He reveals His plan.
But I do know this: regardless of what happens with their faith, my friend has connected with these young people and impacted their lives. My friend has been faithful in sharing Jesus. And my friend has an even bigger extended family here on earth as a result of hospitality.
That’s something special, something worth celebrating.
Something all of us should model.
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