2 Samuel 4:1-6:23; John 13:31-14:14; Psalm 119:17-32; Proverbs 15:31-32
I just finished reading “Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross The Road?” by author Brian McLaren. It’s a book about “Christian identity in a multi-faith world.”
Jesus knew all about a multi-faith world of his day–there was Emperor worship, Roman and Green gods, even the Jewish faith of his own family.
I think Jesus would agree with McLaren’s assessment that as Christians our most effect witness to others of different faiths is genuine “withness”–coming alongside those of other religions, loving them, respecting them, putting aside hostility and an “us vs. them” mentality.
God created us all.
Jesus died on the cross for us all.
He wants us all to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the Truth.
Before Jesus went to the cross he told his disciples, “A new commandment I give you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35
Loving others-especially people of different backgrounds–also means faithfully sharing Jesus’ words, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
Our “withness” becomes a witness to the truth if we love as Jesus loved. Keeping this truth from others –so as not to offend–does harm, not good. The bottom line–it does not lead to life.
So why should we follow Jesus along with Moses, Mohammed and Buddha to the other side of the road? Because we are called to do Christ’s work in His name among the peoples of the world, whatever their faith.
Speak the truth in love–once you get to the other side of the road!
Lord God, thank you for making it clear to not only your disciples, but also to us–the only way to the Father–to Heaven–is through your Son Jesus Christ. Through Him alone we have all truth, we have life. Please give us a love for those of all faiths–a love that opens the door to true friendship and opportunities to share your truth. Give us a love that is quick to listen and slow to speak. Give us boldness and courage to cross the road with those who are different from us remembering that you created us all and died for us all. For Jesus’ sake we pray, Amen.
“Keep me from deceitful ways; be gracious to me through your law. I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws. I hold fast to your statues, O Lord; do not let me be put to shame. I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.” Psalm 119:29-32