Advancing the Conversation of Jesus
In the same way, I am coming to believe that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life for all cultural and religious systems and traditions. Jesus is the meaning and fullness everyone is looking for. Jesus fills up the various forms or glasses of every culture.
This may seem a little far-fetched for you to embrace at first, but give it some thought. We are finding the footprints of Jesus in every culture. Many years ago Don Richardson wrote a groundbreaking book Eternity In Their Hearts. His research demonstrated that the fingerprints of the Creator-God were found to be in many cultures. God is already there, because God placed “eternity in their hearts”.
Our mission must be to introduce Jesus to the cultures of the world and encourage them to respond with their unique, cultural customs. Wherever this is done, the Jesus movement flourishes. Jesus is all-inclusive and wants to work with everyone. Jesus met the woman at the well who was a Samaritan with very different beliefs regarding the center of worship. He left her with cultural beliefs intact, except that he trumped the center of worship by saying that someday the center of worship will not be in a given location, but in your heart.
Jesus’ encounter with the Roman Centurion, who no doubt grew up with the Roman gods, yet Jesus does not speak to this at all. His concern was his faith. When Jesus declared the Roman official’s faith as outstanding, even greater than he had seen among the house of Israel, Jesus didn’t tell this man to make sure to repent and go renounce the many Roman deities or his faith would be for naught.
Further in the scene in the healing of the Roman Centurion’s servant, Jesus says: “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.”
In the 17th chapter of ActsPaul speaks in Athens and says:“From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.” God made the nations-all nations-in such a way so that all men might seek and find Him. SECRET #53? The follower of Jesus is all-inclusive.
52 is: The follower of Jesus knows his Master does not fit into any box.