Jesus was revolutionary. Jesus was bold. Jesus was willing to take some risks in order to have everyone know His power, and that He is the only one with the power to save.
He took a very bold risk in talking to the Samaritan woman at the well (found in John 4). While every other Jew would have gone completely around Samaria to avoid that culture (they were a ‘mixed-breed,’ according to the pure Jews), Jesus made a point to go straight through. Not only did he go through Samaria and actually talk to a Samaritan, he talked to a Samaritan woman, which, in a culture dominated by male influence, was revolutionary.
I had an experience this past week that was revolutionary, and that really changed my perspective. I had read an article in the recent Worship Leader magazine called, “The Real Blended Worship.” This title immediately caught my eye, but the author wasn’t talking about what you might think he would talk about. He was talking about the blending of cultures. He was talking about the fact that Jesus redeemed every people group, and that someday, we will all worship together. He said in the article, “It is one thing to help a church overcome worship wars waged over diverse musical styles, but quite another to help a world overcome a history of international enmity.”
This article’s thoughts were on my heart when it happened. I work with a guy who has spent some time in Mexico with Youth With a Mission, and I knew he could speak Spanish fluently, but that knowledge didn’t really strike me until he brought a lady from his church into the office we share. They greeted each other (in Spanish), the talked for a bit (in Spanish), and then (from the little tiny bit of Spanish I can remember) I concluded that she asked him to pray.
What happened next was amazing. This young guy (caucasian, youth leader, American) prayed for the meeting they were going to have in Spanish. It was one of the most beautiful things I had heard in a long time; a Christian being revolutionary and reaching out beyond his culture to show the love of Jesus to this woman.
Revelation 7:9-10 says:
After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” (emphasis added)
What an amazing picture of what God has done for us on the Cross! How are you helping to break cultural barriers? I hear you saying, “Well, I don’t speak a foreign language, so I can’t.”
- Can you break the barrier between the culture of your non-Christian family and your own saved life?
- Can you break the culture that exists between adults and teenagers by mentoring someone younger than you?
- Can you break the culture between those of us with great homes, and those with nowhere to live and nothing to eat by giving them some hope this thanksgiving season?
So I’ll ask again, what are you doing to break down cultural barriers?
Let us offer our lives as living sacrifices of worship to break through cultural barriers and bring the light of Christ to everyone we meet.