John 14:6 – Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (NIV)
Our church holds drop-in evenings for neighbours who are curious, hurting, or seeking. During these informal, yet structured, get-togethers, we offer a meal, we share stories, and we talk about King Jesus, Who was sent to earth to save His people.
One evening, we were joined by a young woman. She was polite and soft-spoken. However, she did not share anything about herself, and she seemed distant when we explained the words and works of Jesus.
But that changed drastically. After three or four visits, she started to bombard us with questions, tricky questions. Why was Christianity better than Buddhism? Why have Christians waged religious wars, killing one another and destroying each other's livelihood? Were we aware of witches and evil spirits? Why are there so many Christian hypocrites?
We were unable to answer all her questions to her satisfaction, and we felt badly when she stopped coming. Did we fail her? Did we turn her off when it was obvious that we did not have all the answers? Did she catch us contradicting ourselves? Did we fumble our explanation of the good news?
How thankful we were when she returned several months later! Again, she was bursting with questions. This time, her questions were not tricky or aggressive. She was thirsting to hear more about Jesus. She asked us to help her understand why He would have died also for her. She wanted to know more about angels. She wondered how and when Jesus will come back. And then, without warning, she stopped coming again. This time, we felt worse. We had missed our second chance with her.
Unbelievably, about half a year later, she returned. She looked beautiful and confident. During the meal, she shared her story. She explained that over the previous two years, she had gone to different Christian churches, attending their evening classes and outreach efforts. During these years, she became aware that the Lord was calling her to follow Him. This awareness was confirmed when she noticed that in each church, the people spoke the same truth. With tears in her eyes, she confessed that Jesus was her truth, her way to the Father, and her way to life eternal.
The burden of guilt fell off our shoulders. We had fumbled our answers. We had been unable to find proof texts. We had become a bit defensive at times. But, thankfully, we do not have to feel badly. Even though we spoke the truth in weakness, the Truth had spoken powerfully, and was heard. May our experience encourage those who doubt the power of their faltering witness.
Prayer: Dear and gracious Father, we confess that often we speak the truth in weakness when we reach out to our neighbour with Your Word. We thank You from the heart that You will use our weak words to convince others that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and Life eternal. Amen.
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