The Good Book Company have been churning out quality gospel resources for ages now (but then I would say that seeing as I’m one of their authors). However, last week they sent me a copy of their latest resource and frankly – they really have hit the ball out of the park with it!
As the title suggests, Discovering Jesus Through Asian Eyes seeks to addresses 16 questions that many Asians ask about Christianity, the Bible and what it means to follow Jesus. Here’s the lowdown:
- It asks and answers the questions that Asians of all backgrounds have about Jesus and the Christian Faith
- Contains the stories of Asians from all kinds of backgrounds who have found faith in Christ
- Warmly encourages those from other faiths to think about Jesus from the Bible
- Helps people see Christianity is not a western religion
- Sympathetically designed and culturally relevant
The first thing that struck me about this resource was its look and feel – it’s design is eye-catching and it feels great in the hand. The content is easy to read, simple to follow and makes you want to keep turning pages. However, there’s another reason why I’m so stoked about Discovering Jesus Through Asian Eyes and encouraged by the timing of its release – it’s because I’m frankly disturbed by the recent Europe-wide surge in support for political parties that espouse anti-immigation (or just downright racist) policies. Admittedly, I don’t live in a region that is particularly ethnically diverse, however, I do still read the Bible and can’t get away from scriptures like these:
“You must not mistreat or oppress foreigners in any way. Remember, you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 22 v 21)
“The same instructions and regulations will apply both to you and to the foreigners living among you.” (Number 15 v 16)
“‘Cursed is anyone who denies justice to foreigners, orphans, or widows.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’ (Deuteronomy 27 v 19)
“This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Judge fairly, and show mercy and kindness to one another. Do not oppress widows, orphans, foreigners, and the poor.” (Zechariah 7 v 9-10)
“So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family.” (Ephesians 2 v 19)
“Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” …. Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honourable behaviour, and they will give honour to God when he judges the world.” (1Peter 2 v 11-12)
These are just a tiny handful of scriptures that leave us in no uncertain terms that God’s heart is FOR the foreigner and outcast. They remind us that we too were foreign to a holy God and yet in kindness He extended grace to us and welcomed us in by the gospel. Furthermore now that our citizenship is in heaven we are ourselves aliens and strangers in a hostile world and so we should empathise more anyone with the plight of those in our midst who are “not from these parts!”
I appreciate that the whole immigration debate is controversial and complex and I certainly don’t want to use this blog to make political statements. However, I absolutely do want to use this blog to throw down some gospel challenges:
- What if God was making the Great Commission easier for us to accomplish?
- What if God in His beautiful sovereignty was sending men and women from every corner of the earth to this nation in order for them to meet Jesus in our back yard?
- What if that exchange student from China had the potential to be a fire-brand evangelist/pioneer/pastor/church planter when they return to China?
- What if that devout Muslim down the street was actually tired of the burden of religious observance and was more hungry for grace than anyone in your church?
- What if that Vietnamese guy who gets hated on by everyone in the factory was divinely placed there to work alongside you so that YOU could lead him to Jesus?
- What if the little Hindu girl in your child’s class hadn’t been sent by Satan to seduce your child away from Jesus, but rather had been put there by God so that your child could draw alongside her, befriend her and love her like Jesus?
Hope you’re starting to get the gist of why I’m buzzin’ about Discovering Jesus Through Asian Eyes.
It tells us that the mission-field on our doorstep is OURS for the reaching.
It’s graciously proactive, not aggressively reactive.
It replaces fear with faith.
Suspicion with Compassion.
Racism with Grace-ism.
So check out the video below and then go order a bunch of copies for you and your church.