“What is the meaning of Life? What is our purpose? What happens when we die?” Universal questions littered with a growing menu of universal truths. Live long enough, and the menu fails. The Beatles gave us, “All you need is love!” Unfortunately, too few marriages survive the years that first test them.
“Nothing is certain but death and taxes” – another universal truth. But death could not hold Jesus (Acts 2:24), and through His blood, death will not hold us either! Jesus said that He is the Truth (John 14:6); He also said that He came to testify to the Truth (John 18:37). Jesus, in His being, is ‘truth’, and thus came to testify about Himself. Rick Warren says, “This is what separates Jesus Christ from every other leader of every other faith. Other leaders have said, ‘I’m looking for the truth’ or ‘I’m teaching the truth’ or ‘I point to the truth’ or ‘I’m a prophet of truth.’ Jesus comes and says, ‘I am the truth.’” Believing the one and only real universal truth settles life’s great questions.
What a great story to tell! We should ask, “who should we not tell?” Over 2000 years ago, Jesus was born. On the same day, the Good News reached out to the wise men – speaking to them in a way they would understand, a star in the East as foretold by the scriptures. And on the same day, shepherds were visited by angels to tell of a King born to them. From the educated magi of the east to the working shepherds of the field – what a statement of diversity! This Good News would never find limitation in social boundaries, ethnicity, language or geography.
Some have viewed the Gospel as a Western truth, or a Western export, particularly following the good work of western missionaries. Interestingly, this truth came to the West from the Middle East, by a middle eastern man who did not speak English; a man who walked amongst and shared meals with people of all cultures and social standing. Jesus loved them all, fully and equally. From the centre of the world, the Gospel was sent out freely to the rest of the world.
Sitting in Dubai airport, I spoke with a Hindu man who was returning to his home in Northern India – I asked him how he viewed Jesus and the Gospel. For him, the Gospel is not a western concept at all. His experience is that Jesus is on the lips of people all over India. A Hindu could see no social, nor ethnic, boundaries to the Gospel – should we?
Jesus emphasized this point in Mark 16:15 (NIV) “He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.’” This Good News is truly universal – it is for all creation, in all the world, for all times. From Tokyo to Punta Arenas; from Helsinki to Cape Town, “…I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile” (Romans 1:16). We have everything to shout about, unashamedly and unreservedly.
Jesus lived as the Gospel. His example to us is that we live as He did, with the Good News ever-close to our lips; spilling over our story with His story, to every man, woman and child on the planet. After all, we need to be ‘light’ – stars in the East, and continue to share the Good News – we are His Church, appointed at this time, for this purpose.