The Word-Episode 10
We may find it difficult, at times, to talk to our friends about Jesus. Many of us want to spread the Gospel but we, very often, meet with resistance, but can you imagine what it must have been like in the beginning? When those original apostles and disciples set out to evangelize the world as Jesus commanded them to there was more than resistance; there was ignorance. Outside of Palestine no one had EVER heard of Jesus for that first few decades. Those that had been sent to convert the Gentiles had a very difficult task indeed. Of course, the apostles tasked with trying to convert the Jews didn’t have it all that easy but, at least, there was some common ground in Scripture. The Jews…including those outside of what we today call the Holy Land…the Jews of the diaspora as they’re called…may not have been easy to convince that Jesus was the Messiah but, at least, they knew what a Messiah was. The problem for the rest of the apostles was that the cultural influence of the Jews was very narrow. At that time, if you weren’t Jew by birth then most likely you had no familiarity with the Jewish religion whatsoever and you just as likely didn’t know anyone who did. The dominant cultural and religious mindset of the day in most of the known world was decidedly Greek…thanks to Alexander the Great. Not only did the famous Macedonian general conquer lands, he conquered minds. Before his rather untimely death, Alexander set out to spread Greek thinking throughout the world. And he did a pretty good job, I must say. I’m sure John the Evangelist would agree. You see, John, the writer of one of the Gospels, a few epistles and the Book of Revelation was among those apostles whose mission field was among the Gentiles. Tradition tells us that John lived in one of the MOST Gentile cities on earth, at the time: Ephesus. This was a very, Greek, VERY pagan city. In fact, Ephesus was home to the Temple of Artemis, also sometimes referred to as the Temple of Diana, one of the holiest sites in the Greek pagan religion. Trying to convince his neighbors of the Gospel of Jesus was not going to be an easy task, even for this giant of the early church; a man who knew the Messiah personally. But “For God nothing shall be impossible.” (Luke 1:37) Difficult, yes. Impossible NEVER. Tune into to today’s lesson to get a glimpse into the immeasurable wisdom of our Father. The opening verses of the Gospel of John demonstrate that God has been in control from the beginning. The genius of the those first few statements is remarkable. Please join us as we take a focused look at one of history’s most incredible literary treasures. BUT, as always, before you begin, take a moment to pray for God’s Help in understanding the wonders of His Word.