“But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness.” 1Corinthians 1:23
IN JESUS TODAY:
The idea that everyone understands everything as we do is false. Different words have different meanings, different thoughts have different ways to explain them, and different actions aren’t always understood the same way. I once heard it said in a story like this;
An Australian Gentleman was talking to an American Gentleman, and he said, “I don’t know what I’m going to do, it seems that my battery has gone flat!” Right away the American Gentlemen asked, “What, did you run over it or something? We always say our Battery is dead!”
We see here that different words may have different meanings, or that different words may have the same meaning based upon what culture we are speaking to. How we communicate isn’t always the same, often people will say “I can’t use that Bible, because of all of the “Thee’s and Thou’s” it’s too complicated!” But then how will they understand our message? And should we give up on them because they are not exactly like us?
THE SAME MESSAGE DIFFERENT RESULTS…
In Acts chapter two, Peter (a Jew) began to give a message to the Jews about the cross of Jesus Christ They were like-minded culturally, they had a like understanding in many ways, and so the message did not get lost in translation, as we read,
“Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” Acts 2:41
Peter gave a great message to the Jews and many believed, because they understood all that Peter was saying and they received it, but now let’s look at the same message given by another witness to a different culture, the Greek’s. Turn with me to the book of Acts chapter 17
Here we find Paul at Mars Hill,
“Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars Hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all these things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this description; “TO THE UNKNOWN GOD”
Paul went on to tell them about Jesus and his death, burial, and resurrection, and the cross by which it all took place, and what this did for them. Needless to say, because they were not so thrilled by this, and they thought that it was beneath them, because they were further advanced in intellect, so they thought, even while worshiping an “UNKNOWN GOD”, even so only a few received Jesus, as we read,
“And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, ‘We will hear thee again of this matter.’ So Paul departed from among them.” Acts 17:32, 33
So Peter won thousands and Paul a just few, the same message, but different cultures! For those who are wondering why some just don’t get it, this is one possible reason! We have to consider our audience and give more effort into making our message reach their culture!