“To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32
I wake up every morning (thanks be to God) and I stretch. I roll out of bed with my hair going crazy and I get dressed. I put my crazy hair in a ponytail, and I let my doggies out of their crates. We cuddle and say “good morning” and then I make my way to the kitchen to brew a cup of joe, and have some breakfast as I read my daily devotional and study God’s word. After that, I usually take the dogs outside for some fetch to wear them out and stop their whining, (yes, they whine when they get bored and want to play) and then I go back inside and complete whatever tasks I’ve set for myself for the day. What doesn’t usually happen is a conversation with a Jehovah’s Witness that affirms my faith in Christ Jesus.
I heard a knock at the door. No, not the one we use as our front door, the one at the front of the house… No not that one, the other one… Sorry, there are 4 doors to the outside on one side of my house… Bizarre little cottage… anyway, I walked around the porch to where a man in a dress shirt and tie was standing at the door with a Jehovah’s Witness bible in hand and a smile on his face. I chuckled a little to myself because his timing was impeccable. The first thing he said to me was, “There is a lot of confusion that surrounds Jesus, and who he is. Who do you say he is? What is your take on that?”
I smiled again as I repeated Peter’s confession of Christ, “I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, and the savior to mankind.” He noticed my smile, and in response, I said, “I’ve always loved Peter’s confession of Christ…”
He went on to ask me if I believed that Jesus was God. After he left, I kicked myself for not referencing Philippians 2:5-11, because it was then that I realized why that specific passage kept coming up in my devotional times. However, I did tell him to hang tight while I went to get my Bible from inside. He was surprised at that.
I brought my Bible outside and we stood on the porch referencing scriptures. I’m not completely sure what point he was trying to make, but he kept referring to Jesus as the son (little s) of God, as if Jesus were created at birth rather than the Spirit of God, part of the Trinity, sent to be born as a man to die for the redemption of our sins. Upon the man’s reference of John 3:16’s specific terminology, “begotten” I pointed out that I believed in the Holy Trinity: God the Father, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus Christ, His son, who was God incarnate. I said that I believed the word begotten to mean more “given” or “sent” rather than birthed. The man said, “…well…yes, okay.” I referenced Genesis 1, where God says, “Let us make man in our image…” Our, denoting plural, God the Father, Holy Spirit, and the Son. In all of this, he wasn’t disagreeing with me, but rather, slightly tweaking interpretation of the Word.
He handed me a booklet that was called, “What the Bible Really Teaches” and he flipped through it, pointing out that it used scriptural references to explain what God says on various subjects, and that most weren’t quoted so that one is forced to look it up in the Bible. I’ve always been of that mindset- I’d rather lead people to search for the truth on their own, rather than show it to them, and them wonder if it was taken out of context. He noted that the booklet wasn’t “inspired” text, like the Bible. But that the booklet was intended as a sort of guide, to lead one to the scripture, because that’s where God put his answers to our “big questions.” I said, “…all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching-….”
He excitedly replied, “2 Timothy 3:16! Yes. I’ve noticed you are familiar with the Bible, and you also know where to find the books, and their order. That’s impressive, especially for someone so young.”
I smiled, and mumbled some polite reply which I don’t entirely remember because I was too busy thinking how sad that statement was. It shouldn’t be that impressive. Unfortunately, we live in a world in which people, especially people my age, are programmed to search everywhere but the Bible for “spiritual truth.”
We had a nice conversation, and he said he’d come back a while later just to see what I thought of the booklet… What I didn’t get a chance to say was that I’m not concerned with what the little booklet says, because I already know that God’s answers are the true answers to any questions I may have. I trust that when I’m in a situation I’m not sure how to handle, the Holy Spirit will lead me to God’s word, and show me what I need to overcome it. That’s faith.