What can you learn about Jesus from someone who is not His follower? It turns out, more than you think!
The Discovery Bible Study approach is amazing because it leads seekers on a journey of discovering their own newfound faith in God. But one thing we as believers don’t talk about enough is how much it teaches us, as well. There is a unique and profound reflection of God within each culture and, when we sit to listen to someone from a different culture read scripture for the first time, it reveals a lot to us that we might have taken for granted.
I still remember the first time I sat down to read the Bible with a Hindu. She was eager to learn more about God but still very timid to admit this desire to her family and friends. Crouched over our shared Bible with her head covered as a disguise from people passing by, we started in Genesis.
Light Overcoming Darkness
We weren’t very far into Genesis 1 before her answers became all about light. She was stuck by its power, by its ability to overtake all of the surrounding darkness. And she quickly drew a correlation between this powerful light coming from the Creator. The One who could overcome all of darkness must be supreme and good.
There’s a Hindu festival my friend knew very well called Diwali. It’s celebrated all over the world by Hindu diaspora. At the heart of the celebration, Hindus are celebrating the fact that light will always overcome darkness. It’s a beautiful display of truth as they light candles and string lights throughout their house in the evening as the sun goes down and the world darkens.
She now knew the creator of this light. And I rarely take for granted the sun rising or even a light switch turning on as I reflect on the power of light’s ability to surpass darkness’ attempt to dampen the world around it.
The Story of Creation
As we kept reading, she started asking questions about creation. Nothing in her Hindu worldview had ever given context or an explanation for the way in which our world was created. Again, she drew back to the character of the One creating all we know and see. He must care about us a lot. He loves the world He worked so hard to create. He’s thoughtful in the way He separated the heavens and the earth or created seasons for us to live in.
Watching someone experience the truth about our Creator put into perspective my love and gratefulness for a God who cared enough to order our days, establish ecosystems that sustain life, and place value on us as his best creation of all.
Otherness of Jesus
Obviously that was a lot to take in for a single reading, but we kept meeting. And soon we were reading about Jesus. Jesus does a lot of crazy, out of the box things in the New Testament. But what I’ve always noticed a Hindu pointing out is the otherness of Jesus. He is unlike any one or any god they’ve ever known or heard about. He forgives repeatedly, even to His worst offenders. His displays of power are magnificent – from calming oceans to raising the dead and healing any ailment He’s presented with.
“Maybe I’ve become too accustomed to His otherness,” I often think as I watch a Hindu wrap their minds around someone like Jesus. I walk away in search of His displays of forgiveness, gentleness, magnificence, or compassion.
Who’s someone you can read the Bible with?
Reading the Bible with someone from a different world view can sound intimidating at first. Maybe you go into the meeting thinking you’ll teach them all you’ve gleaned from Scripture over the years. But by taking a discovery approach, you might be surprised to find that people who’ve never known much about Jesus or Scripture will teach you something new each time!
If you’d like to start reading the Bible with friends or family members, download the Waha app today. You can have a whole Bible study just by pressing a Play button!
This article was guest-written by one of our Waha users. If you’ve got a story to share about your experience using Waha, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and we might feature it here!