And he ordered us to preach everywhere and to testify that Jesus is the one appointed by God to be the judge of all—the living and the dead. He is the one all the prophets testified about, saying that everyone who believes in him will have their sins forgiven through his name. (Acts 10:42-43)
Relate: Jesus isn’t just for Christians. That might sound a bit strange at first until you look at it sideways. But before I get to that, here’s a little something I read recently:
So she [Mary] carried him [Jesus], and secluded herself with him in a remote place. The labor pains came upon her, but the trunk of a palm tree. She said, “I wish I had died before this, and been completely forgotten.” Then he called to her from beneath her: “Do not worry; your Lord has placed a stream beneath you. Shake the trunk of the palm tree towards you and it will drop ripe dates by you. So eat and drink and be consoled…
Then a little later, after she returned to her neighbors who called her a whore:
So she pointed to him [Jesus]. They said, “How can we speak to a newborn in a crib?” He [baby Jesus] said, “I am the servant of God. He has given me the Scripture, and made me a prophet… So peace be upon me the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I get resurrected alive.”
Here in the Koran, (19:22-33) we have the virgin Mary going off to a secluded place to give birth to Jesus. The labor is rough and she wishes she could just die. Then, his first words immediately out of the womb, Jesus says to her: “Here. I made a stream. Drink up, eat some dates, and you’ll be fine.” Then, a few hours later when she returns to town and her neighbors start accusing her of adultery, Mary points to the baby and newborn Jesus rebukes the crowd then prophesies his own death and resurrection.
For all the times I’ve heard someone say to me that Jesus in the Bible didn’t make any special claims about himself I wish I had known this so I could respond, “At least in the Bible he waited until He was almost a teenager to do so.”
React: But anyways, back to my original statement: Jesus isn’t just for Christians. There is a common misconception among the more liberal. ecumenical, emergent minded set of which I am almost a part of that Jesus is for Christians, Buddha for Buddhists, Krishna and co for Hindus, Mohammed for Islam, etc. No. Every prophet points to Him. Jesus alone is the Judge of all.
Cornelius was a polytheist. Yes, he was sympathetic to Jews and longed for the truth but he was clearly a polytheist. It is the most obvious understanding of him bowing down to worship Peter as soon as the apostle arrives. An angel told him a messenger was coming. Well, Hermes (Mercury) was a messenger too. If an angel was announcing the guy’s arrival, he had to be pretty high up in the pantheon. Obviously Peter quickly sets him straight. He is only here to point to Jesus as did all the prophets. All true prophets are still pointing to Jesus. He alone is the Judge of all the living and the dead. Whether someone is polytheist, animist, monotheist, or anything in between, Jesus is still the only Son of God. Whether someone bows to Vishnu, Allah, Buddha, or Justin Bieber today… eventually they will fall on their faces before Jesus. Why not do so today?
God, I worship You. You alone, Jesus, are the Way, Truth, and Life. You only provide access to the Father. You are the Judge and my Redeemer. To You has all authority in heaven and here on earth been given and that includes me. That includes all of us. Let me not live in rebellion to Your rule. You are my King. You are my Lord. To You alone do I surrender all that I am.