Model of Christ


John 13:35

Consider the story Dr. Harry Ironside told about a missionary in China who was translating the New Testament into the Chinese language.  He was assisted by an eminent Chinese scholar, a Confucianist who had never before been exposed to Christianity.  Week after week and month after month they sat side by side working through the biblical text.

When the project was nearly completed, the missionary told his friend, “You have been of great help to me.  I could never have gotten along without you.  Now I want to ask you a question.  As we have gone together through the New Testament, hasn’t the beauty of Christianity touched you?  Wouldn’t you like to become a Christian/”

The Confucianist replied, “Yes, Christianity does appeal to me. I think it presents the most wonderful system of ethics I have ever known.  I believe that if I ever saw a Christian, I might become more interested in becoming one myself.”

“But,” exclaimed the missionary, “I am a Christian!”

“You?” the scholar replied. “You, a Christian?  I hope you will not take offense, but I must tell you that I have observed you and listened to you from the beginning. If I understand the New Testament, a Christian is one who follows Jesus; and Jesus said, ‘By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.

“You cannot be a Christian, for I have listened to you as you have talked about others in an unkind way.  I have observed, too, that whereas your New Testament says that God will supply all our needs, you do not trust Him.  You worry about this and about that; and if your check is a day late, you become dreadfully concerned.  No, you cannot be a Christian.  But I think that if I ever see one, I should like to be one.”

Pierced to the heart, the missionary broke down, sobbed out a confession, and asked God for forgiveness.  He asked for the scholar’s forgiveness as well.  This man was so broken that the Confucianist later remarked, “Well, perhaps I have seen a Christian after all.”…

David Jeremiah, Signs of Life, p. 225

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