Last night I met with two Hindu friends to begin reading through the Gospel of John together. We made chai, caught up a little since we’ve been traveling some, and then read John 1:1-18. Before reading, I began with prayer, asking God to bless our time and open our eyes, then I explained a little about the Bible.
We really are in the midst of an entirely different belief system! For example, when we sat down to read together, they each in turn picked up the bible, kissed it, and pressed their forehead against it. I had to explain that while we should be thankful for God’s word, we don’t worship his word, we worship him. Also, I had to explain several times that John the baptist was not a god. One of my friends thought that when we read “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John” it meant that John was another god like Jesus who was sent. It was a good opportunity to explain once again that Jesus is the only one who pre-existed his life on earth, and that all other men were created and sinful, and that there are no other gods, small or big.
We worked through the verses one by one, and while one of them usually distracts himself, this time when we were working through John 1:12-13, he became especially contemplative, and I think he grasped what was being said, that those who believe in Jesus become children of God, but those who don’t, are not children of God. I explained that we don’t become his children just because we want to, not because our parents are, not because of our country, but God makes us his children when we receive and believe on Christ, and only then.
We spent a little time in Genesis, because they had questions about the beginning the first people. I drew a biblical history diagram to explain creation/redemptive history from creation until Christ. This can be especially helpful because Hindus are often taught that theirs is the oldest religion in the world, and they think that Christianity originated just 2,000 years ago when Christ came, and Buddhism 500 years before Christ, and Islam 500 years after Christ when Muhammad lived. So it was helpful to show that our history begins not with Jesus’ birth, but long before the incarnation of Christ.
Towards the end a good brother showed up for fellowship, and he joined and added to the conversation.
In the end, seeds were planted, they still want to read and learn more, and I think it’s not out of a sense of obligation. Pray that we can bear witness about the light again, and that as we move forward in John God will give them new hearts.