There is no distinction between Jew and Greek, because the same Lord of all richly blesses all who call on Him. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:12-13
It seemed like a waste of time. I was part of a mission’s medical team and we were ministering in Uganda. We were working with a ministry that helped orphans and due to war, aids and poverty—there were many to help. After ministering at the orphanage, we went out to local villages and bush to reach more of the people. Medical care, though extremely inexpensive, was out of the reach of most of the people. That alone clearly speaks of their poverty. It was such an opportunity to help others.
Before we started the clinic, I would have the opportunity to speak to the people. I would explain that there was a Man named Jesus who was like no other man. He would go from village to village helping people—often healing them of their diseases. I would explain that He did it because He loved them. Then, I would tell the people that we were followers of that Man and just as He wanted to help people—we wanted to help them. I explained that the medicine and the doctors were there at no charge to them because someone else had paid the price. And naturally, that led to me sharing how God was offering them a way for their spiritual brokenness to be forgiven.
Some of the people in the village had heard of this Man—many had not. Some were Muslims and some followed whatever local religion they were familiar with. Before they saw the doctors, we had the privilege of sharing with them more about this man Jesus. We would ask them if they wanted to leave whatever “god” road they were on and walk the Jesus Road. While it seems simplistic here, there it made perfect sense. There was no pressure just an opportunity to believe. Whether they said yes or no, the medicine, the help, was theirs for free. That’s what Jesus would do.
It had been a long day and we had seen well over a hundred patients—maybe two hundred. Many had said yes to the question about the Jesus Road, but some simply said no. As the day wore on, our spirits were still willing, but our bodies were growing tired. Finally, there was just one man left and it was my turn to share with him. He was tall and dressed in the traditional Muslin clothing. I could tell that he was elderly, but I was surprised to learn that he was 81 years old. Now, honestly, the chances of a Muslin man that old choosing to change roads was slim to none. It seemed like an exercise in futility.
I shared a Bible story with him and was surprised that he paid close attention. At the end of the story, which spoke of a person choosing to walk the Jesus Road, through the interpreter, I asked him, “Would you like to follow this Jesus Road?” Much to my utter surprise, he responded, “Yes, I would.” I was certain he just didn’t understand my question, so I rephrased it and his response was the same. Amazing. Finally, I said, “Do you understand that walking the Jesus Road requires you to leave the road you are on?” I said, “You cannot walk two roads…only one.” His response was, “I choose the Jesus Road.”
We bowed our heads and he prayed telling Creator God that he was a sinner, but he believed that Jesus had died to pay for his sins. He said that he was willing to leave all other roads and follow only Jesus. And just like that, this dear old man, became a Jesus follower. Did he fully understand all the theology that was involved? Probably not, but he did know that God loved him, that he was a sinner and Jesus would forgive him and that was enough. What seemed like a waste of time, an exercise of futility, turned into the most amazing moment of the trip. That day that man became a child of God.
This story never grows old—and neither does the old, old story about Jesus being born, living, dying, being buried, and coming back to life in three days—never to die again. It is a factual, amazing story. I am always amazed that we know more about this carpenter from a small village in the middle of nowhere than we do of all the Roman emperors. Do you know the reason? Jesus is the real deal. How about that?
You might be surprised to learn that Jesus wasn’t a big fan of religion. In fact, neither is God. I always think of religion as man’s attempt to reach God while Jesus was God’s way to reach us. A relationship with God is not about church, being good, or keeping rules. It is about God’s love and our faith in what Jesus did. It is simple, it is powerful, and it is true.
If you want a witness, you can go to Uganda and find my 81-year-old friend, but truthfully, he probably isn’t there. By now, he has most likely followed the Jesus Road straight into heaven. That’s where it ultimately ends. And as much as I love the fact that the road leads there, I am also so glad that there is room for two to walk side by side—Jesus and me, Jesus and you, Jesus and us. And as we walk, I know that I can face whatever the road holds because, “He’s got this.” Bro. Dewayne