Karl was discussing the Sermon on the Mount with two young Muslim men in a smoking cafe. The Scriptures on blessings were easy for them to accept. Things became more troublesome when they read about murder, adultery, and divorce.
“Those Scriptures had their proverbial ‘boat’ rocking a bit,” says Karl, “but when we got to the passages about loving your enemies, their ‘boat’ almost capsized! In the ‘Shame-Honor’ culture where we live, the idea of turning the other cheek is not only foreign but is considered shameful. You punch the tuk-tuk driver if he bumps you; you fight if someone insults you. You do whatever it takes to keep shame away and maintain your honor.
“When we read about loving your enemies, my friends were astonished. How can people love their enemies and even pray for their persecutors? Lots of crazy things are said in cafes while drinking tea and smoking shisha, but these ideas were over the top!
“As we walked through these Scriptures, I asked questions like: ‘What does this teach us about God? What do we learn about people and ourselves? If this is true, how will you apply God’s truth this week?’ These were tough questions for my young Muslim friends.”
The hunger for truth and hope is very great in the young men where Karl lives. Please pray for God’s word to penetrate their hearts and minds. Pray they realize God’s word is alive and active and can change them eternally.