Everything Is Different with God

Norbert Lieth

Former German Bishop of Hannover, Dr. Hans Lilje, tells of his trip to India. In a large hall, he saw pictures of the four great religious founders: Buddha, Mohammed, Zoroaster and Christ. The guide asked the tour participants if they saw the difference between these four figures. Three of them were portrayed in deep meditation; only Christ was shown as a Good Shepherd, bending over a sheep to free it from its anguish. The tour guide commented: “You see, He is the only one not thinking about Himself.” The many examples and parables of Jesus dealing with sinners, shows us that He stands out from all others; He is different. While all religions make demands on man, Jesus—who is God in human form—gives everything to mankind.

Jesus has been invited to dinner by an eminent, pious Pharisee. He accepts the invitation. Then there appeared a woman (known around town for her sinful life) who had heard that Jesus would be at this house. She has an alabaster bottle filled with anointing oil, and in front of everyone, pours the oil over His feet and weeps. With her hair, she dries the feet of the Lord, massaging and kissing them. Inwardly, all who see this cry out: “Doesn’t He know that she is a great sinner?” (see Luke 7:36-50).

The father of the Prodigal Son embraces him before the young man can even say anything. After the son voices his confession, to his surprise a great celebration ensues. The Lord leaves 99 sheep to look for the lost one. When found, He rejoices with unbridled joy (Luke 15).

Jesus is not about allowing sin. He always remained without sin and doesn’t downplay sinning. But through these examples, He reveals to us that He likes to forgive sin. He does not reject us, rather draws us close. Jesus shows us that God is approachable…He does not distance Himself, but can be found by everyone.

The psychotherapist and former lecturer of psychology, Reinhold Ruthe, once said of the Almighty: “With God, everything is different...With God, we are not written off, not left to ourselves, not put aside. We are His children” (“Daily Audience with God,” May 9). 

Nobody should be surprised that there is no other name under heaven that can save us (Acts 4:12), because there is no one under heaven who has done what Jesus did.

Midnight Call - 04/2021

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