One Sign of Christians: Be Normal People
By CCD contributor: Li Daonan, December 10, 2018 10:12 AM
I have known a friend for several years, but I had been not aware of his Christian identity until he told me.
I never saw him pray or read the Bible. Even on weekends, he meets friends and spends time with his family; Sometimes he drinks wine with his friends, but not excessively. If not necessary, he goes out by bus or subway and says that in that way he can see a lot of his city. Being earnest and responsible in his job has led to a promotion so that he has become the person in charge in just two years and gained recognition from his supervisor and colleagues. He is not in a poor or bad relationship, receiving both positive and negative comments from other people.
Later I stumbled across a Bible in his car. He said that he followed Jesus while in college. When he first came into contact with Christianity, he was attracted by Jesus as described in the Gospels and then later by the character of the loving priest in the novel, "The Hunchback of Notre-Dame".
He saw Jesus' love in the priest. He told me that believing in God was not religious liturgy and Bible reading and prayer didn't cause his love and faith to grow stronger. More importantly, even if I didn't see him reading the Bible or praying, he did that before God.
The friend shared his conversion story. He used to be inferior, thinking that people around him mocked him. As a result, he studied hard as a remedy, but good grades didn't make him strong.
Afterward, he met Jesus who was neither aloof nor servile towards his neighbors who mocked him or experts/teachers of the law who hit him.
He sought to be motivated by Jesus' toughness and found out that it was faith in God and love for the world. Since then, Jesus has been his example. Jesus easily responded to people's criticism because of knowledge and kindness. He replied to people without cursing or hating them. From that time on, he studied hard and gradually changed himself by joining a circle of Christians.
He said to me, "Do you know what's the happiest thing? To be an ordinary person! Jesus was an ordinary person! I didn't want to be ordinary and expected to set the world on fire and be held in higher esteem and praised. Actually it was exhausting."
Indeed, I agree with his word.
Jesus teaches us to be normal people who care about their families and neighbors, show filial piety to their parents, be mentally and financially independent and follow the laws. These are the requirements for normal people.
However, Jewish people didn't want to be "normal" at that time. They identified themselves either as God's chosen people or God's outcasts compared to the Gentiles.
Apart from these two mentalities, they lacked a mindset of being normal people.
Jesus came to tell them that God never rejected the Jews because He wanted to save all the people, not just the Jews, priests and teachers of the law.
All the people equal ordinary people. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught how to be an ordinary person: be humble instead of proud; grieve over your sins; desire to do the will of God; be merciful and pure in heart; advocate for peace instead of sowing dissension; and, defend the truth at the cost of being punished.
- Translated by Karen Luo
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