A young friend, born and bred in Nottingham, was working down South. Feeling excited, she visited a local jewellery shop to have her ears pierced. To her astonishment she was unable to make them understand her request! Her broad, Nottingham accent was completely foreign to the local staff; they tried, but she left the shop in frustration. Hearing this story made me pause and think of Yahshua, who understands my friend perfectly. He not only speaks English, but distinguishes the amazing array of accents throughout the UK, the USA, and other parts of the world where English is the official language. Inevitably, my thoughts flew to the vast range of more than 7,000 languages which are spoken around the world. Our beloved Saviour speaks them all!
When He was here, Yahshua spoke the language of the people and that of the religious hierarchy. His wonderful teaching, shared by Matthew and known as the Sermon on the Mount [chapters 5-7], is readily understandable and full of truth. He unpicked the teaching of the Law and presented it to them clearly and simply; He spoke their language! Equally, He answered difficult questions thrown at Him by the religious leaders and sidestepped the pitfalls they planned to discredit Him; He spoke their language, too.
Today, Yahshua is relevant to every generation, speaking to each heart in sentiments and language readily accessible. “The philosopher with his wisdom, and the simple man who has no book learning,” writes William Barclay, “the great man with the cares of great affairs upon him, and the humble man of whom no one has ever heard, the saint who walks in holiness and the sinner who is soiled with sin – [Yahshua] speaks to each in a language that he can understand.”
How do you speak to Him? There is a tendency to adopt a ‘religious’ language, expressing our prayers in biblical [and often outdated] terms. Yahshua is not locked into one particular century; speak to Him as you would to a respected friend, but do beware of a laxity and familiarity that is inappropriate. He is our Friend and King! Be respectful and courteous, but remember, He speaks our language!