In the first century, on the road to Damascus, a man named Saul of Tarsus planned to lead a brutal suppression of a new Jewish sect he considered heretical, a group that would come to be called Christians. Saul (who became Paul) had a surprising encounter in Acts 9, where he saw a bright light from heaven, and Jesus spoke to him. This encounter forever changed his life.
One day, Mosab Hassan Yousef* and a friend passed by the Damascus Gate, and suddenly he heard a man’s voice directed toward him in non-native Arabic. As he tried to converse with Mosab, after a bit of back-and-forth, they realized he was talking about something to do with Christianity and a study group at the YMCA in West Jerusalem.
Mosab, a little bored at the time, thought it might be interesting to learn about Christianity. He had learned so much from the Israelis; perhaps other “infidels” might have something valuable to teach him as well. He attended the study group and had fun meeting new people and a new culture.
Blessed that they gave him a New Testament, he saw it was written in Arabic and English. Because gifts are honored and respected in Arab culture, he decided the least he could do was to read it. Beginning in Matthew, he got to the Sermon on the Mount. He thought, “Wow, this guy Jesus is really impressive. Everything he says is beautiful.” He couldn’t put the book down. Every verse seemed to touch a deep wound in his life. It was a simple message, but somehow it had the power to heal his soul and give him hope.
Mosab then read this: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:43-45).
Thunderstruck by these words, Mosab said, “Never before had I heard anything like this, but I knew that this was the message I had been searching for all my life.”
Tomorrow, in our Ramadan #19 article, we share how the impact of the “red letters in the Bible” dramatically changed his life forever!
- Mosab Hassan Yousef – Son of Hamas
Muslims expect the gospel to be, much like the Qur’an, a book revealed to Jesus, not a book about His life. Pray they will be curious to read the New Testament to see the Lord’s kindness and compassion, revealing Jesus’ love for them.