As I travel around the world, I am delightfully surprised at similarities in the midst of many differences. For instance, while trying to function in a totally unfamiliar language and culture, traffic signals are green, yellow, and red; other traffic signs bear enough similarity that I can "guess" with reasonable accuracy. Worldwide recognizable signals can be a comfort in a very uncomfortable situation.

Medically, many of the medical symbols are universal, as well. Once again, these symbols convey messages that go far beyond the images and can save lives. What about Jesus? When His name is mentioned, does everyone in the world recognize the reality of who He is? Do they think He just "was" and not "is"?

  • Do they think of just history or a real faith for today?
  • Do they think He was just a man? A nice story with lots of errors in the records? A part of some "symbolic religion"?

"Recognizing Jesus", but misunderstanding who He is can be eternally life- threatening. It is like recognizing that the traffic light is red, but not knowing that it means "stop". The Apostle Paul emphasized Jesus’ true identity when he wrote,

"He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the first born over all creation….. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood shed on the cross." (Colossians 1:15-20 NIV)

Recognizing without understanding can be tragic. The consequences of recognizing Jesus without knowing Him are eternal. It truly is the difference between life and death.


Sharing the journey with you,

Bob Snyder