Wycliffe translator Lois Dodds describes the change God’s word brought to the Condoshi people of Peru Before Christ, they practiced headhunting, wife beating and vengeance on their many foes. The Bible radically altered that lifestyle and brought the fruit of the Spirit.
During one Bible study, however, the men found Ephesians 5:25 at odds with their whole cultural tradition. They could understand the demand for children to obey their parents, they said. They could easily grasp the command for wives to submit to their husbands. But the command to love one’s wife as Christ loved the church stuck in their throats. Could the scripture possibly mean what it seemed to say?
When the translator insisted that it did, whatever their customs, one of the leaders turned to the people and said, “Well men, if that’s what God days, we’ll have to think more about it. But it really is difficult.”
We often experience a struggle when confronting a scripture that contradicts all we’ve believed, known and accepted. The Jews of John 6:52 found it true, as Christ taught about offering his flesh for the world. And, arguing from a purely physical view, they couldn’t fathom Christ. Perhaps some wished to believe. Others didn’t. But whatever, they all came to grief over an idea that they had never entertained before. Unlike the Condoshi, however, the Jews made no effort to “read it over” and think about it. They rejected it because they couldn’t understand it.
Many people instinctively reject any scriptural idea they haven’t entertained before. Rather than giving themselves time to become familiar with the idea, they take the Jews’ way of rejecting it. It isn’t what they’ve always believed, they say, so it can’t be so. How much better to say, “I’ll have to give that more thought.”