I hopped into a taxi, my teeth chattering so loudly from the cold that the taxi driver, a kind old man, immediately turned on the heater.
I thanked him and told him where I wanted to go. As he started driving, I asked him, “Do you know who Jesus is?”
“Of course,” he said. He told me he’d been taught that Jesus is one of the prophets in Islam. Then he launched into a recitation of religious doctrine that he’d heard all his life.
In the past, I used conversations like this one to engage in verbal jiujitsu with Muslims, going back and forth about why my beliefs are right and theirs are not.
Now I go directly to the Bible and share what it says about Jesus.
Having learned that my driver’s name was Faruq, I asked if I could show him something on my phone. He pulled into a carpark and I played an audio recording of Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus from John 3. Faruq was glued to the message.
But when it finished, he went back to reciting the Islamic teachings he knew so well.
“For salvation, I just need to turn from my past sins and resolve to never do them again,” he said.
Then I told Faruq a story:
A man who returned from work each day and took off his shoes before crossing the threshold into his house. A beautiful, expensive rug lay just inside the door. One rainy, muddy day, this man rushed home and forgot to remove his shoes. Crossing the threshold, he tracked mud all over the rug. The next day was sunny, and the man remembered to take off his shoes. But upon entering, he saw that the rug was still covered in mud.
“Doing the right thing today won’t clean up yesterday’s mistake,” I said to Faruq. “To really become clean—to be forgiven—we need a great atoning sacrifice to die in our place for our sins. That sacrifice is Jesus Himself.”
As he considered my words, I asked, “What if all the things you’ve heard at the mosque aren’t true? You have said that you, like me, are a sinner in need of salvation. So I’d like to ask you to do something tonight. When you pray, say to God: ‘If that man I talked with today is right, that salvation from sin is found only in Jesus, please show me that it’s really true.’”
“I’ll do it!” Faruq said.
Pray that the Spirit, who blows here and there as it wishes (John 3:8), leads Faruq to the truth of Jesus Christ and the promise of eternal life.
**This account comes from a long-term worker. Names have been changed for security.**