And all sorts of men understood. Jesus wiped out social differences and distinctions in the crowds that gently jostled each other in His presence. The aristocrat and the cultured, the student and the gentle folk, mingled freely with simple country folk, the unlettered, the humblest and lowliest, all drawn alike to Him, and all unconscious of differences when under the holy spell of His presence. The wealthy like Joseph of Arimathea, and the beggar like the man born blind, the pure in heart like Mary of Bethany and the openly bad in life like the accused woman of Jerusalem,—all felt alike that this Jesus belonged to them, and they to Him.
The underneath tie of real kinship of heart rubbed out all outer distinctions. The old families of Jerusalem were glad to unlock their jealously guarded doors to Him. And the simple Capernaum fisherfolk were grateful when He shared bread and roof with them. All men recognized Jesus as belonging to themselves.
And the calendar has not changed this, neither Gregorian nor Old Style. Time finds the race the same always. Centuries climb slowly by, but the human heart is the same, and—so is Jesus. I was greatly struck with this in my errand among the nations. The East balks at the ways of the West sometimes. Many books say there is no point of contact between the two. The East balks at our Western organization, our rule of the clock, and our rush and hurry. Our Westernized church systems and our closely mortised logical theologies are sometimes a bit bewildering, not exactly comprehensible to their Orientalized mode of thought.
But they never balk at Jesus. When they are told of Him, and get some glimpse of Him, their eyes light, their faces glow, their hearts leap in response. You book people say there is no point of contact between Orient and Occident? But there is. Jesus is the point of contact. One real touch of Jesus makes all the world akin. No; that can be put better. One touch of Jesus reveals the kinship that is there between Him and men, and between all men.
In Japan it was the Portuguese that first took the Gospel a few hundred years ago. And you still find Japanese churches founded by the Portuguese. Fifty odd years ago it was the English tongue that again brought that message of life to them. But as I mingled among Japanese Christians of different communions and heard them pray, they were not praying in Portuguese nor in English. They had no thought that He was a Portuguese Saviour they prayed to, nor yet an English. They prayed in Japanese. They felt that Jesus spoke their tongue. He belonged to them. He and they understood each other.
As I listened to Manchu and Chinese, to Korean and Hawaiian pour out their hearts in prayer, I could feel the close personal burning touch of their spirits with Jesus. They and He were kin to each other. Their very voices told the certainty in their hearts on this point.