Have you ever watched a speech where a sign language professional was interpreting for the hard of hearing community? I always wonder if they are truly interpreting the speech correctly. In fact, in 2013 at a world televised memorial to Nelson Mandela, advocates for the deaf called out an interpreter as fake. “The man, who stood about a yard from (President) Obama and other leaders was moving his hands around, but there was no meaning in what he used his hands for,” said Bruno Druchen, national director of the Deaf Federation of South Africa. At times, as a Christian I have felt what those watching this man wave around his hands in meaningless gestures must have felt – confused.
I’ve heard a few “fake” interpreters of God’s Word. From hate-filled pastors such Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church and Bishop Talbert Swan of the Church of God in Christ to more subtle false “prosperity” teachers like Joel Olsteen and T.D. Jakes, the Word of God has been twisted, edited, and completely ignored. And yet there are hundreds if not thousands of people who follow these “pastors'” preaching. Why? Because we all are looking for answers — for someone to interpret God’s plan for us. Some of us want quick and easy answers. Some of us just want answers that fit our sinful needs and desires.
In the Old Testament, God communicated through people like Moses, Samuel, Jeremiah and others to relay His commands to the people of Israel. There were also false prophets who claimed to interpret for the gods. The people turned to both kinds of prophets for guidance. God swiftly punished those who disobeyed His Word. The great shift came when God sent himself, in the form of Jesus, to speak directly with His creations. Jesus became our great interpreter – explaining the Father’s purpose for His chosen ones. He didn’t speak to nations like so many of the prophets of old did– He spoke with us as individuals and groups. He gathered up people at wells, in gardens, in homes, at lakes and even at graves. He warned us about false prophets and teachers. But His Word cannot be denied. It is written in the oldest book. And although there are various translations of the Bible, His Words stay pretty much the same. It amazes me to hear people, especially angry hate-filled Christians, espouse rights or wrongs that don’t exist in the Bible. I just say, show me the scripture.
When I find myself wondering what God wants from me or a direction I should take, I go directly to Jesus’ words. He was not one to speak meaninglessly. He didn’t speak out of hatred. He rarely showed anger. And when He did speak it was as though He was allotted a certain number of words to use while here on Earth. And He used them wisely.
Praying for Help
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7
Who to Trust
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Matthew 22: 37
“Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:39
How to Attain Peace
“Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day.”
“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except for me.” John 14:6
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Cor 12:9
“Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” John 8:34
Jesus not only was the son of God, he was us. He lived among us to experience the temptations, the persecution, the love, betrayal, and loyalties in everyday life. I praise Jesus today for coming to us to interpret the mind of God for us frail, limited humans. Our eyes and ears and minds have a glimpse into heaven through His actions and words. And God wasn’t done when His son when up to heaven. His Holy Spirit continues the work as our individual, tailored guide. She whispers to us and laughs with us and cries with us.
I don’t walk in the wilderness so much anymore. And with Jesus’ Words I am very discerning about my spiritual leaders. My guide, my interpreter, is always by my side. He will show me the way home. Praise God.
Did you figure out what the sign language word is in the picture? “Grace.” Enjoy this ASL interpreted song, “In Christ Alone” by clicking on the video below.