Our Heavenly Father’s word talks about many different countries.
- From India to Ethiopia, where King Ahasuerus reigned (Esther 1:1)
- Iran (Persia)
- Iraq (Babylon)
- Crete, Cyprus
- Israel, Judah, and Samaria
- Italy (Rome), and Spain (Romans 15:24, 28)
- Turkey (Asia Minor)
Imagine the differences between the cultures of those lands, all of which precede the creation of the United States in the West.
For example, walking the streets of Ephesus can present a foreigner with a completely different mindset than they have in their home land. Here is a picture of Curetes Street.
The way people in the West (United States) understand something conceptually might differ significantly from how people in other countries understand it.
For example, a concept such as wealth or honor to some might mean something very different to people from different lands.
When Jesus Christ was on earth, some people believed in the therapeutic healing of the pools.
By the sheep gate of Jerusalem was a pool that had five porticos. In Hebrew, it was called the pool of Bethesda. At this pool, Jesus healed the paralyzed man – without having him go into the pool. (John 5:1-9) A view of the arches over the pool:
Words in different languages might have held different meanings, or depths of meanings.
The meaning of a tanner in one country might also be a tanner in another nation. But, there might be differences in provisions, materials, and methods.
The way jails were built might have differed depending on supplies or practices in that land.
Here is a picture of a possible site of the Philippian jail where Paul and Silas were held, and where the jailor was led to believe in Christ (Acts 16:22-40).
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Romans 12:16
Methods of treating ailments of the body and mind might have differed in various countries.
Burial practices in ancient Jerusalem might have differed from those in ancient Egypt.
There are reasons that Yahweh/Jehovah teaches us to not judge our brother. (Matthew 7) We might not know another person’s culture, background, education, or upbringing.
Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14
Sometimes we think we know something.
And sometimes we do.
At least in part.
Still, it seems important to keep an uncluttered mind about other cultures, while still proving the spirits (1 John 4:1), so that we don’t miss out on opportunities to learn.
Might it help to consider today that in five years, we might not think the same way we do about certain things now?
What are your thoughts about learning from other cultures?