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  • Writer's pictureKristina Trott

Life and death are in the pronunciation

Languages and linguistics have always fascinated me (which is why I did quite a bit of post-graduate study in this area). Some phonemes (or sounds) are foreign to different cultures and it takes quite a bit of effort to master unfamiliar sounds. One young Korean boy took half an hour to master the English “r”. One young German lady took 3 hours to manage the English “th”. I took a year to master the Japanese “r/l” sound but some sounds you may never be able to imitate, even if your life depended on it.

Judges 12:4-6 tells the story of the Ephraimites, who, after they were defeated by the Gileadite army, tried to retreat by sneaking across a ford of the Jordan River. The Gileadites, wary of the gambit, blockaded the river and their sentries asked every soldier who tried to cross to say the word ‘shibboleth’. The Ephraimites, who had no ‘sh’ sound in their language, pronounced the word with an ‘s’ and were thereby unmasked as the enemy and were promptly slain.

And then we get to the pronunciation of the name of our Saviour -- Jesus!

From what I can see, none of us pronounce Jesus the same! We all pronounce Jesus in our own languages: for example, Iisoús in Greek, Phra yesū in Thai, yesus in Indonesian, Yēsū in Mandarin, Iesu in Samoan, Eesaa in Farsi or Yeshua in Hebrew.

The good news for us is that Jesus doesn’t care how you pronounce His name.

“For there is no difference between Jew and Greek: The same Lord is Lord of all, and gives richly to all who call on Him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Rom. 10:12-13).

All Jesus asks is that you believe in your heart. That frees you of the guilt of sin and makes you righteous before God. When you acknowledge what you believe with your mouth and openly confess what you believe, then that confirms your salvation (Rom. 10:10 Amp).

Jesus has offered us a generous contract – the benefits of perfect conditions in eternity with Him --- perfect health, relationships, environment and government in return for you saying that you agree to call Him Lord.

Call on the name of Jesus, however you want to pronounce it, TODAY!

* NKJV used throughout.

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