Jesus the Shepherd listens and cares for all the flocks of mankind

Estimated read time 3 min read

The concept that only a self-proclaimed Christian can be righteous with God is not consistent with the message of Jesus. In the Biblical narrative of Jesus the Shepherd he talks about his own flock but also vows to care for the other sheep. His message is for all mankind.

Sometimes we hear from self-proclaimed Christian “advocates” that Christianity holds salvation only for those attending certain churches or holding certain beliefs to which they have the exclusive right to define. However Jesus makes it very clear in John 4:20 “Those who say, “I love God,” and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen.”

In her book. Holy Envy, Episcopal priest and author, Barbara Brown Taylor, discusses how her experience teaching world religions classes in a college which included engagement with religious leaders of other faiths convinced her that she could see divinity in them.

In the Old Testament Jewish history records many “outsiders” who made significant contributions to their experience. These were individuals without Jewish parentage, education, or experience who nonetheless acted with charity, friendship, and loyalty to become role models of the Jewish faith. A few examples include: Cyrus the Great, ruler of Persia, who allowed the repatriation of Jews after the Babylonian exile and contributed to rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem. Melchizedek, Priest King of Salem, who celebrated a religious feast with Abraham. Ruth, a convert to Judaism, who became symbol of faithfulness and loyalty.

In Christ’s life and ministry he also described several individuals as being faithful and righteous who were not Jews but acted righteously including the Roman Centurion who asked Jesus to heal his servant, the Syrophoenician woman who asked for healing of her daughter, another Roman Centurion who seeing Christ crucifixion declared him the Son of God, and Cornelius who summoned Peter to teach him about Christ.

There are others outside of what we would call traditional Christian faith that express appreciation of Jesus Christ. Mahatma Gandhi, Hindu Indian leader, had read about Jesus in the Bible and celebrated the compassion, love, and nonviolence it espoused. He was saddened that many Christians seem hypocritical. He noted that Christianity was a positive influence on the world and would be even more so if more Christians truly lived the lives they proclaimed to follow. Islam sees Christ as a prophet and valued his message of peace.

There is no doubt that are many people in this world who are not Christian that treat their fellow man with kindness and generosity. Jesus expresses appreciation for those righteous actions of those not yet fully understanding his place as the Son of God. In John 10:38 Christ says “But if I do them, even though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.”

In my medical mission and teaching travels I have meet many Hindus, Moslems, Jews, other religions, and even agnostics with humanitarian hearts creating charitable actions. They were doing God’s work. The transformation of the world from being broken occurs one step at a time.

Professor Tony Magana

Dr. Tony Magana is Professor Emeritus in Neurosurgery who spent many years doing international teaching and research including 10 years in Ethiopia. Over the past 15 years he concomitantly intensified his Christian faith through study and worship through the Episcopal Church. He grew up in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. Attended Texas A&M University, Harvard Medical School, and trained at the University of Miami. Additionally he took the University of South Education for Ministry as well as attending the Southeast Florida Episcopal Diocesan School for Christian Studies.
Professor Tony Magana, a seasoned neurosurgeon, has not only dedicated his life to medical practice but also embarked on a profound spiritual journey. Over the past 15 years, he has deepened his Christian faith through study and worship within the Episcopal Church. His experiences span international teaching, research, and a decade of service in Ethiopia
Dr. Tony Magana’s writings blend faith, compassion, and wisdom, inviting readers to explore the intersection of spirituality and the human experience. His journey serves as an inspiration for those seeking deeper connections with faith and humanity.

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