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speaking the language

I shared this past weekend the story of a fellow who traveled to Latin America to deliver a speech.  Since he spoke only English, they had arranged for a translator to translate his speech into Spanish.  Wanting to create a connection with his audience, he decided to open with “Good evening ladies and gentlemen” in Spanish.  Only one problem: he didn’t know the Spanish words for ladies and gentlemen.

To solve the problem, he arrived early and went looking for the restrooms — knowing that the names for men and women would be used to distinguish the rooms.

And so he began, “Good evening ladies and gentleman.”  The audience was silent, almost shocked.  Thinking they must not have heard him, he said again, even louder: “Good evening ladies and gentlemen.”

A ripple of laughter spread across the crowd.  Finally, someone shouted, “You just said, ‘Good evening bathrooms and broom closet.'”

It’s one thing to pay a visit to a foreign land; it’s something else to speak the language.

According to Hebrews 4:14-15, Jesus did more than pay earth a visit — he learned our language.  He sympathizes with our weaknesses, he knows what it’s like to be tempted.

Because our Savior speaks our language, we can approach “the throne of grace with confidence to find mercy and receive grace in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).