How many of you remember that familiar song from Sunday School? If you are like me, you used hand gestures to show just how “wee” this poor man was. What kind of questions would you ask if you heard this story for the first time as an adult?
The team that Ken is presently supporting is using this “simple” story as a starting point for translation. Already some questions have come to these new translator’s lips:
What do the words “small” or “small in stature” mean when describing Zaccheus? What image conjures up in your mind? For some here, they described Zaccheus as short and big-bodied knowing that he was wealthy because in their culture, people with money can afford to eat well and therefore become portly. Others pictured him as being height-challenged, even shorter than a typical Asian person.
And what does “defrauded” mean? How would you define that term to a village farmer?
How would you communicate to non-literate new believer with no written language the meaning of Jesus’ statement, “Today, salvation has come to your house,” when they have no word for “salvation”. What is Jesus really communicating? Is Zaccheus’ house saved? Or is it possible that of all Zaccheus’ family members are saved because of Zaccheus’ new found faith?
Oh no, we’re not done yet. Luke 19:10 Jesus says, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” How will you explain the meaning of “the Son of Man” to those lacking formal education? How would you explain this to an educated person?
These are some of the challenges of the work we do. Please keep praying! The workshop has just begun! We’re so excited to hear how lives will be changed by the end of this time!