Faithful Servants: St. Francis Xavier

Author: Taylor Eising — Host: Andrew StevensPosted on: July 23, 2020

Unlocked: Daily Devotions for Teens
Faithful Servants: St. Francis Xavier

Have you ever wanted to be a missionary to a foreign country? If so, you could follow in the footsteps of one of Christianity’s most influential missionaries, St. Francis Xavier. Francis Xavier was born in Spain in the 1500s. He traveled to India to spread the gospel there, teaching the locals about what it meant to follow Jesus. While God used him to do a lot of good, Francis Xavier still practiced some problematic methods of evangelism that were common at the time. In his day, it was thought that, for people to be saved, they must abandon their so-called “pagan,” non-European culture and adopt a more “refined,” European culture. The end goal was to make the locals more like him. When Francis Xavier moved on to witness in Japan, he realized this way of thinking was wrong. While every culture (including his own) was stained by sin, he saw the beauty in Japanese culture and, instead of forcing his converts to adopt a European culture, he began to take on some Japanese cultural practices. Much like Paul, in order to show people who Jesus is, Francis Xavier “lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ” (1 Corinthians 9:20). This method of witnessing is exactly what Jesus did. He became human to show us who He is in a way we could understand (John 1:1-14). He immersed Himself in our context and culture without compromising the truth of His gospel in order to bring us to Himself. And, more than that, He became human because that was the only way He could take our place on the cross and rise from the dead, securing our resurrection when He returns. The goal of evangelism is not to make people more like us; the goal of evangelism is to show people who Jesus is. In order to do that in a way people will understand, whether they are from our home country or not, we have to get to know them well. That’s how Jesus revealed Himself to us, and that’s how we can show others who He is. • Taylor Eising • Cultures are made up of people, and people are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). Because of this, each culture reveals a facet of God’s character in a unique way. What are some ways your culture reflects God’s character? What about other cultures you are familiar with? • To learn more about how Jesus became human and what that means, check out our “Know Jesus” page. So the Word [Jesus] became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. John 1:14 (NLT)


Read Verses:

1 Corinthians 9:19-23; Philippians 2:5-8