How a movie about Jesus is breaking down barriers and bringing people to faith

(Photo: The Jesus Film Project)

In many places around the world, February is a month to celebrate love. Whether it be between friends, family members or spouses, love is a powerful force. And I can think of no greater love than the love of Jesus.

It was Jesus' love that inspired a team from Jesus Film Project to travel to a region of India from which people had previously driven out Christians. The team was there to share the love of Jesus by distributing food. As they served, one family––the Hasans––approached the team with tears in their eyes.

The Hasans told the team that for five years they had driven Christians away, beaten them and forced them to leave. Even so, this team of Christians came back. The family was in shock. They couldn't believe that after everything, Christians would still return to their region and show kindness to the people who had driven them away.

The Hasans invited the team to their home. Once there, the team used a video tablet to show the 1979 JESUS film in the family's heart language. God moved in their hearts, and the Hasans prayed to receive Christ that day.

But the story doesn't end there. The Hasans used their influence among their people to help show the film in seven other locations, sparking a movement throughout the community.

What I love about this story is how it shows the extraordinary power of the love of Christ. His is a love so potent that it spills over—even in dangerous situations.

The truth is, Jesus loved the Hasan family and their people group long before that team of believers approached them. That's the amazing thing about our God—He reaches out first. He pursues not just the people who are looking for Him or those who "fit the mold" of Christianity. He reaches out to everyone, everywhere, regardless of their history or their distance from Him. He loves us all, regardless of age or status, or where we live in the world.

While we might not all necessarily share the gospel with groups that could beat or chase us away, we do have the opportunity to do so with our neighbours and friends. Sharing the story of Jesus with those closest to us can still be intimidating. To those concerns, I say trust in the strength of Jesus' love, and let it guide your words as you share the gospel.

At Jesus Film Project, we equip believers to tell the life-changing story of Jesus in the heart languages of people everywhere. That's why we've translated our 1979 JESUS film into more than 2,100 languages. By God's grace, and with the help of our partners, today we create films and resources in many languages and provide equipment to help tell the story of Jesus in the most remote areas of the world. Everyone, everywhere should have access to the transformative story of Jesus.

Through Jesus Film Project's library of films and resources, more than 600 million people around the world have become followers of Jesus. With numbers like that, it's easy to overlook the individual lives represented, but every person has a story like the Hasans—a story of Jesus' love reaching out despite the odds.

As Christians, we have a responsibility to share Christ's love with the world, and this month I've felt that so strongly. With the upcoming release of our newest animated feature film, JESUS (coming 2025), my hope and prayer is that through this film, more people will encounter Jesus' love—a love powerful enough to reach even the furthest hearts.

Josh Newell is Executive Director of the Jesus Film Project.