Going viral is the measure of success these days. Recently, TrueMove, a communications company in Thailand, put out an advertisement that has been shared by many all over different networking sites. As far as commercials go, this one is stunningly well produced. It has tugged at the heartstrings of many people, so much so, that they have begun to see a greater meaning behind the video. You can watch the video for yourself to see what I mean.
Feel free to wipe away the tears before you read further... Okay, now that I have your attention again, let us continue.
I'll admit, the first time I watched this I had to fight back the flood. It is emotional and shares a very good lesson. It is about loving your neighbor. Many of my friends are sharing this video and talking about how they see Jesus in this story. Maybe that is the case, but then again, maybe not.
Thailand is a Buddhist nation, roughly at about 85% of the population. If I were an advertising firm, I wouldn't look to the Christian religion to figure out my key demographic. Instead, I would look to the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha). One of the major teachings of Buddhism is karma. Karma is the basic belief that if one does good, good will return to that person, and if one does evil, then evil will return to that person. This is a very basic belief that is ingrained in Thai culture.
As I watched this video again, I tried to look at it through the lens of a Buddhist. The message was clear as day. This is about karma. The man who did good throughout his life was blessed by a good deed from the boy he had helped in the past. The basic message is this; do good and good will return to you. This seems just and the way the world should work. The problem is that this isn't the way the world usually works. Usually good deeds get unnoticed and they are hardly ever rewarded.
Now let's look at the Christian worldview. Jesus taught His disciples this, "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33 - ESV) Karma isn't a reality. Instead, the world is full injustice and trouble. Evil people have become powerful and wealthy. Jesus has overcome the world, yet the peace that comes from Him is not discovered until the next life. The here and now is full of trouble. Only after the resurrection will Christians find true peace.
Christianity doesn't believe that if you do good, good will come to you. Instead Christians profess that no one is good. Any blessings that come to people are given to them from God. Jesus is the one who did the good deeds for us. When we put our faith in Him, it will result in good works of our own, but we do not expect anything in return for these good deeds. Instead we do these good works out of thankfulness and love for our Savior.
While we can enjoy watching this video, lets take a step back and pause before we put the name of Jesus on it. The Christian message is greater than the Buddhist message of karma. The Christian message is the message of the love and grace of God delivered to mankind through the penal substitutionary atonement of Jesus on the cross.