John Koedyker

READ : Genesis 33:1-11

But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept. (v. 4, niv)

One of the most wonderful things about the gospel is that it brings people together who have been at odds. What happened for Jacob and Esau also happened to two men who were bitter enemies during World War II. Mitsuo Fuchida was the pilot who led the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Jacob DeShazer was an American involved in the retaliatory Doolittle bombing raids on Tokyo. DeShazer’s plane ran out of fuel and he ended up in a Japanese prison camp.

Conditions were deplorable, but somehow the prisoners were given Bibles. They all began to read them and DeShazer became a Christian. DeShazer not only trusted Christ for salvation, his hatred of the Japanese was converted to love. “I realized,” said DeShazer, “that if Christ is not in a heart, it is natural to be cruel.” DeShazer later went back to Japan as a missionary.

After the war, Fuchida was given a tract about DeShazer. He, too, began reading the Bible and trusted Christ. Eventually the two former enemies met and became close friends, preaching together at rallies all across Japan. What a tremendous testimony to the power of the gospel to reconcile.


Lord, in your strength, help me be a uniter, not a divider. Amen.