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January 9, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“Then he said to them, ‘You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.’”—Acts 10:28 (NKJV)
For the first eight years of my life, I had the privilege of being raised in a multiracial family. My mother is Italian, and my father is black American. The dynamic in our home changed when my parents divorced, but up until that point, life was fairly normal.
In my home, we didn’t have any sense of race or skin color. We never questioned why Dad was a different color than Mom. It never dawned on me that I had browner skin than my two white half-brothers. We just didn’t give any thought to our racial differences! We didn’t even give any consideration to the fact that we were a “blended family.” I consider my half-brothers to be my true brothers—end of story! My brothers never thought of my dad as their stepdad—he was simply Dad. Growing up, all we knew and concerned ourselves with was that we were a family and we loved each other.
I share the above to simply suggest that this is how Jesus aspires us to appeal to one another. In a world that is filled with hate and racial prejudices, Christ’s blood is the common thread that should weave us all together into God’s blended family of believers. Why then do racial prejudices exist?
Well, the root of anything that is antithetical or opposite to Christ and His aspiration for humanity is sin. When sin entered the world through Adam, humanity adopted a wicked heart (Jeremiah 17:9). Racial prejudices are exactly that: wicked! It is not the blueprint that Jesus lays out for us as He engages the Samaritans in John chapter 4. In that passage of the Bible, we’re told Jesus purposefully passed through Samaria, a place that had no dealings with Jews, to obliterate the idea of racial divides.
In Acts Chapter 10, we learn about Peter, a staunch Jew who was convinced Christ only died for the Jews. The Bible tells us Peter was given a vision directly from God. This vision reshaped Peters theology, and as a result, Peter preached that “God shows no partiality . . .” (Acts 10:34 NKJV). Peter came to realize that everyone is accepted by Christ.
Friends, when we allow racial prejudices to dictate how we treat others, we totally miss the whole point of the glorious gospel.
DIG: Read Acts 10 and John 4.
DISCOVER: Has the sinfulness of your heart ever caused you to negatively stereotype or judge another human being based on their ethnicity or skin color?
DISPLAY: Espouse the framework that Jesus provides for us in John 4 by making it a point to engage folks of other ethnicities with love. Go out of your way to enter their world. Be willing to start the hard conversations that will lead to redemption and racial reconciliation!