August 13 (Galatians 3:27-28)
For as many of you as were baptized into
Christ have put on Christ. There
is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is
no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
There are times when distinctions among people matter. When I pledge allegiance to the United States of America, it matters that I am an American, for I am grateful to live in this country. During the NCAA basketball tournament, it matters that I attended Indiana University, for I will cheer for the Hoosiers and then for other Big Ten teams. At many gatherings of our children’s friends and their families, it matters that I am a man, for the dads and moms will quickly separate to talk about things the other group could not care less about. From the trivial to the important, there are many instances in which distinctions among people matter.
For those who have been baptized into Christ Jesus, however, those distinctions cease to have importance in a very fundamental way. Regardless of your external characteristics or internal ways of seeing the world, I see you through the eyes of Christ. Make no mistake. This is not a choice on my part. If my life has truly been transformed by the grace of Jesus Christ, then how I see you is no more a matter of choice than my seeing an apple as red.
Let me say that again. Seeing people as Christ sees them is not a matter of choice. It is not a matter of digging down deep and remembering some lesson learned in school. And if we should ever invoke the name of Jesus Christ while seeing any person as worthy of hatred, then we are lying about knowing Jesus at all.
If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:6-7, ESV)
Copyright © 2017 by Steven R. Perkins