Eph. 2:14 NLT “For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when in his own body on the cross he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us.”
Racial divisions are nothing new. All through the Old Testament we read how one group of people would rise up against and another, and go to war. Tensions were especially high in the New Testament when Rome had conquered the then known world. Before Jesus was taken into heaven, he commanded his followers to take the gospel to “Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth,” showing that the Gospel was for all people. Acts 1:7.
Tensions arose in the early church when Paul began preaching to Gentiles, and the leaders of the church wanted to impose Jewish law upon the new believers. That’s when Paul wrote the above-quoted verse. It was God’s plan from the beginning that the Gospel be for all people, united into one body. Gal. 5:6.
“For in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision of uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” The racial division at that time was between the Jews and Greeks (gentiles).
Discrimination is a horrible thing. It leaves you feeling ostracized and gives you the impression that others think you are not as good as they are. As a young person in school, I experienced some discrimination, not because of my skin color, but because of my religion. I was called names, lied about, had things thrown at me, and not invited to parties. I realize it was not racial discrimination, but it was discrimination nonetheless.
My husband and I spent six months teaching in a Bible College in Uganda, and I experienced what it felt like to be a minority. When we took walks through the village where we were located, children would call out “Mazungu, mazungu.” “White person, white person.” I didn’t feel that they were being malicious, as we might have been the first white people they had ever seen, but it pointed out how different we were to them.
“At the core of racism is sin.” Quoting Pastor Ben from his Sunday message. Division is not of God. God created all peoples and loves us all equally. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son.” “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ.” Gal. 3:28. In Christ, we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” Rom. 12:5.
Reach out to those different from you. Let’s be the Church God has called us to be and keep the wall broken that Jesus broke when he hung on the cross.