All One In Christ Jesus
Religious people love hierarchy. They delight in being somewhere on a ladder which they can climb by their own efforts. They also think that there are some people higher than them and some who are lower. In Jesus’ day, the Jews considered the priests to be higher, and the chief priests to be very high; they also considered women and children to be much lower than the men. The Gentiles were the lowest of all.
Jesus taught differently, and the apostles reinforced His message - that all those who come to God through Jesus Christ are equal. Poor slaves were equally valued by God as their wealthy masters; Gentiles were as welcome as those who came from Jewish ancestry; women have the same inheritance rights in God’s kingdom as men; and nobody should despise children. Abraham looked forward to that day (John 8:56). He was a man of faith, looking forward to the time when God’s sacrifice would atone for the sins of all people. So all who believe in Jesus are the true descendants of Abraham, and share an eternal inheritance with him.
Our human nature is full of pride and self-centeredness. It instinctively dislikes the idea that anybody who is not like us can be a friend of God. But that old nature is speaking falsely. The truth is that there are no barriers of gender, race, religious background, social class, financial status to separate those who have put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are all one. And so we need to find ways to express that unity, in the workplace, the community, internationally and across the vast range of denominational preferences. It will be normal in heaven ( Revelation 7:9-10); it needs to be normal until we get there too.
© Dr Paul Adams