Summary: Prejudice is at the heart of much of the resistance to Christ and His message. In the first century, the religious leaders thought of their knowledge of truth to be superior to that of Christ, the upstart carpenter’s son. Things have not really changed al
1. Prejudice is at the heart of much of the resistance to Christ and His message. In the first century, the religious leaders thought of their knowledge of truth to be superior to that of Christ, the upstart carpenter’s son. Things have not really changed all that much in 2000 years.
People still assume that they know enough to do all right things with their own rational thoughts, behaviors and attitudes. Saving faith has a remarkable ability to triumph over all forms of prejudice. It enables us to rely on the Holy Spirit to give us spiritual discernment that transcends human logic, rationality or assumptions.
Faith shows how unwise it is to form judgments or opinions before the facts are known. Faith also gives a person the ability to come to terms with any preconceived idea, favorable or unfavorable, about another person or group.
Prejudicial people are often suspicious, intolerant or irrational in their hatred of other races, creeds, occupations or cultures. A mature believer is able to see the truth of what Paul wrote,
"There is now no distinction neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, thee is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ you are Abraham’s offspring and spiritual heirs according to promise." (Gal 3:28,29)
Application: Trust the Lord to help you overcome any hidden or overt prejudices with a faith that sees everyone and everything from the mind of Christ.
2. Most prejudicial people do not want to be disturbed by the facts. Many of the religious leaders in first century were content with their political, social and religious positions. However, Dr. Luke wrote,
"And the word of God kept on spreading and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith." (Acts 6:7)
Those priests gave positive evidence of the triumphant power of faith over prejudice. When people see what the Lord has done for maturing believers they are ready to set aside their prejudices to embrace what is true, good and Spiritually powerful.
Application: Faith has a way of making a successful assault upon the most traditional ranks of people who might seem totally resistant to change. Ask the Lord to help you never give up on any group, individual or region because of your own prejudices.
3. The assumption of knowledge, wisdom and superiority were characteristics of the priests in the first century. Most people wrongly assumed that the religious leaders knew how to stand for what was right while defending truth with justice.
Those who held these views, inside and outside of the Sanhedrin missed out on learning about the truth through a personal connection with Jesus Christ. What a tragedy to miss opportunities that might be lost for eternity because of personal prejudice.
Application: Ask the Lord to help you not miss out on any insight into truth because of conscious or unconscious prejudices.
4. Those who are hostile with prejudice can be won over with the love and preaching of truth. Many people who seem so opposed to us and our message may actually be covering up a painful insecurity, hurt or fear that can be overcome with great faith.
Application: God always honors faith with a higher level of power and fruitfulness. Ask the Lord to help you remember that faith is the victory that overcomes the world.
5. Prejudicial people tend to put obstacles in their own way and in the way of others for finding the answers to perplexing problems. So many people suffer because they are not willing to break out of their comfortable shell of prejudice.
Application: Believe God to do "greater things" through you as Jesus promised. (John 14:12) Stop being an obstacle to yourself or others.
6. The apostles learned that Christâs church is not to be limited by prejudicial people. The Lord wants his universal church to include all ethnic groups, all socio-economic groups, and all regional groups of the world.
"God so love the world."
Application: Ask God to help you to stop harboring the sin of prejudice, favoritism or partiality. Prejudice is a sin that limits so many.
7. Prejudice has a way of hindering our ability to love one another. "Love is not touchy or resentful. Love does not harbor feelings of indignation, bitterness or hyper-sensitivity to others. Love learns to let go of its self-invented rights for Christâs sake.
Application: Love is not so enthralled with its own viewpoint that it rejects others input, worth or potential." (I Cor. 13:5) Ask the Lord to help you to grow in your love as you put away all forms of prejudice.