Summary: A call to Christians to look past discrimination and prejudice.
“The Big Picture: Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors”
By: Rev. Kenneth Sauer
Pastor of Parkview United Methodist Church, Newport News, VA
By now, many of you have probably seen the television ad compaign that has been
running during the month of September....each commercial ends with the tag, “The people of the
United Methodist Church: Open hearts, Open Minds, Open doors.”
We also have doorhangers here at Parkview.....of which at least two thousand have been
distributed without the community with this same slogan written on them.
And, basically this is what Paul is talking about in this passage.
Because faith in Christ makes us one, eliminating all distinctions and prejudices.
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in
This is a startling truth: Jesus Christ is the answer to all the prejudice, bitterness,
hatred, oppression, and inequalities on the earth!
It’s especially startling when we think about the context in which it was written:
It was written nearly two-thousand years ago, when Jews thought that they were the one
chosen race....and looked down upon everyone else....it was written long before the abolition
of slavery, it was written when women were generally thought of as having no rights
whatsoever....they were merely and literally the property of men....who could pretty much
get away with doing with them whatever they wanted.
It went completely against the grain of the way everyone up until this point had ever
thought.....therefore it is an unbelievably radical statement....and it gives us an incredible insight
into the big picture of what Christianity is all about!
And unfortunatley, many of us have not gotten that big picture even today...even two
thousand years later!
Everyone is on equal footing before Jesus Christ.
God makes no distictions....even if we do!
Yes, Jesus Christ excepts us all....through faith in Him. God loves everyone....God looks
at the inside of people rather than the outside....
Jesus Christ reaches out and embraces all people...calling all people to come to faith in
Him....and so should we!
The barriers that get in our way.....color, nationality, sex, social status, or any other
differences mean nothing to God.....For we all have sinned and have fallen short of God’s glory.
Therefore we are not to judge other people...just because they are diferent than we
are.....as a matter of fact....Jesus tells us that we are not to judge anyone!
As Jesus declares in Matthew chapter 7, “Do not judge, or you will be judged. For in the
same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be
measured to you.”
Jesus did not come into the world to condemn the world, but to save it....and Jesus did
not go around wagging his finger in people’s faces, judging them.....as a matter of fact the only
people that Jesus condemned were the people who were doing the judging.
These people Jesus called “snakes” and “vipers”. And asked them, “How will you escape
being condemned to hell?