Saturday, December 1, 2012

Jesus' Acceptance and Rejection

Jesus knew that for the Kingdom to truly be of God, it must be open to everyone, without exception.  This doesn't mean that there weren't dividing lines, but one couldn't be excluded by race or class or sex or disability.  Everyone must have the same opportunity of acceptance.

This doesn't mean that Jesus gave everyone equal opportunities.  After all, if one wanted to connect to God, a healthy Jewish male adult had a better opportunity to do that than anyone.  They were the only ones who could enter into God's house, the only ones who were considered to be heard by God.  Jewish women were somewhat accepted, but non-Jews were completely excluded, unacceptable.

Jesus made it clear that Gentiles had the same opportunity as anyone else to enter God's kingdom.  If they showed faithfulness to God and belief in God's Messiah to save them, they were in.  This is a radical notion, especially among the first century Jewish theologians, who had deep debates of how pure one had to be in order to be acceptable to God.  And if there was one thing the Jewish theologians agreed upon, it is that no Gentile was pure.

Jesus said that only faith made one pure.  And for this reason, he made the most radical statement:  Not only will Gentiles be accepted, but many of those who have remained "pure" all their lives will be rejected, outcast by God.  Most because they refused to accept those whom God accepted.

Anytime we reject a mentally ill person, a homeless beggar, a child, a person of a different culture, a person with different spiritual habits than we, we are committing the same sin.  Should we reject those who Jesus accepts, we will find ourselves rejected by Him.

Let us take great care as to who we outcast, lest we find ourselves on the wrong side of the gate.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please no spam, ads or inappropriate language.