From each of our windows and corners of the world, we’re all watching the coronavirus pandemic unfold. It has infected millions, but it has affected us all. This novel virus knows no bounds.
There’s another global disease that respects no bounds and affects us all: prejudice. However, this virus isn’t novel.
Acts 10 is colorful with visions, but at the root, it’s a story of misconceptions and prejudice.
Peter was the leader of the apostles, but this chapter of Acts exposes Peter’s continued belief that Jesus’ sacrifice was solely for the Jewish people. Through his vision and his interaction with Cornelius, Peter came to “truly understand that God does not show favoritism in dealing with people, but in every nation the person who fears him and does what is right is welcomed before him” (Acts 10:34-35). This event happened years after Christ’s death and resurrection, but Peter finally understood his error and his bias. He finally understood that Jesus was sent to redeem both Jews and Gentiles.
Prejudice is pervasive and we, as humans, have found a way to discriminate and divide based on almost any characteristic: race, geography, culture, religion, gender, socioeconomics, age.
Sometimes, prejudice is blatant – another hate crime. It’s easier to recognize in this form, but we cannot be complicit with silence if we see it. However, prejudice can also be subtle. It can sneakily blur into the very background and fabric of a culture.
Prejudice can be intentional or unintentional, but regardless, its effects are real.
Even so, God’s love transcends our human-made lines. Jesus came to save us. ALL OF US.
Let’s pray to see people as God sees them, made in His image.
Let’s ask for any blinders to be removed from our eyes.
Let’s ask God to clean the favoritism we hide and prejudices we harbor.
God created each life in His image, and He desires salvation for each and every soul. The good news of the gospel is meant to be shared, not hoarded. We are saved by grace not by works, but while prejudice persists, we have work to do. We need to do better. We have to do better. Peoples’ lives quite literally depend on it.
Week 3 Challenge:
The early church grew because believers continued to spread the truth of the gospel. How can you spread the gospel this week? What is one practical thing you can do to spread the gospel in your circles and in your life this week?
Week 3 Reading Plan:
Week 3 Memory Verse: