Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
CHRISTIAN APPROACH TO THE UNTOUCHABLES
Acts 10 :34-43
Vs 43. To Him all the prophets witness that through His name whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.
Ethnic divides were deeply ingrained in the culture of the first century Israel. Even Jewish Christians such as Peter himself thought as being God’s favorites. What is the distinguishing mark of a Christian? Is it just the cross hung around the neck or one’s external false eye wash manifestations that are outstanding and mark him above others? New Testament is clear about what is expected of a follower of Christ. If one has the love of God and the love of neighbors which are the cardinal commandments Jesus taught his followers to follow and abide by, one will not be able to discriminate God’s creation in the society based on race, culture, color of the skin, disease state or economic levels. Love shall be the badge of a Christian. Love has a cost attached to it and all the actions expressed by it contrary to love cannot exist side by side with God’s wish. Divinity cannot cohabit with evil.
1 John 4:20 says “if someone says I love God and hates his brother he is a liar. The one who does not love his brother Whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. Love for God and our co-habitants must go side by side. In Luke 5 :13 we read Jesus reaching out his hand and touching the man with leprosy. Jesus says “I am willing, he said be clean “. Do we not need a touch of Jesus this day and cleansed of ourselves? What are our attitudes towards the marginalized and untouchables in the society?
Here in today’s meditation, we see Cornelius having a vision featuring a heavenly messenger. According to the Jewish law certain foods were forbidden to be eaten. The food laws made it difficult for Jews to eat with the gentiles without risking defilement. Gentiles were treated as unclean. Peter’s vision made him realize that gentile shall not be looked down as unclean rather consider them equal in the sight of God. Once he understood this, we see him going with the messenger to Cornelius’s house to tell the good news of salvation. The gospel of Jesus is for everyone. We shall not allow a barrier as language, culture, race, geography or economic level or education level from telling others about Christ. In Cornelius home God worked to allow them to know each other. Peter needed Cornelius to know that Gentiles are also included in God’s salvation plan. Cornelius needed Peter to hear the good news and know the way of salvation plan of God. We also need another believer to know and understand our God every day.
Lord help me to understand and experience your love through the ultimate sacrifice on the cross. Strengthen us through our devotions and study of the word to love all our fellow human beings. Let us not discriminate others and make false judgements of ourselves as clean and righteous before others.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Do not despise any one as every creature is a creation of God and valuable in His sight.
The Mar Thomas Church Staten Island.
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church