Wednesday, November 21
Who is your “them”?
Scripture: Matthew 8-10
Matthew 8:10–12 Hearing this, Jesus was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with so great a faith. 11 I tell you that many will come from east and west to share the banquet with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
A centurion, a Roman soldier, a Gentile asks Jesus to heal his servant. This soldier tells Jesus that he is not worthy to have Jesus come to his home, but he understands authority and knows that Jesus has it. “Just say the word and my servant will be healed.”
Jesus was amazed by his faith says these startling words! Jesus knew no one in Israel—God’s chosen people—who had such great faith. Then He predicts that many Gentiles will be in heaven with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—unthinkable to most Jews at that time. In other words, Jesus challenges the notion that God is for the Jews and no one else. God is for everyone!
Matthew wrote his gospel for a Jewish audience. Early in the story he makes it clear that the gospel is for everyone. Jesus is for everyone!
Our time is much like the Bible time: deep divisions, lots of us vs. them. The Jews of Jesus’ day couldn’t imagine God accepting Gentiles or taking them to heaven with the Jews.
Who is your “them?” Who are the people that you can’t imagine God loving or accepting? Who are the people you can’t picture in heaven? God is for everyone.
I’m not a universalist. I’m not saying that everyone will be saved, but I think God wants everyone to be saved, and if we have His heart, we will too.
So today, move toward the person who is different. Move toward “them”, whoever your “them” is, and share the love of God.
Prayer: Thank You for Your great heart, Lord; please share it with me. Help me overcome my us/them thinking and move toward my “them” with Your grace and love.