Concern For All People

People of Paul’s world were divided into two groups–Jews and non-Jews. At least it was so from the point-of-view of a Jew.

Taking another look at Romans 10 (and 9 and 11 to put it in context), I’m suddenly struck by Paul’s concern for everyone. Paul spends considerable time talking about God’s grace toward non-Jews (Gentiles). This was revolutionary in Jewish thought.

Paul also spends considerable time discussing Jews. And how God wishes for them to acknowledge the resurrection of Jesus and the reconciliation of grace.

Paul cared for them all!

In the world of that time, a Jewish person was to have as little interaction with non-Jews as possible. Definitely one didn’t eat with them or go into their house.

Yet, after Paul’s conversion and the redirection of his life, he seemed to have no problems being anointed “apostle to the Gentiles.”

Look at the struggles of Peter coming to the same conclusion. It’s remarkable that those internal struggle Peter had before he finally accepted Gentiles as people just like Jews were even recorded and saved.

We keep trying to divide the world today. Every culture I’ve had contact with finds ways to divide people. Even going so far as to label some in such a way as to imply “less than human” status.

Today’s discipline for us to practice is to go out this morning and begin to see everyone we meet (and think about) as people whom God created and God loves. Be like Paul who was concerned for each and every one.

I can hear the “Yeah, but what about” comments forming even now as I type. Cast those evil thoughts out.

If you need to find the strength, read Romans 9-10-11 with new eyes. See how Paul was deeply concerned for the lives of everyone. Go and do likewise.

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