Humankind has a nasty tendency for dividing into groups: us and them.
The Jews hated the Samaritans. The Zealots hated the tax collectors. The Pharisees hated the “sinners.”
Hate might be too strong of a word for what normally happens.
More often our feelings are subtle. We stereotype and label. We cut “our” people more slack than “their” people.
The Jewish Christians were suspicious of the Gentile Christians and vice versa. Somehow the Greek speaking widows got neglected while the Hebrew-speaking widows did just fine in Acts 6.
The Bible is clear: “God shows no partiality, but in every nation, anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.” (Acts 10:34-35)
Humans like to divide on the basis of skin color and language, but God does not approve.
On the day of Pentecost in Acts 2, there was a beautiful mixture of Parthinians, Medes, Elamites, Mesopotamians, Judeans, Cappadocians, Cretans, Arabs, Romans, and Asians who came together to learn of Jesus. We praise the Lamb who “ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9).
Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight! Christ followers must be serious about combating all of the ugly -isms that creep into our hearts. We need to make sure we are aren’t doing things—even little things—that make it harder for the body to be united like Jesus wants.