There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.
I know I’ve quoted from the former slave’s, Harriet Jacobs’, autobiography before, but listen to what she said about her former master. “My mistress had taught me the precepts of God’s Word: ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself...’ But I was her slave, and I suppose she did not recognize me as her neighbor. I would give much to blot out from my memory that one great wrong.” Harriet had expected the mistress who had taught her to read and write and allowed her to live safely with her own family would provide for her freedom upon her death as suspected. Instead Harriet was bequeathed to a relative.
God doesn’t make some kind of hierarchical distinctions among his Family. The idea that a person who is faithful to share God’s Word and his love with someone and not consider themselves equally a child of God rubbed Harriet the wrong way, and rightfully so. Her mistress let her Southern culture dominate her Christian character leaving the author and the reader quite disappointed.
The Apostle Paul confronted the issue of Culture vs. Christianity too...
But when Peter came to Antioch, I had to oppose him to his face, for what he did was very wrong. When he first arrived, he ate with the Gentile Christians, who were not circumcised. But afterward, when some friends of James came, Peter wouldn’t eat with the Gentiles anymore. He was afraid of criticism from these people who insisted on the necessity of circumcision. As a result, other Jewish Christians followed Peter’s hypocrisy, and even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. (Galatians 2:11-13)
God says there is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For they are all one in Christ Jesus. That doesn’t mean people don’t fall into these groups. I, personally, am female, but the male isn’t more loved or more of a Believer or more saved than the female and vise versa. But when we act with superiority within our groups, God isn’t pleased.
God makes it pretty clear in Isaiah 29:13 what the problem is: These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. That is NOT what I want to be, a hypocrite Christian who talks about God but has nothing to do with him in my heart. I don’t want to be the Jew criticizing the Gentile or the master teaching the slave about love and then not showing it to them. If it doesn’t sit well with me, it certainly isn’t sitting well with God.
We are all one in Christ Jesus. All. One.
I thank you so much there isn’t a hierarchy for faith in your Son. Thank you that there is no favoritism in your Kingdom. Help me not to fall into the trap our cultures set for us to favor certain people over others. You don’t do that and I’m so glad because status is a continually changing phenomenon. Help me to love others like you do and please keep my heart from hypocrisy. I love you, and thank you, and pray in your Son’s name according to your good will. Amen.