We were talking last week in our blog about the fact that God is a God of color. In the human race, the nature of God is reflected in the diversity of the human population in all different shades and skin pigmentations. Because our God is a God of color it’s important for you and me to be colorblind when it comes to judging people based on the color of their skin. There is no allowance or teaching in Scripture that would support the idea that one skin color or tone is superior to another. This erroneous position cannot be supported biblically. The Jewish people were God’s chosen people. When they failed to fulfill their biblical responsibility as a nation of priests, God set them aside for a season. In fact, Peter who had to overcome huge racial prejudice against Gentiles would write the church in his first epistle, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light”, (1 Peter 2:9 NIV). Last week we considered Jesus’ example in reaching out to the Samaritans (who were deeply hated by the Jews) in John 4. Jesus never looked at the color of people’s skin to whom He reached out and ministered to, nor should we.
Another example that we mentioned last week was Philip taking the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Samaria and how the church in Samaria needed to be connected with the church in Jerusalem so that it did not become a separate entry. Philip was very open to the Spirit’s leading in ministering to people who did not look like himself. Continuing the passage in Acts 8 we read, “Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road – the desert road – that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza”. So he started out, and on his way, he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah the prophet. The Spirit told Philip, “Go to the chariot and stay near it.” Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” “How can I”, he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him,” (Acts 8:26-31 NIV). We know that in the remainder of the passage Philip has the privilege of leading this Ethiopian eunuch to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Philip did not allow social, racial, or political differences to keep him from sharing Jesus Christ with this man who obviously looked and dressed very differently than he did. Philip saw the need in this man’s heart, and because he did, this man and probably many in his family and people in his culture are in eternity today. So, Philip was certainly a person who broke through barriers in order to share the love of Christ with first the Samaritans and then with the Ethiopian eunuch.
I believe one of the tendencies of our fallen nature is to want to think that we are better than other people. But Scripture makes it very clear that all of us are in desperate need of the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jeremiah said, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand?” (Jeremiah 17:9 NIV). Philip allowed the Holy Spirit to use him to break through racial and cultural barriers. Is this true in our lives? Does the Holy Spirit have the freedom to convict us and transform our petty pride and self-righteousness into an avenue that seeks to share the love of Christ with people regardless of their social status, the color of their skin, or their nationality or their religiosity? God has called us to be a kingdom of priests (as we saw earlier). That means He has entrusted to us a great word of salvation. Let’s make sure that we are sharing that with those around us who may not even look like us. God’s heart is for all people and therefore as His chosen people, we are to dispense a good word of God’s grace and mercy that has been bestowed upon us through the Lord Jesus Christ. Won’t you commit to utilizing each opportunity that God sets before you to share the love of Christ with those around you, regardless of the color of their skin or their social standing or political position? Who we vote for in the next election won’t amount to a hill of beans in the scope of eternity, but when someone gives their heart to the Lord Jesus Christ their eternal destination is completely changed. Let us make sure that is what we are focusing on in these dark and difficult days.
In Christ’s love,
Pastor Rich Sivo