Weekly Devotional | September 21, 2017

The Answer to Racism

HOPE FOR TODAY

clint-deckerClay Center, Kansas – Levi was among the earliest disciples to follow Jesus and hosted a large dinner gathering for Him. Because Jesus was celebrity-like He attracted attention wherever He went and on this occasion, while He was inside with Levi, the Pharisees were outside watching. They were a religious group that fiercely opposed Jesus and condemned Him saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” (Luke 5:30).

Pharisee means “separate”. In the case of tax collectors, the Pharisees separated themselves, because according to their religious rules, the collectors were considered unclean. In modern day language, the Pharisees’ actions revealed the hate and intolerance in their heart.

The tax collectors were thieves and corrupt to the highest degree. However, the religious leaders responded with equal injustice. They barred the tax collectors from their synagogues, refused to touch, speak or be in their presence and taught that promises made to them were permitted to be broken.

When we return evil for evil, like the Pharisees did, nothing gets better, only worse. And springing from this, when we look down upon others because their race or views are different than ours there will be no hope for peace. The practice of separatism can lead toward bullying, oppression, racism, bigotry and to the extremes of ethnic cleansing and genocide.

Jesus is the answer…

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