May 25, 2018
READ: Luke 9:46-62
He sent messengers ahead to a Samaritan village to prepare for his arrival. But the people of the village did not welcome Jesus because he was on his way to Jerusalem (vv.52-53).
In 1972, public schools in my part of America were court ordered to desegregate. That same year, the private Christian school where I currently teach began. While much has changed since then, we still struggle to talk openly regarding the impetus of the school’s beginnings and the hidden cultural walls still present. Recently, while meeting with a prospective student’s family, I answered their questions regarding diversity with transparency because the body of Christ is healthier when facing its brokenness honestly.
Merely reciting the truth that we’re one in Christ (Galatians 3:28) isn’t enough to confront injustice. It’s only when our theology embodies the truth of Scripture by transforming our attitudes and choices that the gospel’s culture-changing power can become evident in our lives.
Wrongfully believing Jesus’ kingdom would be structured by positional privilege, the disciples wondered who was “the greatest” among them (Luke 9:46). Although it’s easy to condemn the disciples’ selfishness and pride, in reality we all carry prejudices as a result of thinking too much of ourselves and too little of others.
Jesus responded to the disciples by teaching that His kingdom celebrates those who make it their goal to become “least” of all (vv.47-48). This admonition provides an interesting backdrop to the remainder of the chapter. From the disciples’ elitism regarding the works of the kingdom of God (vv.49-50) to the Samaritans’ missed opportunities with Jesus because of their tensions with the Jews (vv.52-53; John 4:9), the lesson is the same: healing for the body of Christ—broken by prejudice and hatred—comes only when we make following Jesus our highest priority (Luke 9:59-62).
365-day plan: Jeremiah 36:1-32
Read Revelation 5:9-14 and consider how Jesus’ blood “has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.”
In what ways have you seen the church broken by forms of elitism or prejudice? How can the Holy Spirit help us tear down the barriers that hinder true community?