Prejudice and Partiality

HOW EASY IT IS to be partial in our dealings with each other. We immediately take to some people, but others we just don’t like much. There can be many reasons, and we can’t always put a finger on it. How often have we been wrong, and later changed our mind when we’ve got to know the person better?

When the Lord Jesus began to collect around him his 12 special disciples, he did not allow himself to follow his instincts. He didn’t judge people as he saw them. He considered their potential.

He chose Matthew. Matthew was a tax collector (Matthew 9:9). Tax collectors were known for their dishonesty. What’s more, he would be collecting taxes on behalf of the hated Romans. Tax collectors were very unpopular.

And Jesus chose Simon the Zealot (Luke 6:15). Zealots were freedom fighters, dedicated to driving the Romans out of Judea.

No one would imagine choosing Matthew and Simon to be part of the same group. But Jesus made them bury their differences. At the beginning of the book of Acts, after his ascension to heaven, we read of the disciples:

They went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers (Acts 1:13–14).

Of course, the Lord Jesus followed the example of his Father in heaven, who sends His rain on the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45).

As the Apostle Peter said, ‘Truly I understand that 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).

We see that God does not accept everyone, there is a condition—He accepts those who fear and obey Him. But the decision is ours to make. God does not show prejudice, He wants us all to respond to Him.

God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

Margaret R Bilton

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