26 You are all God’s children through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 All of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor free; nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 Now if you belong to Christ, then indeed you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to the promise.
During New Testament times, when Jews and Greeks were not seen as sharing equally in God’s kingdom, Paul’s letter to the Galatians gave assurance that the origin of one’s faith did not matter. Furthermore, although it was a time in which slavery was common practice, now Paul says that both enslaved and free people should worship together. Lastly, Paul’s words testified that even one’s gender did not matter.
When it was written, this scripture was a bold statement about the acceptance of differences. Yet, throughout history, humans have continuously looked for differences as dividing and defining one’s salvation. Maybe somehow we try to convince ourselves that our group has more rights to the kin(g)dom than another. I think, somehow, we think we know better.
Today we may be more egalitarian than these particular biblical examples, yet even as equal children of God, we continue to look for ways to divide people. We need only to turn on the news for a moment to hear the latest debate that categorizes one group or another as more or less deserving.
Perhaps it is just human nature and the need for survival, or maybe we just want assurances for ourselves that we are saved. Whatever the case, let the book of Galatians remind us that no one is more deserving than any other. We are “all one in Christ Jesus!” We are all children of God. In Christ, there is no division – except for the one in our own minds.
by Barbara Carlson
For Pondering & Prayer
Because of their characteristics, how might we disqualify someone as being a part of Christ’s kin(g)dom? What is the danger of thinking that we know better than God?
Prayer: Dear Jesus, I know that your kingdom is defined by you and not me. Help me always to turn to you to support others without judgment. Even when I sense differences, let me see all others as children of God. Amen.