We are born in a sin-saturated world. The demonic powers are running rampant. Racism, among other sins, is a foul odor that needs to be replaced by the fragrance of love. Go and be merciful to your neighbors of all ethnicities. In and through the power of the Messiah, we can heal the racial divide by seeing those who are different from us as our neighbors and then loving them as we love ourselves. (Gray, Derwin “How to Heal Our Racial Divide” pg 68)
Day 121 of Russia’s war on Ukraine. Click here for updates on the conflict in Eastern Europe.
Good morning friends! I am in the middle of a very busy week, so this may be my only post. This is week three of our study of Dr. Derwin Gray’s phenomenal new book, “How To Heal Our Racial Divide” (which you can purchase by clicking the link in the book’s title). We are currently in Chapter Three, where Dr. Gray explains how Jesus was “The Barrier Breaker and Family Maker”. By “barrier breaker,” Dr. Gray is referring to how Jesus shattered all the racial division the Jewish people had for the rest of the world during the time of Jesus’ ministry. Israel continues to demonstrate, even today, that they view anyone who is not “Jewish” as an inferior race. Look at how Israel treats their Palestinian neighbors for proof of that racism. Well, in Jesus’ time, the Jewish people were a small religious sect who had been chosen by the one true God of Creation to bring His existence, love, and grace to the entire world. But the Jewish people were not open to expanding their knowledge to anyone other than the lineage of Jews. When Jesus walked this Earth, the Roman Empire had conquered much of the modern world and were governing huge amounts of land. In the middle of that Empire sat Jerusalem and the Jewish faith. Romans were considered Gentiles, which was a slang term to describe anyone not of the Jewish lineage or Jewish convert. Other neighbors of the ancient Israel nation were the Samaritans, who Jesus demonstrated His love for when He forgave the Samaritan woman at the well (The Book of John, Chapter 4). The Samaritan woman becomes the “first person to whom Jesus revealed that He is the Messiah” (Gray, pg 58). Jesus tells a Roman centurion that He has never seen anyone in all of Israel with as much faith as this man (The Book of Matthew 8:10-11). Dr. Gray points out the story of the Canaanite woman (Canaan was an ancient enemy of the Israelites-their wars were documented in much of the Old Testament, beginning in the Mosaic Bible, the Torah). The Canaanite woman asks Jesus to heal her daughter and Jesus answers her that He was sent for only the “lost sheep” of the House of Israel. The woman’s quick response that “even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table” (Matthew 15:27) changes the heart of Jesus and He heals the woman’s daughter. And the final example Dr. Derwin Gray uses to illustrate Jesus’ love and compassion for all mankind is when Jesus feeds the two massive crowds.
I have never realized the significance of these two miracles until reading Dr. Gray’s book. I always wondered why the writers of the New Testament went to great lengths to speak about the feeding of the 5,000, and then the feeding of the 4,000. I just figured it was to demonstrate Jesus’ miraculous power, that He was able to make something out of very little, not once, but twice, for thousands of believers. But Dr. Gray pointed out this mind-blowing-truth:
“We sometimes skip over the significance of these two accounts, as the stories the Gospel writers recount are very similar. But let’s dig a little deeper. While the first feeding miracle is on the Jewish side of the lake, the second feeding miracle takes place in the Gentile, Decapolis area of the lake…It acts as a living portrait of the anticipated messianic banquet that the prophet Isaiah foretold.” (Gray, pg 73)
Jesus demonstrated throughout His ministry that God loves all people, that Jesus was the Messiah to bring the world together without any bias, without any prejudices, without any racism, without any ethnocentrism, without any judgement. Jesus is the Savior of all mankind and His ministry demonstrates to the world that God created all people as His children and blessed us all with a full array of color. So go out and be colorful! Open your arms to bring in people of all races into the Arms of Jesus.