The Cure for Prejudice – Eliezer Gonzalez
Jul 17, 2017 4076
We live in a world that’s fragmented by prejudice. No one really thinks that they’re prejudiced, but mostly we are. It’s simply a natural human thing to want to belong, to have your own people, and to thing that your people are better than the other people.
The reality is that there’s only two kinds of people: people who know they’re are prejudiced, and people who don’t know they’re prejudiced. Among those in the first group are the people who have all the right intentions, but they try to check the prejudice that they have been taught by family, school, religion and culture. In the second group are those people who have never given the issue of prejudice a second thought, and who just act according to their “instincts.”
There are, of course, people who are simply happy to be prejudiced. The attraction of being prejudiced is that it makes us feel safer. What is fascinating about this group is the way that they justify their prejudice.
Sometimes it’s on political grounds: the policies of the other people are dangerous. Sometimes it’s on cultural grounds: the other people are out to destroy our way of life. And sometimes, and very dangerously, it’s on religious grounds: the other people don’t have “the truth.”
The Gospels can be easily seen as the story of how Jesus, at every turn confronted, rebuked, and demolished prejudice both with his teachings and his example. In Christ’s encounter with the Samaritan woman, and in his story of the Good Samaritan, Christ confronted and demolished racial prejudice. In his dealings with the woman caught in adultery and in his appearance to Mary at the tomb, Christ confronted and demolished prejudice against women. In his interview with Nicodemus (and in many other times elsewhere), Christ confronted and demolished religious prejudice. In his comments on the widow, who gave her single coin as an offering at the temple, and in his many other statements about the peril of earthly riches, Christ confronted and demolished economic prejudice.
When he was talking about hierarchical distinctions between us, Jesus taught that,
all of you are brothers and sisters (Matt 23:8, CEB)
and that’s how it should be.
What is it that can cure our prejudice. Only the cross of Jesus can (Eph 2:14–18; John 12:32).
At Calvary, Christ made his ultimate stand against prejudice.
The Cross jolts us out of the false safety we seek in prejudice by showing us the evil that is its ultimate result. The Cross also shows us how prejudice is overcome with love.
Faced with that reality, we understand that we are all brothers and sisters, that we are all one. At the Cross, the only righteous one is Christ. The rest of us are the ones whose sins put him up there. For this reason, we understand that there are no second–class seats at the foot of the Cross. We all, alike, have front-row seats.
Only when we accept the Cross as the foundational principle of our lives, can our healing begin. As we allow the meaning and influence of the Cross to seep into our hearts, we will discover a deeper appreciation of the love of Christ, and a more profound appreciation of others.
At Calvary, Christ made his ultimate stand against prejudice. Like today, it seemed for time that prejudice has won. But with Christ’s resurrection, the gates of heaven swung open to receive all who trust in him. – Eliezer Gonzalez