Unlimited: People Not Like You
Feb 4, 2019 1398
I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 8:11–12, NIV).
The people in Jesus’ time thought that only people of their “church” – the Jewish religion – would be saved. They thought that the grace of God was only for people like themselves. But Jesus told them that the people who thought they were in, were out and that the people who thought they were left out, were invited in!
Never challenge God by trying to restrict salvation to people just like you.
After the resurrection, the disciples met together in Jerusalem to decide what to do about the Gentiles who wanted to be saved. In the midst of the debate, Peter stood up and said,
Why are you now challenging God by placing a burden on the shoulders of these disciples that neither we nor our ancestors could bear? On the contrary, we believe that we and they are saved in the same way, by the grace of the Lord Jesus (Acts 15:10–11, CEB.)
The word that Peter uses here for “challenging [God]” is the same word that is used in 1 Corinthians 10:9 to refer to the apostasy of the children of Israel in the wilderness, when, as a result, they died by being bitten by serpents. So, this issue is serious business to God! Salvation is for all who trust in Jesus, even if they’re nothing like you. – Eliezer Gonzalez
Eli’s Reflection: Think carefully, have you ever placed a burden on the shoulders of others that you yourself couldn’t bear? Do you need to repent for how, in your mind, you have excluded others from salvation? What can you do practically to welcome everyone and introduce them to Jesus?