Do you have eyes, and fail to see? Do you have ears, and fail to hear? And do you not remember? -Mark 8:18 NRSV
I cannot begin to perceive the amount of patience Jesus has for us. The disciples did not start out to be selfless, compassionate men of great courage and devotion. They would eventually grow into such people — but not without the exceptional patience of our Lord and the guidance of our great Comforter, the Holy Spirit.
The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. -Acts 10:45 NIV
In New Testament, among those first believers in the early church, the thought of Gentiles (non-Jewish people) having access to God was unthinkable. Yet, our Lord had a different idea. His disciples failed to realize that when He went into Samaria to share the good news with a group of people considered almost as bad. It would take some convincing for them to realize that God loved all people, not just the Hebrews.
The apostles and the believers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him and said, “You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them.” -Acts 11:1-3 NIV
How many times do we as believers look at each other, making judgments as to who is the better Christian? Who attends Church more frequently and gives the most of their finances? Who does the most service for the kingdom? Who never speaks a word of profanity? Who has never been divorced or perhaps suffered from a substance abuse problem? These are some of the many things we can use as points when comparing ourselves to our brothers and sisters.
Faith in Christ Jesus is what makes each of you equal with each other, whether you are a Jew or a Greek, a slave or a free person, a man or a woman. So if you belong to Christ, you are now part of Abraham’s family, and you will be given what God has promised. -Galatians 3:28-29 CEV
Father, great is Your majesty and glory. Also great is your love for us. May we remember Your ever-patient grace when we start to think we are better Christians, somehow more worthy of Your love than others. May we meet at the foot of the Cross in humble adoration and gratitude for Your mercy and bountiful blessings.