He Shall Be Called a Nazarene

Where were you born?  Where did you grow up?  What city are you from?  The Bible makes reference to different groups of people as Jews, Gentiles, Romans, Ethiopians, and the like.

Since civilization began, we have given names or labels to people to describe them. Names derive from where someone is from, their religion, their language, or sometimes the color of their skin.  Maybe you are a Texan, Bostonian, Californian, or a New Yorker. Labels are relevant today in a world addressing racism.

What I do know is that those have a true heart for Jesus love and support all people, dialects, skin colors, and languages.  Sadly, some of the most hateful and horrible instances of racism have come from people who call themselves “Christians.”  Sin is prevalent in all of us but most disappointing is the underlying hate or silence from Christians who claim to follow Christ.  Their action or inaction is no different than those who openly discriminate.

Martin Luther King Jr said “History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.”

To truly have a heart full of Jesus and glorify Him, we must be honest with ourselves. Do we discriminate?  Are our thoughts and hearts pure?  I am focused on removing any bias from my heart and mind, so I can openly listen and understand.  I may never know what true discrimination feels like but I want to impact change in the circles of my world.

We are human and the Bible says we will all stand before the throne of God some day, “a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.” (Revelations 7:9).  I commit to being an example and activator of positive change in my family and community.  I commit to praying for the conversion and cleansing of hateful hearts.  I commit to calling out direct and indirect actions of discrimination and bias.

Matthew 2:23 says “And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which as spoken by the prophets, ‘He shall be called a Nazarene.’”  Beside Nazarene, Jesus carried many labels and ultimately was murdered by people who hated him.  He was crucified and suffered a horrific death because of his ministry.  Even through the persecution, discrimination, and strife, Jesus taught love and forgiveness.

I would ask that we all be honest with ourselves to understand how we can contribute to an equitable world.  How can we genuinely listen, remove our bias, and rid ourselves of naivety related to discrimination?  Take action, speak up, be an example, and advocate to be a Godly person, even when no one is else is watching.  Let’s start with ourselves and impact change and a movement in our hearts and homes first.

Please pray for divine intervention in hearts, minds, and relationships.   Please pray that the Holy Spirit will use this time to glorify His Kingdom, bring love into hearts and souls, encourage repentance, and pray that the offenders of prejudice will be changed and fall into the loving arms of Jesus.