Prejudice (pre-judging, irrational attitude) is nothing new. It is even identified in the Biblical record. Aaron and Miriam opposed Moses because of his interracial marriage (Numbers 12:1). The Old Testament books of Esther and Jonah are about events brought on in large part by prejudice. Even in the New Testament the Apostles struggled with it, both in race and religion (Galatians 2:11,12; Luke 9:49,50).
Prejudice can come in many areas...race, religion, economic status, culture, gender and age. As Christians, what is our response to be? While certainly aware of distinct differences among people and each of us having our preferences we must remember John 3:16: "For God so loved the WORLD..." We must be willing to go BEYOND our "comfort zone" since all have sinned and all need the Savior! This Sunday's sermon will offer a few helpful hints in dealing with prejudice. We will also see Philip presenting Jesus as the Messiah (Christ, Anointed One) as well as bringing miraculous relief to the hurting. The proclamation of the Messiah is listed ahead of the miracles in the text. This is a reminder that while we should be a blessing to people in practical ways we must never lose sight of sharing the message of salvation which will benefit them eternally!
The result of Phillip's mission is that there is great joy in that city. We, too, can be partakers and promoters of great Gospel joy as we go BEYOND as witnesses of the love of Jesus in word and deed!
See you Sunday!
1. Did Jesus acknowledge the prejudices of His earthly era? Study Mark 7:24-30; Luke 17:11-19
2. How did Jesus cross the boundaries of prejudice? Study Luke 5:29-30; John 4:4-42
3. Read Jesus' great parable of the "good Samaritan" in Luke 15:25-37. Do you see a remedy for prejudice?
4. In the sermon text in Acts Phillip ministered to both soul and body of the Samaritans. The Bible commentator, William Barclay stated, "Christianity has never been a thing of words only." Consider the following verses. James 2:14-17; 1 John 3:16-18
5. There was great joy when Phillip went BEYOND to Samaria and the Gospel was at work in that city. Where else is there rejoicing when the Gospel takes effect? Luke 15:7, 10