Verse of the Day Devotion: Galatians 3:28
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” – Galatians 3:28
Back in the first century, there were many divisions within the populations. Several would be the have’s and have not’s, basically the rich and the poor. Then there were the dignitaries and the normal people. Then there were the wise and the foolish, as decided by the different groups. And of course, the free and the slaves. Each of these groups were looked at very differently. This was the way of the Greek and Roman rulers. And these distinctions were many times accentuated in order for the aristocracy to place themselves at a higher level than the common folk.
When Jesus came, He saw things differently. He focused on one distinction as primary regarding His purpose here on earth. That distinction was regarding following Him. You either followed Him or you did not. And this distinction was not as strict as those of the Greeks and Romans, and even to some extent the Jews, because with them, it was very difficult and sometimes impossible to cross the divide they had imposed on the people. With Jesus, you could move from non-follower to follower by making the decision to follow Him.
In the focus verse, Paul is laying out this same idea. Within the Kingdom of God, there are no distinctions accept whether you are a follower of Christ or not. Everyone is on the same level. First he says there is neither Jew nor Greek. He is not talking about their ancestral line, for that remains. What He is referring to is at this level, all are saved in the same way, and all are intitled to the same privileges. Jews often looked down on the gentiles, and I am sure vice-versa. However, within the body of Christ there is no favoritism on account of birth or bloodline. All confess their love and devotion to Christ, and all are saved by His mercy and grace. The same is said regarding the slave and the free man. Being a free man does not give anyone any special claims to Jesus and His grace.
In those days, the women was looked at as totally subordinate to the male. In the body of Christ, again there are no special privileges associated with the person’s gender. Both sexes are seen as being at the same level. Now, this does not mean there are no distinctions in what each of them do. In the parental role, women will always by the mother and the man will always be the father. And there are other distinctions, especially where the Jewish law was concerned. However, within Christianity, both have equal rights, privileges and equal blessings. And, neither are more useful or important than the other.
We must remember that all who are truly Christians are all one in Christ Jesus; no-one is greater or less than any other. We must never look at anyone and think we are better or worse than they are. We should never flaunt our spirituality simply because we have more credentials than someone else. All credentials really are to show how we have been prepared for the work God has called us to. We are all called to specific tasks. Some to teach, yes. But some to hospitality, others to helping those in need, and still others to reaching out to those who no-one else will. We are all equal in the eyes of God no matter who we are or what our talents are. We should see things in the same way as Christ did. There are followers, then there are those we need to become followers. Any other distinctions are truly irrelevant.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.