Believing the One
Christopher B. Harbin
We are all prejudiced. We have learned to make sense of the world by prejudging people and situations according to patterns that have helped us make sense of the world in the past. Our prejudices help orient us, tell us where we need to go, what to expect of our environment, and what to expect of the people around us. They tell us what is safe, what to eat, what is dangerous, and how to remain safe, healthy, and alive. They also color the world around us with lenses of misperceptions that may do us as much harm as good. The difficulty is not that we are prejudiced. The issue is discerning which prejudices are harmful, which are helpful, and which ones simply need to be discarded or changed.
Perhaps one of the greatest issues we face in light of our prejudices is learning to read the Bible for what it actually says and what it was designed to convey. Most of us have heard sermons and teachings about the Bible all our lives, but we are well aware that what some people have told us lies in conflict with what others have said. At some point, we have to figure out which perspectives on the Bible make more sense, rather than simply following along in the ruts that others have provided. After all, at the end of the day, we are responsible for our living and beliefs and will present ourselves before God. Those who taught us will not face God on our behalf. The responsibility for our choices and actions will be our own.
Jesus was followed by crowds, but often for the wrong reasons. Oh, they well understood that his words did not ring in concert with the teachings of the religious teachers of his day. They were well aware that what he had to say did not mesh with their traditions about God and the Bible. At the same time, they were often more enamored of the things Jesus was doing than with what he was actually saying. They brought their own expectations to their encounters with Jesus and all too often did not r ...
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