Wednesday: Breaking Down Barriers
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Read John 7:35, 8:48, and Luke 10:27-37. In what way do these verses show why regional, ethnic, and other barriers should have no place among Christians as they seek to make disciples among all nations?

Image © Providence Collection from GoodSalt.com

Image © Providence Collection from GoodSalt.com

Some of the leaders’ contempt for Jesus knew no bounds. Again, the terrible irony was that those who should have been in the forefront of receiving Him and His message were the very ones who fought against Him the hardest. Priests of Israel scorned the Son of God when those not of Israel accepted Him as the Messiah. What a powerful and sobering lesson is here for those who deem themselves (perhaps with some justification) spiritually advantaged!

When condemning Christ they not only labeled Him as having a devil, they made it worse by calling Him a Samaritan, as well. They even mocked Him for His witness among the Greeks, showing obviously their contempt for those not of their own nation and faith. Israel’s leaders found it unthinkable that Jesus would consider teaching Greeks. Jesus countered this by emphasizing character above ethnic origin.

How interesting, too, that He used the true story of a Samaritan in order to teach a powerful spiritual lesson about what it meant truly to fulfill God’s law. Religious leaders, doubtless restrained by their twisted understanding of Levitical law and defilement, had earlier bypassed the wounded man. The despised foreigner, a Samaritan, had conscientiously defied ethnic prejudice, saving the stranger’s life. What a stinging rebuke to all those who spurn and scorn someone in need only because the person is not of their own ethnic, social, or cultural background.

Think of the last time you perhaps did not help someone in need. What justifications did you use not to help? Looking back now, what should you have done differently?

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Wednesday: Breaking Down Barriers — 15 Comments

  1. [Moderator's Note: Please use full names when commenting. Thank you.]

    Love operates above barrier.It has no limitation . So none will be justified if we know what to do in love but ignore it. Be it service , smile or spending time with a person who needs our help. May God forgives us and strengthen us to do all the good we know through the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Amen

    Like(19)
  2. Seventh day Adventist church in Nigeria is celebrating 100 years of adventism in Nigeria. Elder D. c. Babcock never thought of any barrier between blacks and whites, he came to Nigeria, 100 years ago with the Advent message. Christ died for all, a confirmation that there should not be any barrier among us. we should think of ourselves as one family in Christ Jesus, whether black or white, Jew or gentile, Greek or Hebrew we are all one in Christ Jesus and should see ourselves as such.

    Like(10)
  3. Gods greatest command is LOVE. Do we love our neighbors as we love ourselves? Are we our brothers keepers? Let's share each others burdens and indeed we shall inherit Gods kingdom. Let's strive to make this world a better place as EDEN was.

    Like(7)
  4. We have to make time to show love to our fellow human beings and more importantly to God. Only love will open our eyes to the needs of those around us, those dying in sin, those starving for the word of God. Only love and love alone. Jesus' love is such a powerful example, as recorded in John 3.16, that great manifested love has broken many barriers.

    Like(9)
  5. I have come across with so many lessons after reading such a spiritual message. Jesus were rejected by those who were suspected to honour or glorify Jesus Christ as the Messaih.
    By juxtaposing their conduct towards Jesus Christ as the Mesiah and also the Saviour of the world to our era,what contradicting idiosynchrasy would we derrived from it? Our geneology is the same as theirs, we just honour Jesus Christ in a physical mannner but spiritually blank. Most of us do not accept the true teaching of Christ Jesus and rather profanning the name of The Most High. Great people in this globe are the heathen, receiving souls for satan.
    My dear Adventist,you are really absolutely blessed by knowing the truth.

    Like(4)
  6. They is one barrier among us. Our Adventist lifestyle contradicts what we preach. If we live a Christ like life and lift up Jesus, we will draw many to him . Remember Paul said only let your manner of life be worthy of this gospel.

    Like(5)
  7. Thank you for today's lesson. It really have changed my life. May God forgive us all for our actions, May he grant us love to him and to all our neighbors.

    Like(3)
  8. I am always confused the type of love I got from my church compared to the previous church I was baptized. I was transferred from one station to another. Yes I came from Presbyterian church. I see not good to our fellow leaders because they love themselves because they were born in the system. Those who came to join after hearing the good gospel are not taken as Christians. This is bad.

    Like(4)
  9. In my culture and tradition, it is very hard thing to break a barrier. When breaking a barrier, you are asking for criticism and you will be an outcast from the community. Praise God that Jesus leave a wonderful example to follow.. To be a deciple of Jesus, we must be prepared to expect the unexpect. BIG BARRIER is within where we are living and everywhere else..Our great Heavenly Father has been through and why not I? Friends it's time we break the barrier down and prepare God's children because Jesus is waiting for you and me do complete His Ministry.. God promise to break the strong and tough barrier with us,, The question is, are you willing!?

    Like(4)
  10. Love motivates us to do good to others. However, do we continue to do good, should a person repeatedly do what caused you to help him for his own selfish gain? I should think no in that instance.

    Like(2)
    • Hi Ana,

      "However, do we continue to do good, should a person repeatedly do what caused you to help him for his own selfish gain?"

      I would answer your question with another question. Would you like to be forgiven repeatedly despite your sins? If so, go and do likewise (Luke 10:37).

      Like(2)
  11. We ought to love one another n remove that tribalistic issue in the church. This issue is still functioning when it comes to interns to help, whilst we claim that we are Christ followers. If we solve this issue in our midst first, then we can take the gospel out n it will raise the name of Jesus so high. We are the angel to take the message to the people nation etc n when they come see that we are fighting, what do u think will happen? We need to settle home well before bringing others from outside.

    Like(1)
  12. We like to quote the golden rule: Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: Matt 7:12 but we need to understand what that really means:

    Interpretation 1: If you treat me with respect, I will treat you with respect.

    Interpretation 2: I will treat you with respect the first time around and if you do not respond in kind then I will hit you right between the eyes.

    Interpretation 3: I will treat you with respect but if you continue to treat me with disrespect don't be surprised that my respect will eventually wear out.

    Perhaps we should read the golden rule carefully. It uses words like; "All things whatsoever ..."! to me that sounds like no time limit, no event limit. The golden rule was never about a payback system. We are to live, showing respect for one another all the time. When we live by that rule all the time, we will break down barriers. We will not be making statements like, "It is their fault that the barrier is there"!

    Living the Golden Rule is a lifetime commitment, not an experiment to see if it affects the other people.

    Like(7)
    • Maurice,

      Well spoken on this topic. We have so many barriers and until we believe the only true, one gospel, and live it, we cannot preach it.
      It seems that some church members feel "above" the Golden Rule.

      I agree with you, the Golden Rule has "no time limit, no event limit. The golden rule was never about a payback system. ...We will not be making statements like, "It is their fault that the barrier is there"!

      As soon as someone blames someone else, we can know the person who blames, has problems. We all have problems and the sooner we live the Golden Rule, the better. Thanks Maurice!

      Like(1)
    • Brother, many times I treat people kind but the do not return kindness to me. At first it hurts me, but then the Holy Spirit quickly reminds me "not to look for it" because how can someone return kindness to me when the do not know Jesus. The bible says, be ye kind one to another. Christian struggle with this much less the unbeliever.

      Like(2)

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