7.27.16 – acts 22:22

A couple of years ago on a flight to Miami I got into a conversation with a man across the isle. Long story short he didn’t like to fly and began to have a panic attack. Our conversation began after the crew had managed to calm him down. He was apologetic for the scene he caused. I brushed it off as it really wasn’t a big deal. Come to find out a big part of his episode was his anxiety about going back home for a funeral. A few years earlier he had told his family that he was gay and they didn’t take it well. So much that he felt the need to leave.
In Acts 22 Paul has convinced the Roman authorities to address the crowd that wanted him dead. When he began to speak in Hebrew they calmed down and listened to his testimony. They considered all he had to say about Jesus and how he was the Messiah. This was until he spoke the word “Gentiles” and that the same salvation Paul was offering to the Jews was available to Gentiles. The crowd turned on him once again. The Jews felt entitled to a relationship that others could not enter into, unless they first became a Jew.
Human bias has existed for centuries, it is no more or less prevalent today. While it can be a condition of our upbringing, in adulthood it is a choice. During my conversation with the man on the plane he spoke of the rejection he had experienced and specifically from Christians. I’ll never forget the hurt I saw in his eyes when he said, “we’re human too, please treat us that way”. Our conversation ended well. He thanked me but in retrospect I know God put him there to work in my life. How can we embrace our uniqueness and reject another’s? Our humanity means we are flawed to our core but it is also the one thing that connects us all, in His image. Acts 22:22 – Up to this word they listened to him. Then they raised their voices and said, “Away with such a fellow from the earth! For he should not be allowed to live.”